Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Warnings: Some mature themes
Summary: 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 my venture to plow through The Mortal Instruments, I continued with the second book in the six-part series. In this installment, the cast is dealing with the aftermath of finding out that Valentine is not only Clary’s father, but also Jace’s. In an effort to shove her feelings for Jace down as much as she can, Clary attempts having a romantic relationship with Simon, which, in my opinion, backfires immensely. Their relationship was awkward and unsure, like they were stumbling through the motions. In short, Clary and Jace are trying to deal with the fact that they can’t have feelings for each other—no matter what.
(Some spoilers ahead)
I’ve always struggled with Clary as a protagonist—she’s impulsive and, quite frankly, blindly irrational sometimes. She makes decisions without any forethought or afterthought, for that matter, and as much as the reader knows that she loves Jace, Simon, etc., it’s hard to ignore the fact that sometimes this same love drives her to choices that potentially puts those same people in jeopardy, as ironic as that is. Something I didn’t quite understand the purpose of in this book was Simon becoming a vampire. I think it was a completely unnecessary plot device. In the grand scheme of things, what could have been Cassandra Clare’s intention with this? Officially make him part of the Shadow world? Was that it? I’m not sure, but I hope I find out more as the series progresses.
I think I speak for most people that have read this particular book that the tension between Clary and Jace is somewhat disturbing. This is addressed by them several times throughout the story, but not once did it ever make me not cringe.
As much as I have pointed out this book’s misgivings, I did enjoy it. I find that this series is just fun to read, it’s action-packed and witty, so you’re never bored for long stretches of time.
I gave this book 4/5 stars on goodreads.