Book: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Fantasy
Synopsis: The books revolves around Valentine’s evil plan (of course) and his obsession with having all the power. He is the first character introduced in this second installment of The Mortal Instruments series and his diabolical plan becomes everyone’s attention holder as they try to find means to stop him before its too late. Through this journey we see Clary get thrown back into the world that turned her life upside down, at the same time having to deal with keeping her feelings in check while protecting her family and friends. Can Clary and The Clave stop Valentine on time?
After reading City of Bones and being super annoyed with Clary, I was a bit wary of starting City of Ashes. However, my worries were unfounded. I found myself actually enjoying this second book. Perhaps because there seems to be a sense of humor in the characters, each delivering a hilarious line here and there and that made me have fun reading it. The plot development is more enjoyable now that we are familiar with the Shadowhunter world and its happenings. I am not sure I can give an actual review of the book without major spoilers but I will try my best.
In regards to the characters, I’m sorry to say I still do not like Clary. Something about her impulsive behavior rubs me off the wrong way (especially given the fact that her behavior usually ends up making her more of a liability than an asset to the rest). But if there’s one person I despised more than Clary through this book, it is the damned Inquisitor, Imogen. I seriously considered not reading through her parts but unfortunately, they were key to the story. I’m so glad she got to eat her humble pie though. Serves her right.
While Jace was my favorite character in City of Bones, my patience for him faded towards the end of this book. Surely there are limits to one’s own arrogance? His character is still likable in a strange sort of and I’m especially happy that he is shown to have some vulnerability (never mind that its mostly towards Clary). Let’s talk about Simon. I’m not going to lie, my feelings towards him have been all over. At first I thought he was a bit immature but I’ve grown to like him. He is always trying to be the bigger person so that’s definitely earned him more points. About him and Maia, and their sudden feelings towards each other, I saw this coming from a mile away and I am not too sure where I stand on this. When it comes to Alec and Isabelle, I feel like their characters could be a bit more developed. They somehow feel like they are not too included in the story’s development, especially Isabelle. Luke was also a bit on the backseat in this book but I fell in love with the purity of his actions towards the end of the book. He deserves the world. Valentine, well, he’s just a typical villain. I find nothing unique about him so I have nothing much to say about him as well. Saving the best for last though, Magnus!!! He has emerged as my new favorite character in this series. He is so hilarious and I’m here for it.
Unfortunately, the steamy teen romance I was looking forward to was not quite delivered. Clary and Jace are obviously struggling with the fact that they are siblings which makes reading their scenes a bit cringe. I know they are end game so I’m just going to go ahead and bet that there will be something down the road that brings about the discovery that they are not siblings. And I cannot wait for that time because they’ll finally pursue the love that’s being teased here and there.
While my sentiments might feel like rants, I’d like to say that I did enjoy this book. I can only hope that the third installment in the series is the one that will fully capture my heart and throw me deep into the fandom. I’d you are considering having a go with the Mortal Instruments series, I encourage you to do so!
(Courtesy image courtesy of Melanie These).