Sunday, 15 September 2013

[Review] City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Published July 7th 2008 by Walker Books
Paperback, 411 Pages
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?
My Thoughts:
First things first, I enjoyed City of Ashes a hell of a lot more than the first book. I did like CoB but I felt that I was able to connect with the characters in this instalment whereas I didn't in the first book. So that’s a win on its own! City of Ashes is a brilliant follow-up to the first book and had me craving more of the Shadowhunter world. 

So I've spent the past 5 days reading this book, yes 5 days is quite a long time to read a book but hey, I don’t like to rush something I'm enjoying! What I liked most about this book was the fact that it carried on right from where the last one finished off. I was desperate to see what happens next so I was glad to see that the author didn't skip too far ahead. Not much had changed since the last book, but let me just get one thing out of the way; I wasn't too happy when Simon and Clary became “official”. I mean come on, Clary was blatantly pining over Jace and it wasn't fair on Simon. He deserves to be treated better and that’s shocking for me to say considering I wasn't keen on him in the first book. To those of you that haven’t read the book yet; I'm sorry for the spoiler! 

In City of Ashes we are welcomed to a whole plethora of new problems. Clary isn't the only one with issues any more; it’s not all about her for once! In this book we see Jace struggling to come to terms with who his father really is and the fact that everything he’s ever known of his family was one big lie. I felt that this new found realisation stripped Jace of his personality and made him somewhat boring. Yes he is still his arrogant and sarcastic self but pair that with depression and teenage angst, and what do we get? Jace 2.0! Simon also faces big changes in CoA but these changes were quite good as I found myself liking his character a lot more. I was able to sympathise with Simon in this book which shocked me as let’s just say I wasn't particularly keen on him in the first book. Valentine is up to his old mischievous ways in this book and will do anything to get what he wants. Even if it means betraying his own family, but let’s be honest, I didn't really expect anything less of him. What a bastard! 

Like all YA series, in this second instalment we’re introduced to a range of new characters. Some of these were mentioned in City of Bones but I didn't realise how big of a role they’d play in this book. So we finally get to meet Mr and Mrs Lightwood and I wasn't particularly keen on them at first. But as we got to know them more I found myself enjoying their presence and involvement in the plot. One character that particularly intrigued me was The Inquisitor, although she wasn't the nicest person in the world I felt that she helped move the story along and bought a creep factor to the book. It was also interesting to see her hatred towards Jace and to find out what had caused it. 

With that said, City of Ashes brings a whole new meaning to the word exciting. With its heart stopping action and plot twists that caught me off guard, this book kept me on the edge of my seat right from the start. I cannot wait to read City of Glass as I'm hoping for something major to happen. I would also like to see the downfall of Valentine because I really do dislike him!

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