Book Review: City of Ashes

Welcome Readers to Week Two of My Mortal Instruments Month of April reading challenge!  And the countdown to City of Lost Souls is 3 weeks away!  So excited!

For those of you who are not aware, the aim of this reading challenge is to connect with other bloggers who have either already read and love the series or are (like me) just now reading this series for the first time. I want to link up reviews and get in discussions about this interesting series!

Reading Calendar

April 10th City of Bones (Book #1)
April 17th City of Ashes (Book #2)
April 24th City of Glass (Book #3)
May 1st City of Fallen Angels (Book #4)

Here is my Book Review of City of Ashes, followed by Discussion questions and a linky for your reviews of City of Ashes!

Title/Author:  City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
(The Mortal Instruments #2)

Genre:  Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Published:  March 28th, 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Hardcover, 453 pages

How I Got this Book:  Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?:  Because I just HAD to know what happens next!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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.”

My Review of this Work:

**Warning–This review will contain spoilers from City of Bones, so read at your own risk**

This second installment of The Mortal Instruments series picks up right where the last book leaves off, continuing with the excitement and confusion of the final pages of City of Bones.  This leaves all of our characters in shambles.  Clary has moved in with Luke while her mother lays unconscious in a hospital bed.  Luke spends most of his time at the hospital, waiting to see if Jocelyn will wake up.  Jace, Isabelle, and Alec return to the Institute where they find Mr. and Mrs. Lightwood waiting for them.  With the disappearance of Hodge, the Lightwoods have returned to take up their Institute duties.  Jace is dealing with a lot of identity confusion, having just found out that his father is really Valentine, making Clary his sister.  And Clary has started being more than just friends with Simon.

There is nothing less than excitement in this novel, complete with plot twists that will shock and surprise you.  And Valentine has begun to implement his devious and evil plan to take over the Shadowhunters, which involves not only the Shadowhunters but the downworlders as well.  So we are more intimately introduced to the rest of the downworlder species–the faeries, the vampires, the werewolves, and the Warlocks…or really just Magnus Bane.

I loved the fact that this novel really focused a lot not only on the further development of Jace and Clary, our stars so to speak, but Cassandra also spent a lot of effort in developing our cast of the other major characters.  We really get to know a lot more about Isabelle and Simon and Alec and Magnus Bane and Luke, which I really love, because they are key elements to the story!  City of Ashes really starts to focus on the psychological development of all of the characters, and you really start to get a glimpse of how each of them are feeling and what they are all thinking.

This whole brother/sister thing between Jace and Clary really gets complicated in this part of the story, and at times I found it a little awkward and weird.  But I also felt sorry for them, too, because in their case the truth of who they are only hurts them both.  But as Valentine’s children, things are bound to be complicated with them and their roles in Valentine’s plans.

Overall, I found City of Ashes to be an exciting bridgeway between the first book and the third book.  We really get a sense of what is going on in the world of the downworlders and Shadowhunters, and we get to know a lot more about the characters that we have fallen in love with.  And I am super excited to continue with this series and see how everything ends up!
My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

I must say, this second installment of TMI is not displeasing in the least.  In fact, it definitely leaves you with a hole that must be filled by IMMEDIATELY continuing to book three.  I loved the continuous world building and introduction of the other downworlders into this battle story.  City of Ashes serves as a good bridge between the first novel and the third!

Discussion Questions:

1.  Has your opinion of any of the characters changed from the last book to this book?  For the better or for the worse?  And why?

2.  Was it just me, or did there seem to be a couple of plot holes in this part of the story that didn’t make sense?

3.  Now that we have experienced all of the downworlders….faery, warlock, vampire, or werewolf?

4.  As I am trying to keep these questions spoiler-friendly, I will ask my question this way.  I feel like you cannot get through each of these books without a “BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”  moment.  So where in the storyline thus far has made you scream” BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”??

Well, that’s what I have to ask.  Have you reviewed this book recently or are about to review it?  Let me know by adding a link to your review below!

Until next week, Love and Butterfinger Milkshakes,
Jennifer

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