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City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments) (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Cassandra Clare

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6,499273588 (4.14)151
Member:kisimyn08
Title:City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)
Authors:Cassandra Clare
Info:Margaret K. McElderry Books (2009), Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Favorites
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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
This sequel to City of Bones picks up shortly after the first book left off. Nothing new has happened except lots of thinking of the characters behalf. Cassandra Clare does a good job backtracking just enough information so that if the reader missed the first book they will not be completely lost (but likely still confused and missing key story elements) and works as a great refresher for those of us who had a gap of time in between the books. Yet it is short and does not detract from the new plot arc we are given. More adventure, magic and lots of angst await us within these pages!



***Note: This review contains spoilers regarding City of Bones. If you have not read the first book, consider yourself warned!***



This book really hits on Jace hard. I feel bad for the guy. First he is kicked out of his home, locked up by the Inquisitor and then accused of working with Valentine. All because he is Valentine's son and is at the wrong place, at the wrong time! Not to mention the tension and "situation" with Clary. A guy can only handle so much, right? So his loyalty is soon questioned by everyone, especially when Valentines offers Jace to still join him.

We get a lot more love triangle and angst in this one. The twisted family ties seem to have little bearing on Clary or Jace's feelings, especially when the Seelie Queen gets involved. Yet Clary is with Simon. And that relationship is all sorts of awkward, if you ask me.

The Seelie Court and the fairies are an new aspect that we are introduced to. Interesting characters here that I wish I could get a better feel for but are left vaguely mysterious still. Although we do learn a thing or two about Isabelle!

There are several severe twists in this book. Some obvious, others not so much. Like the first book, it keeps the reader lightly on edge and eager for more! The world Cassandra Clare has created just keeps expanding as she draws more and more into this stories web. Sometimes I wonder if it is a bit too much but I can't help but enjoy being a part of that world while I read.

Overall, I enjoy the story. The angst is a bit much for me but it also is part of what draws me closer to the characters. Jace went from being an annoyance to someone who is showing potential in this book. Clary is a bit too emotionally led in her actions all the time and needs to learn to use her head more. One character I really am curious about is Magnus. He is still an enigma yet easy to like and feel drawn to for some reason. So, here is to some character development, and plot additions! ( )
  jljaina | May 16, 2015 |
It was ok does not mean bad, really. Just that it could have been so much better without Simon dying every other page, and Magnus Bane being Victorian London Magnus Bane, not all Shadowhunters' guardian angel, and Jace's adoptive parents acting more like real parents instead of a bunch of disappointed teenagers. Valentine is fun, though. Cassandra Clare should have totally focused on him. And the Demon of Fear, whom I imagine similar to Charmed's Barbas. Killing children to draw their blood WAS kind of evil. Pursue that, please. Instead of romantic feelings between "siblings", coming out of the closet and having on/off relationships. ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
I seem to be in the minority here but I really just could not get into this story. While I wasn't a fan of City of Bones, at least that novel had a nice flow to it and did not get boring. This was not really the case with City of Ashes.

The novel reads as a bit of a cross being Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. The characters speak almost entirely in witty retorts, even when faced by legions of demons, and this got annoying really quickly. The novel is also absolutely full of similies, a lot of which are jarring as they don't even make a lot of sense ("").

The story is full of tangents (partially due to its large cast) and this caused Valentine's plot to largely slip to the background. Even though he's murdering Downworlder children this time, the characters are far more preoccupied with their angsty (and incestuous) love lives. Neither Clary or Jace are particularly likable leads - Clary has discovered her Mary-Sue powers since the last story and strings Simon along for most of the novel and Jace is just an obnoxious, arrogant git.

Even the secondary cast are rather forgettable. The only two I was interested in seeing more of were Magnus and Alec but their budding relationship largely happened off-page (a real shame, as mainstream literature really lacks gay couples). Valentine is also a ridiculously cartoonish villain who seems to be making up his plans on the fly - his scheme has completely changed now from what he was planning in City of Bones.

Many people seem to love this series so I might be missing something but it wasn't for me. I'll probably read the next book at some point and I hope it improves, or getting through the remaining three might be a chore. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Mar 5, 2015 |
The Mortal Instruments series has definately caught my interest, and has my mind always wondering what's going to happen next. I find it very unpredictable, and it's hard for me to put these books away or stop thinking about the story. The characters and romance between them is so gritty and different, I appreciate this so much. You will not find your stereotypical teen love here! I love everything about Jace and Clary, despite the fact, that they never seem to catch a break, they continuously make the right and honorable decisions, no matter how hard it is. Valentine has definately shown his true villainous colors in this plot, I wasn't that impressed with him in City of Bones. The story is fast paced, but the banter between the charcters (especially Magnus, I ( )
  sgcastellini | Feb 6, 2015 |
City of Ashes was definitely more interesting to me than City of Bones. Maybe it's because by the end of the last book, I finally held better opinions of the characters. The romance and angst are intense, but it's really all of the plot twists and turns that make the book complete. Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle, and of course Magnus all have some pretty interesting dialogues. They banter with each other often. This book was definitely worth the read. ( )
  AlphaHikar | Jan 14, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cassandra Clareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, NatalieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This Bitter Language

I know your streets, sweet city,
I know the demons and angels that flock
and roost in your boughs like birds.
I know you, river, as if you flowed through my heart.
I am your warrior daughter.
There are letters made of your body
as a fountain is made of water.
There are languages
of which you are the blueprint
and as we speak them
the city rises.
-Elka Cloke
Dedication
For my father, who is not evil. Well, maybe a little bit.
First words
The formidable glass-and-steel structure rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A lot has changed since Clary has found her way into the shadowhunters' world. 
1) She and her friend Simon might be becoming more then just friends 
2) She might have feelings for her new-found brother Jace, and there is a big chance he feels the same way 
3) Valentine, an evil shadowhunter and her and Jace's father, is killing downworlders around New York, and Jace is still uncertain if he should join his father or not 
The story of The City of Bones continues in the sequel City of Ashes!!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743572750, Audio CD)

Welcome back to the exotic world beyond the shadows...

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Clary continues trying to make sense of the swiftly changing events and relationships in her life as she becomes further involved with the Shadowhunters and their pursuit of demons and discovers some terrifying truths about her parents, her brother Jace, and her boyfriend Simon.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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