Review : City of Ashes

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Pages : 453
Genre : YA, Urban Fantasy
Series : The Mortal Instruments, Book 2
My Rating :

From the Back of the Book :

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?

Having now read the three books in the series, I can say this is definitely my favorite! Lots of actions, many twists and turns, mysteries, danger, great developments for the characters; I really enjoyed it! Clare created a sequel worth of its predecessor and I flew through the pages in just a couple of days.

I really can’t say much more than that without risking spoiling it; however, there is one thing I would like to talk about – or should I say, one character, and that character is Alec. I have to say, I just love what Clare did with him!

Very soon in the first book, we learn that Alec is gay. To be honest, I have some difficulties with the typical homosexuals we often meet in books and movies. You know the one : the fashion-obsessed, gossipy, high-pitched voice, colorful gay who’s function if mostly comic-relief. I understand that some gays fit that stereotype – I worked for many years in the Gay Village in Montreal and I did meet them! But if I look at the guys I personally know that are gays, none of them really fit that description. Anyway, that is a whole other debate that would deserve its own post, so back to the review :

I liked Alec because he was exactly NOT like this. If you take away all the parts discussing his love life, there is nothing pointing at his sexual orientation : he doesn’t walk around in sparkly pants, worship Madonna or panics if his hair gets undone. His sexual orientation is part of who he is rather than being the thing that completely defines him. In other words, I was glad he wasn’t used as a ridiculous comic relief : Alec is a character you can take seriously. He is a complex guy who has yet to completely accept this part of who he is, and I really felt for him (much more than I did for Clary, I have to say).

So yes, I enjoyed this one, and even more after reading the third book since some issues that were bothering me were then fixed. If you’re into fast-pace paranormal novels and you enjoyed the first book, this one is definitely one not to miss!

Series Reading Order :

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angels (published 2011)

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6 responses to “Review : City of Ashes”

  1. Staci says :

    Loved your review and I really really need to get book 3 read soon!!!

  2. rabookschallenge says :

    This series seems to be popular, but I’m not sure it’s for me.

  3. Violet says :

    I should read this series sometime but somehow the covers just put me off.

  4. Juju says :

    Thank you for the thorough review 🙂

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  1. Cassandra Clare – City of Ashes « Fyrefly's Book Blog - May 6, 2011

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