This review may contain spoilers of book one.
Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Synopsis: 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 this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
a.) Characters: 4/5 score. The old cast returns, and a few new ones are introduced. After learning of their shared father, Jace and Clary have no idea what to do about their feelings. This leaves Clary and Simon to test the waters with their relationship. We get to know Simon better, including that the hotel scene has left him experiencing some changes he can’t figure out. Also, some character foreshadowing for later novels. All in all, very engaging and enticing. I found myself caring about all of them in some way or another.
b.) Plot: 4/5 score. More twists and turns, breathtaking events. It’s not hard to jump in and read half the book in one sitting. After the Cup is lost to their dad in the last book, Clare pulls our attention to what else Valentine has planned. With new characters added, there are a couple more twists added. There is a piece that isn’t explained. As with the scene of the hotel is the last book, there is a scene with the Inquisitor that isn’t understood until book three.
c.) Writing style: 4/5 score. I can’t find anything to complain about. I sped through this book with ease. The writing made everything believable. Clare makes sure to drop subtle hints so when you get to the “Ah-ha!” moment, it’s not lost on us.
Rating: 12/15 total