city of ashesCITY OF ASHES

Author : Cassandra Clare
Series : The Mortal Instruments
Genres : Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication : July 7th 2008 by Walker Childrens Paperbacks (first published March 28th 2008)

City of Ashes is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series. If you haven’t read the first book, this review may spoil you.

Goodreads’ synopsis : 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?

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This second book is darker than City Of Bones. A lot of suspicion is surrounding Jace. It’s a dark time for him. His “foster” family is doubting him, the father he once admired turned out to be a psychopath, and on top of that the Inquisitor is determined to make his life a living hell.
We can see Jace’s shell cracking : when it comes to his father and when it comes to his sister, that he doesn’t love as he should.
In this book, we learn more about Valentine’s schemes. We also learn about Jace and Clary’s special abilities.

I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.

This book is so well balanced between action and what I’m gonna call “drama” ! The plot thickens, and there are numerous new characters that seems to have important roles in a near future. Even as a reread, I found the plot pretty amazing.
The comic relief is also something I appreciated ! Every time the mood was getting darker, a witty reply, or a funny stuff happened, which cooled down the situation.

I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.

Another thing I enjoyed is seeing the hints I missed the first time I read it.

Characters :
– Clary is trying her best not to hurt Simon. But it’s an impossible task. I love her fierceness and her stubbornness ! She is amazing and won’t hesitate to dive head first into danger !
– Jace : I love that we get to see his vulnerability. It reminds us that although being a kickass shadowhunter, he is also a teen. A teen in need for love, for a family.
– Simon is the comic relief. Well, at least a part of it. But in this book, he suffered a lot. I love Simon, he is such a faithful character. He is funny, appealing and so cute ! What he had to go through wasn’t easy at all. Jace and Clary aren’t the only ones to suffer.
– Alec is at a critical moment in his life. He likes Magnus but isn’t totally ready to come out yet. He is slowly getting to know himself and what he truly wants. And he is much more pleasant.
– Maia is a newly introduced character and a pretty interesting one (especially knowing what happens to her in the next books!). Though I didn’t appreciate how whiny she can be at times.

As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?

In a few words, let’s say that I can wait to read City Of Glass next month !

5 stars

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About the Author

Cassandra clareCassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.


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