City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)

by Cassandra Clare

3.8 of 5 stars 71 ratings • 16 reviews • 96 shelved
Book cover for City of Ashes

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City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, #2)

by Cassandra Clare

3.8 of 5 stars 71 ratings • 16 reviews • 96 shelved

Second in Cassandra Clare's internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series about the Shadowhunters.

Discover more secrets about the Shadowhunters as they fight to protect the world from demons in the second book in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Love and power are the deadliest temptations... Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York City's terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters - but can she control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers? This edition contains a map and a new foreword by Cassandra Clare. Read all the sensational books in The Shadowhunter Chronicles: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, The Bane Chronicles, The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours and The Shadowhunter's Codex.

  • ISBN10 1416914293
  • ISBN13 9781416914297
  • Publish Date 25 March 2008 (first published 1 March 2008)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 453
  • Language English

Reviews

Avatar for jesstheaudiobookworm

I'm giving this up three stars because I didn't exactly abhor reading it, but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it either. I can't seem to form an attachment to any of the characters, not even Clary, whom I'm assuming is supposed to be the main character. At times, I can't stand Jace and I don't think I could ever ship him and Clary, with or without the twist that everyone sees coming. Something must be wrong with me, because Valentine is the most interesting character thus far. I'm sincerely hoping that this series gets better as it goes on (it has to, right?). *Crosses fingers* The popularity of this series is basically the only thing encouraging me to continue, because the story just does not. Needless to say, I'm not itching to pick up the next installment, even if I already own it. :/

Avatar for pamela

pamela 4 of 5 stars
I honestly didn't expect to enjoy these books quite as much as I am. Anything with a quote by Stephanie Meyer on the cover is an automatic turn off for me (hence why it's taken me so long to get round to reading them). Imagine my surprise then, when the first two books I've read so far turned out to be funny and clever and just so, so enjoyable! They're not high literature, and there are moments when they are so obviously Harry Potter fan fiction, but it didn't change the fact that reading them has been fun. The story world is well realised and consistent, and everything works within the context of the novels' universe. Just all round a really enjoyable reading experience. And that's what reading should be isn't it? Fun.

Avatar for kimdeister

Kim Deister 5 of 5 stars
City of Ashes City of Ashes is the second in The Mortal Instruments series and just as good as the first.  City of Bones threw some wrenches into the romance and the frustration with that is just as palpable in this book.  The action is kicked up yet another notch and the twists and turns just don't end!
 
The romance... oh, the romance.  The frustration is overwhelming at times because what you want as a reader, you just can't have.  The angst is unbelievable and it pulls you into the story, hoping page after page that you will get what you want!  Jace and Clary are tormented and so is everyone around them!!
 
But more than the romance is the story itself.  There are so many twists and turns as truths are uncovered and secrets revealed.  Just as soon as you think you know where the story may be going, things change and everything is turned on edge again.  The anticipation was wonderful.
 
One again, I am in love with the characters and the banter.  I love that the cast is diverse because it makes for some fantastic interactions that are sometimes sad, sometimes serious, and sometimes hilarious.  The banter is snarky, but intelligent and full of one-liners that I just want to find occasions to use!
 
My Recommendation
 
Definately a must-read after City of Bones!

Avatar for keking

Katie King 2 of 5 stars
**2 stars**

My Thoughts:
Clary was a bit of a mixed bag in this book. She's still pretty annoying and still jumping to conclusions and telling everyone else what to do. She whines about Simon, she whines at the Seelie Court, she whines about Isabelle being attractive and a badass. When she's not whining, she's crying. I felt like every page mentioned something about hot tears splashing down her face. Go ahead and check, I've got time. A few times she's treated as though she just gets in the way, and I really enjoyed those parts because I feel the same way. She's like a sea of Legos keeping you from a chocolate cake - annoying and painful to deal with. Of course she doesn't let anyone tell her what to do and often involves herself where she isn't wanted. When as a result she messes things up, she usually just sits down to have a good cry. Please grow up.

On the OTHER hand, Clary is actually a lot better than she was in City of Bones. She doesn't stand around whining ALL the time anymore, just most of the time! She takes initiative when everyone goes to break out Jace. She offers up intelligent ideas and fights demons in the climax. It's so refreshing to see her so actively involved!

