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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

My Rating: 
Book: City of Ashes (#2 The Mortal Instruments)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication date: March 25, 2008
 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:

I received a copy from the author to read and review in return.

This book has taken me about 2 and a half weeks to read, approximately the same amount of time it had taken me to read the first book of Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series (City of Bones). However, thankfully I can admit that the reasons are quite different this time. Due to the fact that I have been extremely busy with moving out (I am moving to London in 2 days!), I have hardly had the time to peacefully sit down and read the book for longer than 1 hour. None the less, I can truly say that the City of Ashes as definitely impressed me and is a major improvement of the first book! Let's start with the pros and cons!

Pros: There are several positive points about this book which I would like to elaborate on: development of the characters, plot, and the supernatural action!

  • The development of the characters: As the characters develop more and more throughout the second book, the more I start to fall in love with them and enjoy their individual and unique characteristics! Due to the circumstances the characters deal have to deal with, you get to know their personality more and start formulating a stronger relationship with them. I found the characters enjoyable, believable, and often quite amusing! I really enjoyed the strengthening of certain relationships between the characters (those who had read it know who I mean ;)) and their personal developments (good and bad!!) they undergo. There are DEFINITELY some crazy turns and twists to some characters which you really want to know more about (in the next book!!). Overall the developments made the book a very pleasant read and often made you jump up and down in disbelief.
  • Plot: Compared to the first book, City of Bones, I found the plot of this book much more interesting. Opposed to the first book, the plot of City of Bones really kept me on the edge of my seat/bed/couch, making me want to read more and more. There were many unexpected twists, more demons and faerie creatures, and unexpected developments of the characters! What more do you want to make a plot even more exciting?

  • Supernatural action: I noticed that this book was far more action packed with new supernatural characters such as demons, faeries, warlocks, etc! That was the whole reason why I wanted to read this series in the first place!

Cons: Even though this book intrigued me way more than the first book, there were unfortunately a few cons. 
  • Metaphors/descriptions: In my personal opinion, I believe the writing style of this books is a big improvement from the first, there were just a few things that still bothered me... and these were mostly the metephors or types of descriptions used to   portray someone or something. For example:
"Who has called me here across the worlds?" Agramon demanded in a voice like shattering glass. Prologue, page 4 
"Isabelle made a sound somewhere between a sneeze and a coughChapter 7: The Mortal Sword, page 125
These were just a few out of the many metaphors/description which personally made no sense to me at all. I find metaphors as a tool to help the reader grasp an idea or enhance a certain action/sense/or location in the book... and metaphors/descriptions such as these did not have that kind of effect on me unfortunately.

  • Slow paced: I definitely found this book to be more of a fast pace read than the first book, however I still often found myself struggling to pick up the book and continue reading. Unlike some of the books I have read in the past, there were just many moments where I felt nothing was happening which basically bored me to the point that I had the tendency to often skip a few pages to find when the action was going to pick up again.
Overall, I found this book a great improvement of the first book and it definitely had more positive sides to it to make me continue reading. On a very positive note, at the end of each book Cassandra Clare gives the reader a sneak preview of what is going to happen in the next book (very smart!), and I was really into the first chapter! So I'll definitely be looking out for the third book, City of Glass, the next time I'm at the bookstore!