City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)

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?


The Phoenix’s Perspective

I was really concerned about reading this book. It has been 5 months since I read the first book in the series, City of Bones. I thought it would be very difficult to recall the storyline, but thankfully I was wrong.

The prologue is 5 pages of a science fiction type storyline. It keeps the reader (even one new to the series) interested. Then, the very last word of the very last line – “Valentine” – brings back every memory of the first book – the plot, the characters, the deception.

Just as with the first book, we find Jace continually getting himself in trouble and Clary being there to help bring him out of it. The only difference is that now the world really is out to get him. Not only has Maryse Lightwood kicked him out of the Institute, but now there is also an Inquisitor from the Clave out to get him and seems want him imprisoned no matter what he says or does.

Clare does a very good job of provided action with small bursts of calmer storyline in between so as to not overwhelm the reader. There are enough twists and turns to not make the story only about Jace and Clary. For example, Simon has always been a third wheel of sorts, who is caught up in an awkward love triangle.  He comes into his own in City of Ashes – he begins to fight for a position in Clary’s life while taking a whole new role within the story.

However, there are still some uncomfortable moments where you can see how much Clary and Jace still struggle with their attraction to each other. Their situation becomes as difficult for the reader as it is for them. As a reader, I want them to work out somehow, to be able to be with the person that makes them feel whole and normal.  At the same time, I feel as awkward as they do for feeling that way considering the fact that they just recently learned that they are brother and sister.


Would I add it to the library?

Yes! This book left me wanting more.  Reviewing books, I attempt to read different novels, as opposed to reading one series at a time.  However, this series makes me want to do just that.

 

Genre: Fiction – dark fantasy, urban fantasy
ISBN: 9781481455978
Rating:  good

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