>Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare


by Cassandra Clare 
[Mortal Instruments, Book 2]

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)

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?

 ***Warning – Possible spoilers for previous books***

It must be so much fun to be a young adult right now, ok, at least when it comes to reading books. This past year I have been introduced to so many wonderful books that have been written specifically for that in-between age group (thanks to my friends with tweens) and really, I find that these books have taken over my “books I’m most looking forward to” list. Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series is one of these wonderful series (and Day has been going on and on about Clockwork Angel).

City of Ashes, the second book in the series, continues right after the events of City of Glass (book 1), where we are introduced to Clary Fray and her friends, and she is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters. In City of Ashes Clary is trying to cope with her new life – her mother in a coma, her father is Valentine – former Shadowhunter and big bad, her best friend Simon who wants more than friendship, and then there is Jace, her new-found brother who she wishes was anything but her brother. As if this isn’t enough, another Mortal Instrument has disappeared, while bodies of murdered Downworlder children are turning up everywhere, Valentine seems to be getting help from someone and Jace is the main suspect!

The Mortal Instruments series is a bit like Harry Potter meets Star Wars with a twist, and I say that in a good way. That said, like many trilogies, the second book can sometimes seem like a transition book between the first and third book. I really enjoyed it, but not as much as The first book. Perhaps because I was hoping for some answers.

In City of Bones (book 1), we are told that Clary has been made to forget much of her Shadowhunter-related past, and that she will slowly remember more and more, I was really looking forward to finding out about her memories, but this wasn’t even mentioned in City of Ashes. I was also disappointed to not learn more about Alec and Isabel who took a bit of a back seat in this book. Simon received a more central role, and I’m happy to say, he shines in this book, and also gets a plot twist of his own which I’m looking forward to reading more about in City of Glass (book 3).

It was also a lot of fun to revisit some of the other supporting characters. Oh, who am I kidding, I’m talking about Magnus Bane – love him, want to read more about him! I hope he gets his own ‘Happy Ever After’ with a certain Shadowhunter. One thing I really hope Ms. Clare settles is the issue of Jace and Clary’s relationship. Since this book is Young Adult, I did find that point a little disturbing (ok, a lot). So can we please have a reverse-“Leia-Luke” moment?

All in all, this is a great addition to the series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on City of Glass. Cassandra Clare is now on my automatic-purchase list, she’s a truly talented writer. Like I said, young people today, so lucky…

Mortal Instruments 
City of Bones-2007 Desi’s Review
City of Ashes-2008
City of Glass-2009
City of Fallen Angels-April 5, 2011

Visit Cassandra Clare’s Website | Blog | Twitter
*Check out this other awesome review of City of Ashes by our friend Jeremy at Novel Thoughts HERE

This book was purchased by Noa. 

For a chance to win a signed copy of City of Ashes, Clockwork Angels and more fabulous prizes enter our Cassandra Clare MEGA Giveaway going on NOW!!


43 responses to “>Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

  1. >Yes we are all very lucky to have great books to read!!!!

  2. >I really love the saga but i think that City o Ashes is the one that i like less among the three books. I think it’s amazing because it’s based on a good story and i loved the relationship between Jace and Clary, and MAGNUS IS MY FAVORITE! (after Jace lol) but i think that my favorite one is absolutely City of Glass! EPICAL!

  3. >I remember when I first started reading City of Bones, I was drawn right into their world. So much so, that before I was even finished, I rushed to the store to purchase City of Ashes. My mistake was that I read the back of the book before finishing Book #1. My heart broke at what the words told me. I didn’t even want to finish reading City of Bones after the revelation that Clary and Jace were “sister and brother.” The books were so good though, that I got over my fears and anger. I managed to finish all three books in a weekend. I think that was the first time that a series and characters gripped me the way in which Cassandra Clare’s did.

  4. >I am not really a ‘young-adult’ anymore, but I still read mostly YA because the books are so great! This series is one of my faves. I am sure you will love City of Glass!

  5. >I'm not a young adult anymore either but it's still practically the only genre that I read. So good! I agree with what you said though, this book was my least favourite out of the trilogy (quadrilogy? sp?).

  6. >Thanks for the great review and I have to agree with you, this second book definitely felt more like a transition but it didn't totally suck like other middle books in trilogies.

  7. >So can we please have a reverse-"Leia-Luke" moment made me laugh a lot.

  8. >I waited forever before actually picking up this series. I'm sooo glad I finally read it! After reading City of Bones I immediately picked up City of Ashes. 🙂 Loved your review!

  9. >i'm dying to read the 2nd book!like you said, cassandra clare is a very talented author!

  10. >I loved City of Ashes! City of Glass is my favourite, but I thing CoA and CoB are tied second best. And I love Magnus too. I think everyone loves Magnus :P. And you're right, there are so many great YA books these days…

  11. >I read all three of these books only months ago and I loved them. I actually enjoyed City of Ashes quite a bit, but I think that's because I absolutely adore Simon. He's my favorite character in the series, so more of him is always a good thing in my mind. There were definitely many loose ends here and the Jace/Clary relationship was disturbing me from the get-go as well. City of Glass does a good job tying up some of those loose ends though.

