Friday, November 19, 2010

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

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?
This review will contain spoilers; I just can't help it, there's so much to rave about with this series. FIrst of all, by the time I was on page 2, I was this close to tears because Jace and Clary couldn't be together. Clare really knew what she was doing when she decided to make them siblings, because I know I wasn't the only one sniffling at the end when Clary keeps quiet as Jace says he'll only be her brother from them on. Simon was cute throughout the second book of the series, but I found him a little annoying with his whole you-love-him-and-not-me routine. Yeah, she did love Jace, but jeez, it's not her fault she doesn't love you too. I was team Jace/Clary all the way, my apologies, Team Simon. Valentine wasn't one of the most imposing villains, and he was one of my complaints; he didn't really seem capable of all the evil he did. I loved the story line a lot more for this book, probably because it was better paced; the first seemed too fast, considering we had so much information to take in too. But the information was just right, with enough to keep you intrigued and guessing and not enough to confuse you. Magnus Bane, the flamboyant warlock, quickly became one of my favorites in this book and he's probably in my top 20 characters that need to be real. Isabelle wasn't quite as annoying in this book either, while Alec fell behind a little in terms of great characters. He got a little too love-struck in my opinion. Clary was fantastic, a strong lead maintaining her newfound status as Shadowhunter extremely well. This book was my least favorite in the series, but it was still one of the best urban fantasy books I've ever read. Most of that is probably due to Jace's continued sarcasm and arrogance. Overall, a fantastic read.
4 stars and a recommendation to fans of the series; go back and read the first book first, urban fantasy lovers.


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