Jace is still pretty much the best character. He's still rough around the edges, and you see more of that as he struggles with his feelings for Clary. His reaction to Simon and Clary dating comes across a little too strong (he obviously hates Simon), which made me think about the timeline of the first book. Why are him and Clary so desperately in love - hasn't it only been like 2 weeks since she found out she was a Shadowhunter? That got me thinking about how the author doesn't really lay out her timelines very well. I still don't know exactly how far out we are from day 1. Maybe we're supposed to think it's the brotherly affections kicking in. He is pretty protective and possessive of Clary. He often tells her what she can and cannot do, and where she must be and cannot go. This combined with his arrogance painted a darker picture of him than we see in the first book. He's not quite as dreamboat-y as he was before but...still.

Simon & Clary's relationship was ridiculous. First of all, the relationships was so forced. They kiss and then he starts calling her his girlfriend in front of people and this makes her SUPER uncomfortable, but does she do anything? Nope, she just lets him keep chugging along the train tracks to heartbreak. Granted, Simon needed to pump the brakes (he got uber annoying) but nobody was telling him that. As far as he knew, Clary was super into it. Clary also treats Simon like dirt, but only when Jace is around, and you better believe that doesn't escape Simon's notice. Simon gets fed up and Clary is left wondering what she ever did to make him mad. If I were Simon I would drop her like a bag of hot potatoes. But I guess letting go of unrequited love finally realized is easier said than done. Simon needs to go out there and find him some badass nerdy vamp girl, because Clary's heart lies with another.

Plot-wise it wasn't much better than the first book. It added more necessary background information, but this plot moves slower than a turtle with arthritis. Clary's mom is still nonexistent, there's still random demon attacks that pop-up when the plot gets stale. There's the brief encounters with the other species of Downworlders - this time the werewolves and the faeries. I think the author will finally be satisfied once there's every species of Downworlder represented in a main character. Last but not least, there's still the Jace hates his dad -> meets up with his dad for a chat -> he joins him/is going to join him -> he realizes that's a bad move and rejoins the good side. I've read City of Glass (the next book) before and I know that's repeated in there as well. Yay.
 
Summary:
I have this overwhelming feeling of "been there, done that." This time around, I wasn't bored with Simon - I was annoyed with him, so that's a positive. Clary stops getting on everyone's nerves long enough to accomplish some things. Jace is in borderline abusive relationship territory. See you guys next for City of Glass.

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Nessa Luna 2 of 5 stars
Read this review, and many more on my blog October Tune!

Fair warning, if you loved this book, you might not want to read this review. Also, this review might have some spoilers in it, so I won’t read it if you haven’t finished the book yet!

When I first finished City of Bones (the first book in the series), I told myself I wouldn’t continue this series. I didn’t like CoB at all, and I thought that the rest of the series would probably be as bad. After rereading the first book a couple of weeks ago, I decided to read at least the second and third book, because those where the original books in the series (until Clare thought it might be a good idea to write three more books). I decided to read CoA because I just wanted to know how it went on, without having to read other people’s opinions, but I kinda regret it a bit. Not only where the big surprises in this book not a surprise to me because of the movie (I honestly don’t get why you would spoil stuff from the next books in the first movie, honestly!), it just wasn’t better than the first. Okay, maybe a little bit.

The first thing I noticed, was that the point of view in the book changes a lot. First they’d be telling the story from Jace’s POV, and then a couple of parts further it would be from Clary’s. Sometimes it was from Simon’s POV, or Maia’s (which is a new character, and I’ll talk about her later). Everyone probably already knows that I HATE books with multiple POV’s. Sometimes, I get used to it, when it’s done correctly. Like in Requiem, the book switched between Lena and Hana, one chapter would be told from Lena’s POV, and the other from Hana’s. (and I don't mind it at all in the Doctor Who books I've read).

This book did not do it correctly. I found it really annoying, and confusing at some points, and I just really hope the other books are not like this. There are two other things that I don’t like in books (and in real life); incest and love-triangles. And hey, guess what? This book had both of them! The way Clary and Jace were still in love with each other though they knew they were brother and sister made me feel a bit weird at some times. The whole kissing scene in that Seelie Court (or whatever it was called, I don’t remember) made me feel really bad for Simon and ugh. Gross.

And then there’s the love-triangle thing. Clary is in love with both Simon and Jace, oh no, what should she do?! Kiss both of them of course, because that’s what always happens in every book that has two love-interests for the main character. WHY DO WRITERS FEEL THE NEED TO DO THIS, HONESTLY?!

