Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 25, 2008
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Length: 453 pages

"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."


Background: Clary Fray having just recently found out that she is a Shadowhunter, a race of Nephilim who protect Mundane humans from demons and Downworlders. That coupled with the fact that she learned Jace, the boy she thought of only as an arrogant Shadowhunter and began having feelings for, and Valentine, the evil mastermind who tried to tear down the Shadowhunter organization, are her long thought dead brother and father respectively, it's safe to say that she's not having the best year. Now she's brought back into the world because Downworlder children are dying and her father may be the cause.

Protagonist: I've grown to like Clary's character more in this installment, it may be because I've gotten used to her name, or because the book seems to follow her less than the previous one did either way she's slowly growing on me and I was more engrossed in her character than I though I'd be. She also grows a bit herself in this one as well, she's growing into her role as a Shadowhunter well and begins to sort out her personal life, however confusing it is, and does so with more confidence than I would have if I was in that situation.

Romance: Due to the complications we learn in the end of City of Bones, Clary and Jace have been forced to end their romance, however their feelings only seem to get more and more tangled as what is rationalized at affection between a brother and sister seems to be much more passionate than that. Clary, in efforts to keep her feelings in check has begun seeing her best friend Simon a mundane who knows about the Invisible world. Though his feelings for her a intense and real, hers seem to be muddled and confusing as she wants to love him the way he does her.

World-Building: There is a lot we learn as we see new and returning characters interact and reveal things both secret and unknown to the reader. We learn more about the Clave and their inner-workings, we see another Mortal Instrument and learn of his power. We also learn more about the Instruments as a whole and how their affects work. We learn about the Circle some more and watch as Valentine's plan begins to take off.

Predictability: This book has about as many predictable moments as unpredictable ones. I was able to guess a fair bit of things happening but was blown away at the amount of unforseen moments. The things that weren't easy to predict were game changing and breathtaking. There were also moments where I knew something was going to happen but couldn't really form specifics which was fun to read as I got to see the pieces being put together and my mind clicking with excitement.

Ending: The ending was great, one of those full of hope and promise and fill the heart full of joy and excitement at seeing how far these characters have come and what they can do is amazing. The very end is a cliffhanger that will leave the reader wondering what will happen next as there is a bombshell dropped that came quite literally out of no where, no foreshadowing what so ever but still seemed to hold up.

Overall, I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars, I'm not sure whether I like it more than the previous installment or not, if so it's only slightly. This series is standing strong and this installment left me waiting to dig in for more.

P.S. Please check out my Giveaways/Contests tab to enter for your chance to WIN as SIGNED copy of Clockwork Princess the final installment to the prequel trilogy to this amazing series. The contest ends at midnight PST on the 22nd of this month so you still have time to get in those extra entries.


  1. Love me some TMI! I liked this one a lot. I think with these books, they just get better and better! Clare rocks!

  2. I am really happy you are liking them! Although, I love TID WAY MORE. I think it has to do with Will Herondale. I love tormented love interests ;)

    Can't wait to see more of your reviews for the rest of the series! Eeepp! And I'm going to see Cassie next week! I'm sooo excited! Which tour stop are you going to?