Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: March 2008
Challenge: Outdo Yourself
Summary from Barnes and Noble:
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.
After reading the first book in this series I was a little under-impressed. I thought City of Bones was good but I didn’t see anything awesome in it. I put off reading City of Ashes for a long time even though I’ve had it on my shelf for well over a year. I will say that this book caught my attention right from the beginning because we already knew all of the characters and the back story. There was a ton of action non-stop and of course Clary, Jace and Simon are the three main characters and it was a little shocking that Simon finally stepped up for himself a bit more in this novel. Go Simon! Of course we also get to see Alec and his relationship with Magnus (I don’t have anything against gay relationships but I just never really thought these two worked together. I just always pictured Magnus as middle age so him dating an 18 year old is a little weird to me. I am happy for them though and maybe as time goes on I’ll start to think of Magnus as he is described which is about age 19.)
I really did enjoy the action and the direction of the storyline however, Valentine does remind me a bit of Lord Voldemort. There were parts of the storyline that reminded me of the days of Harry Potter except I still like Harry Potter a little bit more than The Mortal Instruments Series. I do appreciate the fact that MI has more romance than Harry Potter did though. I just wish this whole brother-sister thing would get resolved, which I know from spoilers from friends that it does but I guess I just have to read City of Glass in order to see that. I also interested in seeing what everyone got cut off from talking about in City of Ashes, which is exactly why Jace and Clary have extra powers and just who their parents really are!
Overall, the storyline and characters drew me back into the storyline. I like seeing all of the different creatures coming together in one story and the Shadowhunters are interesting in themselves. Like I said this reminded me a little of Harry Potter with the way the book is set up. Plus the Inquisitor reminded me of Umbridge from the fifth Harry book since I just loved to hate her for what she was doing. Basically overall I’m interested in this series, do I think it is the best/most amazing that I have come across, no but I do still enjoy it to an extent. Since I thought this one was better than City of Bones I’m going to give this book 4.5 hearts but I don’t think these books will ever get 5 hearts from me. They just fall a little short of amazing me.