In City of Bones, I had a list of words that I didn’t know and I didn’t even bother looking them up. I don’t get why writers like to use ‘difficult’ and fancy words, while they can simply just use the easy version of it. We are teenagers (okay maybe not me, but most people that read this book are), we don’t all know the meaning of all those difficult words, we don’t feel like reading a book with a dictionary next to it! At least, I don’t. Luckily, City of Ashes had less difficult words (either that, or I just completely ignored them, that might also be it), so that made me a bit happier.

Now onto the characters. I have two favourite characters. Luke and Simon. Not only because they are played by two of my favourite characters, I just like them. Luke is a werewolf that owns a bookstore, and he’s just awesome, and Simon is just adorable.

Like I said earlier, we were introduced to a couple of new characters in this book, one of which was Maia; a fifteen (or sixteen I have no idea, I think at one point she was sixteen, and then at another she was fifteen, I might have read it wrong though) year old werewolf girl from Luke’s pack. I liked her, and I felt bad for her. Not only did she have an abusive brother, after finally getting rid of her brother, she got an abusive boyfriend who was eventually the one who changed her into a werewolf. And then she got forgotten throughout the entire book. At least, that’s what it felt like to me.

There was a part in which they were all at Luke’s house. Maia left the living room and hid in the kitchen because she’d been crying; and then we don’t hear about her for a long time. There is a tiny part afterwards in which she leaves the house and gets captured by Valentine, and then we don’t hear from her for a while. Then, on Valentine’s boat, she is tortured (HER HAIR GETS TORN OUT OF HER HEAD, she gets silver powder all over her face/body, and we all know that werewolves are ‘allergic’ to silver), and then gets freed by Clary, pushed through a hole in the wall, after which we don’t hear anything from her anymore. Though Clary asked whether she was safe (among other people), she is told that everyone is safe, but we don’t hear anything from Maia anymore. Not a word. We don’t hear whether she died, whether she’s safe, nothing.

Then there are the characters that I DIDN’T like. Clary, Jace, the Inquisitor, Valentine; Clary because she’s just really annoying. I can’t really give you a perfect example, but I was just annoyed throughout the book. And Jace, oh god Jace. He picked a fight with several werewolves, visited his father after being told he couldn’t leave the house, being a total ass to almost everyone in the book. Ugh. The Inquisitor made me want to punch a wall. Though I hate Jace, I thought she was completely unreasonable with him, not believing everything he said. She reminded me of Snape, punishing someone’s child just because you hate the parent. I can’t stand people like that. And then she dies a heroic death and saving Jace's life, wow yes totally the Snape of this story. And of course, Valentine was just an ass. Grrrrrr.

I am not the first, and I will certainly not be the last, but both CoB and CoA have some Harry Potter (not just HP though, but these were the ones that I noticed because I’m a huge HP fan of course) ‘influences’ to it. I know about Clare’s plagiarism history, so it made me feel a bit uneasy when I read those things. I’ll give you two examples from this book: Valentine is looking for the Mortal Instruments, three objects that (if I’m correct) make you the ultimate Shadowhunter. Voldemort was looking for the Deathly Hallows (okay eventually he was looking for only one, but shhhh), three objects that make you the ultimate wizard/witch. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Then, there was a demon, called Argamon (which reminded me of Pokémon), who ‘takes the form of whatever most terrifies you’. And then apparently it also ‘feeds on fear’. A bit like a boggart and a dementor in one, what fun!

The following part might have some spoilers in them for those who haven’t read this book yet. Then there was Clary, who is a Shadowhunter. But apparently that is not enough, no! She has to be a SPECIAL Shadowhunter, because why would the main character be a normal Shadowhunter?! That’s ridiculous! No, Clary can make up her own runes, wow wow wow so special! In this book, Simon is made a vampire (which I already knew, THANK YOU COB MOVIE) and wow no not an ordinary vampire, what the hell were you thinking?! NO HE’S A VAMPIRE THAT CAN WITHSTAND SUNLIGHT WOW SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE SIMON (He’s still my favourite character though, shh). Why can’t they just be an ordinary Shadowhunter, and an ordinary vampire, ugh. (sorry I just let myself go at this bit, but ugh)

To make a long story short, I didn’t enjoy this book. I am going to read the third book, because that was supposed to be the last in the series. I don’t know if I’ll read anything beyond that, but we’ll see what happens after I’ve read the third book.