City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

"'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.' 'Well,' said Luke, 'you're doing a fantastic job.'"
The Mortal Instruments:
1) City of Bones 🌟🌟🌟

Summary (From Goodreads) 

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?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

My Thoughts

I thought this book was really good and I enjoyed it a lot more than City of Bones! There was more action and I found myself more engrossed in the book and couldn't stop reading at times, especially near the end! Cassandra Clare's writing definitely improved as she continued the series, as the pacing was a lot better (but she still loves those long chapters). 

I felt like a lot of the characters were more developed this time around, although some could use some more, such as Isabelle - she's a badass Shadowhunter, but we don't really know that much about her. We have more backstory about Alec than her and now we have more on Simon, so I want some more on Isabelle!! Speaking of Simon...I thought the twist was a little bit predictable, but still it adds more interest into the story and makes him more involved as they face more inevitable battles in the future. 

I'm very interested now to keep reading, because City of Ashes gave so many unanswered questions that I hope are solved quickly! I'm ready to move onto City of Glass and see if my predictions are right!!

(Proceed carefully - spoilers below!)

What Worked:

    • So. many. action. scenes! 
    • It seems like wherever they turn, the Shadowhunters are facing a different challenge. Well, it makes for an interesting story, but these poor people! Can you imagine?! They can barely sit down and stay awhile before they are fighting off a demon while helping their friend who's turning into a vampire and trying to figure out Valentine's plan all in the same minute! 
    • I especially was fascinated by those ending scenes on the ship because I did not know where that was headed... For a second, I thought Cassandra was killing off half the characters already! (Thankfully, they lived to tell the tale, but she had me worried)
  • Character Development
    • I enjoyed the development that the main characters had and also we had some development with minor characters too. 
    • I especially liked how Clary might have some of her own special powers with drawing unknown runes! You go girl!! Looks like she has something to actually offer for these Shadowhunters and they can stop acting like she's some useless human every time she joins them on some battle. 
    • Luke!! Dad goals, am I right? Can they find out soon that Luke is actually Clary's father or something because he is so cute with her! 
    • They also introduced a new character, Maia, who may be helpful in the future
  • I have unanswered questions
    • ...which means I will definitely keep reading to find out some answers
    • Such as, but not limited to:
        • What did the Inquisitor say to Jace before she died??
          • She saw the scar on his shoulder and she looked like she was realizing something and whispered in Jace's ear... and then we got nothing
          • Did she realize that he may not be Valentine's son?!?!
          • What did she recognize on his shoulder that made her so relieved? 
          • If we find this out, we may then learn that Clary and Jace are not brother and sister and they can live happily ever after without awkwardly kissing as siblings
        • What did Jace's blood do to Simon that allows him to walk in sunlight now?
          • Is he even more powerful now that he has the blood of vampire and Shadowhunter in him? 
          • Very convenient, might I add... he was a vampire for like three days and now he can just walk in sunlight where there are vampires who have not been able to walk in sunlight for like 500 years
          • You think one of them at some point could have drank the blood of a Shadowhunter and found that out, so there must be something special about Jace's blood

    What Didn't Work:

    • How Everyone Is Out To Get Them 
      • This was honestly the only infuriating thing about the book, because literally no one ever trusts what they say
      • What was the point of throwing Jace into prison in the Bone City, Inquisitor? Like help me understand, because it was just annoying.
      • They would always try to help them out and tell the Inquisitor or the Lightwood parents some information and they just never believed them 
      • I hope they got a big "I told you so!!"


    • Clary
      • Like I said, I love how she is getting some powers of her own that make her useful with the other Shadowhunters
      • She deserves some credit here and I want her to own her powers and get some training! 
      • She's constantly getting hurt whenever they go to battle with something, so I think it would be wise if someone starts teaching her how to protect herself and fight before she legitimately gets killed 
    • Jace
      • He seems to constantly be at war with wanting to join Valentine and staying behind with the Lightwoods and Clary
      • He's got a temper and can be unpredictable, which could hurt the others in the future
      • I just want things to be resolved between Clary and Jace because there is so much tension and confusion, ugh
    • I already talked about Simon / Luke / Maia, but I'm interested to see where there story lines go
    • Magnus
      • Quick note about Magnus because I didn't say anything about him in my first post, but I just don't know if he can be trusted!
      • He is always helping them with everything they ask, and I feel like that would come at a price, but it just doesn't seem to...
      • I don't think his love for Alec could be that strong that he would drop everything for these people that he barely knows and that he met a couple weeks ago
      • Just a little bit fishy to me
    Overall, I thought this was a great sequel, full of action and character development, that hooked me even more and got me excited for City of Glass. Four star rating for City of Ashes!!



    Book enthusiast and avid reader of all things.

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