City of Ashes By Cassandra Clare
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?
I listened to this on audiobook. First and foremost I have to say I liked this one better then the first book. So much happens in this book, while a lot happened in City of Bones, I felt like the first book in the series was more about foundation laying.
This book centers around Clary Fray, a 15 year old girl from Brooklyn. In the first book she discovered she was a Shadownhunter. Now she wishes she weren’t one. She wishes she was normal. But what does normal even mean in a world were you can see Downwolders, like vampires, werewolf and faeries. Also being normal would mean not going after her father Valentine, the man who might know what to do with her mother. Valentine in the meantime is the man behind stealing the Mortal Instruments. The first book left him with the Mortal Cup. In this book he steals the Soul Sword, for what reason? You will find out when you read the book.
First of the characters. I, myself, like them all. Valentine is a very complex character. Does he feel love for his children or is he only after power? That’s the question that keeps going through your head. Another question that I think might go through you head is, is Valentine truly after power or is it more than that? Clary, Clary is feisty and smart. She isn’t just a normal fighting heroine, though. Compared to Jace, Isabel and Alec she hasn’t that much to offer. Not until we find out she has a special power. One that’s being greatly used. Speaking of Jace. We see a lot more from him in this novel. Not just the snarky side of him but the unsure, questioning side of him. I liked that a lot. That we saw a more vulnerable side. We didn’t see a lot of Alec and Isabel, especially Isabel. Alec at least had his thing with Magnus, another great character. I love Magnus. Even though he says there (Alec, Isabel, Clary, Luke etc.) not his friends he is always willing to help. Simon. Simon changes a lot during this book, especially towards the end. This has to do with the fact that he is not a mundane anymore. Finally Luke, being like a father for Clary you see him a lot throughout the book. What I recall about him is that he always sounds so wise. Individually these character were great but there interaction was great as well.
For me the plotline of City of Ashes was better than that of City of Bones. Like I said in the beginning, City of Bones set the foundation and City of Ashes build and expended on that. Since the first book was all about establishing the foundation and the ‘back story’ so to speak, this book was more about action and adventure. In City of Bones, Valentine, the villain of the story, had stolen one of the Mortal Instruments from the Shadowhunters. This is how the story ended. City of Ashes soon takes us to him getting another of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul Sword. From that moment on things start happening all around. The book builds up to an epic confrontation between Valentine and the gang in the end.
This brings me to the writing style. First off the over all pace of this book was quick. Second, Cassandra Clare is very descriptive in her writing. These florid descriptions are being used to good effect, crafting for example emotional tension and heart-wrenching romantic drama. I appreciated her writing style. You could literally picture everything she wrote. I wouldn’t say this to be a literary masterpiece but it was well crafted.
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