My Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/jemimaslife/
This book is the second in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series so this review is NOT Spoiler Free IF you haven’t read ‘City of Bones’ yet. It IS Spoiler Free however, IF you have read the first book in the series!
If you haven’t read the first book in the series: City of Bones. I have a spoiler review of it here: https://jemimaslife.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/city-of-bones-by-cassandra-clare-book-review/
Having read City of Bones, I was eager to pick up the next book inThe Mortal Instruments series and discover what the next step in Jace and Clary’s lives was. City of Bones left off well giving Cassandra Clare many different directions she could take the future books in. But I’m sure it was a shock to us all (unless you had been spoilt) when we found out (?) that Jacy and Clary weren’t just related but that they were brother and sister.
I have to say, I enjoyed City of Ashes more than City of Bones. I thought the story became much more interesting and left behind some of the clichés and typical plot often seen in YA. I would say that City of Bones was a “world-builder” so that City of Ashes could have already been established before it had even started.
Because of Clary’s mother’s situation, Luke loosely adopts Clary and mentors Simon in his new state. I really enjoyed getting to see more of Luke’s character as he was one of my favourites in City of Bones but he wasn’t hugely talked about in that book. Clary herself seems much more confident in City of Ashes which was nice to see. She also seems to rekindle her friendship with Simon a lot more having almost lost him in the book before.
Jace on the overhand still midly infuriates me. I cannot deal with people in real life who believe themselves to be “above the rules” and Jace is just that sort of person. I find it difficult to want him and Clary to be together as I think she is a more considerate person and I don’t want to see her personality heading in his way. I hope Jace re-alines himself a bit more in the coming books. Alec and Magnus’ relationship wavers in and out but Alec is still dedicated to Jace. It is nice to see Alec stick up for himself a bit more in City of Ashes though. Isabelle falls into the background a little which was disappointing but I know there is space for plenty more character development in the future of the series.
Introducing another one of the Mortal Instrument relics was an effective way at moving the pace along quickly. Often the second book in a trilogy or series can fall a bit flat but that was not the case with Cassandra Clare. There is a scene in the _ which I thought was very brutal and surprising but I felt that it stepped the novel up in terms of moving it more into the YA world rather than the Middle-Grade one which City of Bones was verging on.
I also enjoyed getting to know Valentine a little better. He is currently one of my favourite villains in a book as I think his character is very interesting. He is emotionally manipulative and genuinely believes what he is doing is for the greater good. He doesn’t seem like a madman like so many villains do in good VS evil stories. He shows his full intentions to Jace but our views are not coloured by Jace’s opinion as the story is told in the 3rd person which I am, for once, thankful for. -If you did not know, I am usually a huge advocate for the 1st person narrative.
The final fight scene in the book was very well written. It was dramatic and colourful and I thought each of the characters and their personalities were handled well. I particularly liked Magnus in this scene. He seemed much more vulnerable and a more human-like, realistic character. However, I did find that when Clary finally got to Valentine I found it to be slightly anti-climactic. Please let me know your own thoughts on this…
I rated City of Ashes ☆☆☆☆/5 stars (.5 of a ☆ higher than City of Bones) which I am finding to be quite a high rating for me. I am trying to be more critical with my ratings this year as I take reading and the book-world much more seriously so ☆☆☆☆’s means it did good! I am excited to read City of Glass as I enjoyed City of Ashes so much and it left off on another pesky cliff-hanger!