  12. >The first book was good and it made me go out to get the 2nd because I was curious at what was going to happen next. This second book had me hooked…I rushed right out and got the 3rd and loved it. It was such a good series and she's such a good writer =) I'm an adult paranormal book reader but really enjoyed this series. Thanks

  13. >I haven't read this series, but I'm really excited about them! The second book sounds like a great book!

  14. >It’s been a while since I read that book but I don’t remember thinking that it felt like a transition book.I really like the cover for this one, I think it’s my favourite out of the TMI series.

  15. >I think the second book was one of the best ‘middle’ books of a series that I have ever read. Most middle books seem to be focused on getting to the finale, but City of Ashes really stood on its own.

  16. >I love it! I agree that YA has taken over my want-to-read most list also. And I love "The Mortal Instruments series is a bit like Harry Potter meets Star Wars with a twist" That's great, and perfect!

  17. >These books are definitely going to the top of my WANT list. =D

  18. >LOVE these books!! ❤ And hey, it doesn't matter how old you are, you can still read YA. 🙂 One of the best things about YA. Besides the *actual* writing, lol.

  19. >I have to agree, the three books in the series are all brilliant,I loved the first one City of Bones the most. Maybe it was because it was the first one in the series. The book that started it all.

  20. >I totally love this series. City of Ashes was such a great read. It's hard to find books as good as these ones. I think City of Ashes is my second favorite in the series, after City of Glass.

  21. >i'm in love with this series, all three books are excellent.

  22. >I think Magnus is everyone's favorite character 😉 Or at least in the top five. It's great that as the books go on Simon gets more and more prominent. He goes from being the mundie to being… eh… important xD

  23. >I cried in a part of this book (Simon and his whole transformation =[!)But the book is so, so good! =D

  24. >I totally agree with you! I HEART MAGNUS!!!! He is just so funny! I really hope we see more of him in City of Fallen Angels!

  25. >I really enjoyed this series and it is difficult to review without giving anything away. I love your comparison to Harry Potter crossed with Star Wars!

  26. >I really need to read this series, because I love Harry Potter and Star Wars. If it is anything like those two series, I will love it.

  27. >Awesome book definitely recommend it I read through it so fast the whole series was great!

  28. >agreed, everything she has written 9that I have read) I have very much enjoyed. kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. >Ms Clare once said that the second book in the trilogy are the punish-and-torture book. It's basically when you crank up the danger. And boy does she does that.Fantastic book, fantastic review.

  30. >I love this book !! I cant wait for the next one you write amazing stuff! Keep going girl !

  31. >Great review! I loved City of Ashes. But, I can't choose a favourite in The Mortal Instruments; it's like choosing a favourite child! It's so hard to choose with this series because all the books are equally fantastic!

  32. >This is such a fantastic book. Out of the three I've read this one the most!!

  33. >Most of people said that CoA is less interesting than others two, but it's my favorite!! *_* In this book I began to love Magnus!! He's the Best!!

  34. >I haven't read this myself, but I'm tempted to after you said the book's like Harry Potter meets Star Wars! Great review.

  35. >I just bought the City of bones . I am so excited to read it!! Can't wait to get hold of the entire series

  36. >This is actually the one that caught my eye on the shelf–the cover is just so gorgeous. I almost bought it except that I discovered it wasn't the first in the series… and the bookstore didn't have the first one! Curses! Still, I'm hoping to read them soon.

  37. >Looking back after finishing the series, I think this one was my favorite. My favorite scene in the entire trilogy was when they visited the faerie queen. And I loved Jace and Clary's struggle with their relationship(s). A great 2nd book!

  38. >These books have started a love affair with Young Adult books again, thank you!

  39. >I love all books from this saga, But I think that ''City of Ashes'' was lil bit too depressive for me.. The things that happened to Clary's mom and all the rest… that wasn't really for me.. ;(But I know that this book was as important for saga as others..:*

  40. >I liked it more than the first one and I loved the relashionship between Clary and Jace although it's too difficult for them. I also loved Magnus Bane, he's a so charismatic character.

  41. >What I liked most about the book is the forbidden love between Clary and Jace – it is definitely thrilling to read about their relationship.

  42. >**SPOILER ALERT** When I started reading City of Ashes all I could think was that Jace and Clary better not be freaking siblings by the end of this book. Alas, disappointment!

  43. >"The Mortal Instruments series is a bit like Harry Potter meets Star Wars with a twist"-I adore this statement in your review! WOW! Whatever in the world can possibly be better?You have totally perked my interest for this series by your review even though you say you had expected more from this book. I want to know all about Clary's world. I am so eager to meet Magnus Bane now. Sounds so hot! 😉

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