Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Posted December 3, 2011 by Suzanne in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare

3 Stars


Released: March 25, 2008
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 453
Format: Paperback

You know you are fighting a losing battle with a book when you are cheering for the bad guy. And not just bad in a mummy-didn’t-love-me kind of way, but evil in a I-want-to-drain-childrens-blood-so-I-can-a-release-demon-horde-and-kill-everyone way. That’s right I sympathised, Valentine was evil, like a Shadowhunter Hitler really, racial cleansing and all, but atleast he was honest about it. That’s what bugs me most about these books, every Shadowhunter feels exactly the same way as Valentine about Downworlders and even Mundanes; they all think they are far better, far purer then a Downworlder and far superior then a Mundane. If Valentine employed different methods other then killing children and summoning demons I am sure they would all be frog marching behind him.But despite how I felt about the Shadowhunters attitudes towards Downworlders, I did like some aspects of the book. Ms Clare writes superbly, she has a very evokative may of describing people, emotions and the world around them her writing is like a clear window in to the world she has created, not just showing you what it looks like, but what it feels like as well. And the world she has created superimposed on to the world we know is very interesting, I like the way she uses runes and how she has transformed a very cliche magic wand into something very beautiful and deadly.

Another reason I like this book is that I like the bonds she creates between her characters, at first I thought characters like Simon, Isabelle, Luke and Alec would just be distant stars orbiting the stars of the books Jace and Clary. But this isn’t the case, although they don’t get as much page time as the main two they do have their own little stories and relationships that don’t totally revolve around Clary and Jace. I think this adds a nice depth and complexity to the books.

Now back to the bad, I don’t really like Jace and Clary to me feels very bland. Jace is irritating and although he has grown on me since the last book, I think it helps that we see things from his POV, I am just no endeared by him and his bad boy act. And Clary there doesn’t seem to be anything to either like or dislike about her, she is just….there. But what freaks me out is the brother sister thing. I think the sibling relationship thing between them is a lie, and I don’t understand why she has put it in there, to me it felt weird I didn’t like that they were struggling with feelings of lust when they think they are brother and sister, frankly it icks me out!

This is never going to be my favourite series, there are too many things that annoy me and not enough things that I love. I think I will read the next book, but I feel no burning need to see what happens next.


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About Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.


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Gosh, we all seem to be admitting our ages…and I hate that I am at the point in life when admitting my age is a “thing”…whodda thunk it? I was kind of hoping I would remain 21 forever. However, I have moved out of that New Adult stage of my life and am now strictly in the Contemporary Romance age zone of 28. I would prefer to be in an Urban Fantasy arena, but I don’t think I own enough black leather. However, I could probably squeeze into some PNR, I am fully prepared to give a horn job to my favourite demon, or suck on my sexy vamps…fangs and I am definitely up for some heavy petting with some fine looking shifters. Than again their’s always Sci Fi…I am fully prepared to do the right thing and help some poor alien race with more 6 packs than a supermarket repopulate their planet. Not that I am loose woman or anything.

Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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Mary @SweepingMe
Mary @SweepingMe

I have the series. I haven’t been able to read one yet but I hope after the holidays I will be. Great Review. Makes me want to get them out now…


Sophia Rose
Sophia Rose

I was sent these on loan when they were just a trio while I was recovering from a leg injury. I was worried since they are YA fiction and I’m not big on the teen angst stuff and the rehashed teen romance formulas.
I was not big on the main characters so much either, but I adore Simon and the Warlock (name is alluding me right now).
The whole fantasy world she created was great and I thought her writing level was beyond the usual YA.

Thanks for the review!