Title: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
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?
Final Rating: ★★★★☆ (more like 3.5)
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I went into the series, expecting to be disappointed. Yes, I know, not the best way to go into a series (or any book, for that matter). The first book took me by surprise. It was fast-paced and entertaining. Was it a literary gem? No, but was it a good time? Yes. So, I picked up the second book because I was interested to see where the series goes. I had heard from a lot of people that the series gets better with each book, so I was more excited going into this. Which is probably why I was slightly disappointed (the keyword being slightly).
The first book was action-packed, and things were continuously going wrong or right, depending on the circumstances. There was a kick-ass twist, and I really enjoyed reading about the world and its history. However, in this book, I felt like not a lot happened. Some things happen to certain characters that have the ability to change the complete dynamic of the series as a whole, but I wish these “things” were explored more deeply. There were some fighting scenes, that went on for pages and pages, and I could really do without those. They did nothing to advance the story, and just felt like fillers.
Having said that, I really enjoyed the book WHILE I was reading it. I think Cassandra Clare is a very talented writer- she engrosses you within her writing, and you find it hard to put it down. I think her world-building is on point. I discovered a lot of new, interesting things about the Shadowhunter world, which I was happy about. I feel like this series has a lot of potential, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.
This is where the book fell flat for me. I didn’t feel anything for the characters. The people that I was invested in in the first book (Jace, Simon, even Clary) didn’t really do anything for me in this one. I was very intrigued by Jace’s character, and I didn’t find him nearly as fascinating as I did in the first book. He was sulking for most of the book, and so was Clary. Clary was whiny and unlikable in this book, and I was really annoyed by her. Simon had more of a storyline to him in this part, and I was glad about that, but his personality was much more well-developed in the first one.
The only character who was just as appealing in the sequel was Magnus, and there wasn’t nearly enough of him. I want more Magnus, because he’s awesome.
Would I recommend? I guess. It’s not better than the first book, but it wasn’t bad either.
Would I re-read? If I’m ever re-reading the series, yes, but it’s not a favorite.