I just finished the second part of my super long marathon - City of Ashes!
If you weren't aware, I'm currently re-reading all of the Shadowhunters series, in anticipation for Lord of Shadows, which will be published on May 23rd of this year! You can follow my re-read with #JustAnotherShadowMarathon on instagram :)
But for now, here's my review for City of Ashes!
"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?"
This book was more enjoyable than book 1 - the story is developing in a darker direction which is always more interesting to read about, especially in a familiar, modern-day context. I feel like Cassandra Clare is exploring with messing with our emotions in this book - we all know how she destroys us in the Infernal Devices, right? (Looking forward to being crushed again. Us readers are strange ^-^). You start to see some character relations becoming deeper and more emotionally impacting. The Shadow World she created became darker and you feel a stronger sense of danger than was felt in the first book, and you get a bit more of the side characters.
You also learn a lot more about Valentine in City of Ashes - for now, he is one of the best characters, in the way he was written and developed. He's sadistic and manipulative, all while using the excuse of 'family' as a reason for his actions. You can totally see why he was popular back in the day.
I also appreciated that Clare eased off of the huge info dumps - it was refreshing to just get plot and characters for a bit!
That's all I'm going to say for the non-spoilery bit! From here on I'll be going into specific plot details!
(I started putting small page markers when sections or phrases spark my interest and it's so helpful!)
Okie let's get to the details!
I was talking about this book with a friend who read it when I first read it way back six years ago. We just realized how... inappropriate the relation between Jace and Clary is. I mean I get it - They got together then realized they were siblings so some feelings are left over. But both Jace and Clary at separate times approached the other to get back together DESPITE KNOWING THEY WERE SIBLINGS. Plus Clary was with Simon... it's just all kind of a nasty situation, no? (So, so glad they aren't actually related, but I'm amazed I wasn't put off when I first read City of Ashes!)
That scene in the Seelie Court - you know which one I'm talking about - had both amazing scenery but awkward circumstances. I really have a love-hate relationship with this scene. I feel so bad for Simon! The fact that Clary subconsciously chose Jace over him makes him go so crazy that he goes to the Hotel Dumort to get changed into a vampire - That's so sad, nerdy drama queen!
"Alec looked at her and shook his head. 'How do you manage never to get mud on you?'. Isabelle shrugged philosophically. 'I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt.'"
I wasn't exactly comfortable with the Climon relationship - I mean, they're best friends, and I feel like he just assumed that since Clary was now single, they could be together. Simon, you're the best but you're just a bit pushy with her. I never really shipped them, sorry!
But now Simon and Maia feels so much more right! I'm glad that at the end of the book Simon accepts that and makes that a possibility!
"Clary stepped aside to let him pass. 'How old are you, anyway?' she asked curiously. Magnus winked at her. 'I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.'"
Magnus is awesome - I can't wait to get to his novella! Well, his novella that's the size of City of Bones!
This book is also the book where Clary's power with runes is discovered - I actually really liked this part of her character development! I love how she can make practically anything happen with runes, but doesn't overplay it either.
In this book we also get Valentine trying to perform something called the Ritual of Infernal Conversion - he needs the blood of the four types of downworlder - warlock, vampire, werewolf and fairy - to turn the Angelic Soulsword into a demonic one. As Simon says, it has to go from "Lawful good to Chaotic Evil". This leads to the death of unknown characters, and almost to the deaths of Simon and Maia.
One of my favorite parts was when Simon was 'dead-er', and Jace steps up to save his life by letting him drink his blood. That was majestically written, and I think made Jace's character grow a lot in a short timespan. It was so great!
I fangirled when Inquisitor Herondale pointed out the Herondale star birthmark on Jace's shoulder! Hehehehe ^-^
I'm loving the little Malec moments! The way Alec tries to hide it is so cute, while Magnus is just so sly!
Thats it for City of Ashes!
Have you read it? What did you think of it? Let me know! :D
I'm giving this a 4/5 stars!