Spoiler Alert! City of Ashes is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Therefore, this review contains major spoilers for the first book, City of Bones. You have been warned.
As I mentioned in my review of the previous book in the series, City of Bones, this series was enthusiastically thrust upon me by my husband. He read most of these books as a kid and loved them. My husband does not frequently get this excited about books, so when he does, I take note. Now that I have read City of Ashes, I think I can say I am officially hooked on the Mortal Instruments! These books are fun and fascinating, albeit definitely targeted at teenagers.
City of Ashes picks up right where City of Bones left off, and hits the ground running. Clary has just discovered that Jace is actually her brother, her evil father, Valentine, has stolen the Mortal Cup and the book opens on him stealing the Soul-Sword. If you’re tracking with me, that means Valentine has obtained two out of the three Mortal Instruments. But what does he intend to do with them? The Mortal Instruments are, on their own, very powerful. But together, they are even more powerful and, if they fall into the wrong hands, could cause a lot of trouble for the Shadowhunter world.
Throughout this book, you really get to see more of the Shadowhunter world and understand what they do more. You also learn more about Downworlders (aka, vampires and werewolves) and the politics between Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Several of the main characters, including Simon and Alec really developed strongly in this book as well. Overall, City of Ashes was fast-paced, fun, and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, I cannot give a full five star review. There was an unnecessary amount of teenage angst. Like, so unnecessary. I can deal with the love triangle thing (although those are typically obnoxious to me), but this one was just weird. It was like, Jace wants Clary, Simon wants Clary, Clary wants Jace and Simon, but can’t seem to choose between her BROTHER and her best friend. I wanted her to ditch both of them and just focus on growing up a little more first. I will admit: I shipped Jace and Clary hard from their first scene together in the first book. But as soon as the big “you guys are siblings” reveal came, I was like no way. And I assumed they would also back off each other. NOPE. I will admit, I find Clare’s basically encouraging incest in her books a tad suspicious, which leads me to believe there is more to Jace’s lineage (aka, there’s a cop-out coming) than meets the eye. I guess I’ll just need to keep reading to find out!
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare gets 4/5 stars.