Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Summary:
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
Review:
I believe I mentioned in my review of the first book, City of Bones (read it here!), but I’m doing a reread of the whole series in anticipation of Queen of Air and Darkness being released this December. Who else is as psyched as I am?

“You are mortal; you age; you die,” the Queen said dismissively. “If that is not hell, pray tell me, what is?”

Let’s get down to it. I think because I’m rereading this series so many years after originally reading it my feelings have changed. Along with how popular and discussed these books have become I’ve heard and read so many other viewpoints that I’ve come to look at this series in a different light. I don’t love these books as much as I used to. I see more of the flaws in them. That’s not to say that they’re not still good books, because they are. I still enjoyed the series (so far) for sure.
I really like the twist with Clary’s powers and abilities. I think it’s really interesting. It’s cool because, on top of her being this super cool shadowhunter, she’s also more than that. I think this twist was written into the story well. When it comes to Clary, I still love her. She tries to do the right thing for as many people as she can (most of the time.) Every now and then she throws all sense out the window, but in a way that works. She’s being crazy for good reasons. I honestly thought I was going to find Clary annoying in this reread because it’s been so long since I last read the books but she’s a well-written character that is smart (mostly) and caring and passionate.
Jace however, was a little annoying. He’s headstrong and macho. He’s snarky, and not always in a good way. He always has to be right or have the last word and it got on my nerves a little. I think the attempt was to make him the ‘bad boy’ but it didn’t work. He was just kind of an asshole, even with his tragic backstory of abuse and lies. Though I do like that everyone keeps assuming the worst from him and he proves them wrong every time. So maybe its the facade of bad boy that I don’t like because it’s fake. He shows us that he’s really mostly a good guy.
The rest of the gang adds hilarity and entertainment like usual. The lightwoods will forever be excellent supporting characters. I love how kickass Isabelle is. She’s funny and snarky and sassy in all the best ways.

“Isabelle shrugged philosophically. “I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.””

I love seeing Alec develop more and more. He starts to come out of his shell in this book. Taking more risks and being more open about who he really is. The same goes for Simon. I’m enjoying seeing him develop and grow and I’m glad the whole Clary/Simon relationship is over. I forgot about that and it was weird. But Simon is finding his place in the craziness that is the shadowhunter world and I like who he’s growing into.
I liked this book well enough. I didn’t love it to pieces but I definitely didn’t hate it either. It was a fun story with good development for most of the characters with of information that helped them grow and a few little tidbits that left the reader saying, hmm I wonder how that will play into the story in the next books. There are also a few excellent quotes (like there is throughout all of Clare’s books.) If you haven’t read this series, I recommend it for sure.

“Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: “Love made you a liar.””

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

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