Monday, 25 April 2016

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes

Welcome to the official (very spontanious) Shadowhunters Week here on my blog. To start of I'd like to share with you my review of City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) which I finished rereading last week. This book does not count as part of my readathon, but should inspire me (and maybe you) to read more in the series.

About the novel

Title: City of Ashes
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romance, Magic
Published: March 25th 2008
Read: Reread: April 2016, Read first: 2014
My Rating: 

My Copy

Publisher: Walker Books
Cover: Paperback
Purchase Location: Can't remember :(

Goodreads 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 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.

My Review

Rereading The Mortal Instruments was such a great idea. I could kick myself for taking so long to read the second book after I finished City of Bones in February. I feel like the action never stops. Clare really doesn’t make you rest. I mean there aren’t any chapters that you can just relax with and take a deep breath until the next bad thing happens. No, you just stumble from one adventure into the next and that’s what I really like about this book. You never get bored. I didn’t really have that many memories of what actually happens here so it was quite refreshing to get thrown into this world again. You can already feel all the characters evolving, see them growing closer to each other and a lot of new characters get introduced that I already know I love.

This book is once again fast-paced and full of action – perfect if your life feels like it lacks some adventure so you can dive into another world and see your favourite characters get into deep(er) trouble.

Spoiler Alert! Proceed with caution.

The storyline in this book takes up some speed and Valentine gets more aggressive. I like the similarity it has to book one where the big fight is in the end of the book and all the previous chapters build up to it. It makes you anticipate and expect it. What I really am impressed by is Clare’s skills to implement little story lines into the huge plot that later on take on a whole bigger meaning. The mysterious woman with silver hair for example. You notice her a little on the side line, then you forget about her and in the end she reappears and you remember that there was an unfinished plot installation. And then of course it has to end in another cliff hanger.

I was really excited that Maia was introduced in this book. I totally forgot how she and Simon met and I absolutely love her. She’s such a great character with a really sad background-story and I can’t wait for Jordan to appear because he was one of my favourite secondary characters. Also, seeing as I totally loved Raphael in the TV series it really surprised me to remember how much I hated the character in the books. I just really disliked him. He’s so rude, merciless and just doesn’t seem likable to me. Another character that I realized I had totally different feelings to than in the series was Maryse. I disliked her so much in the book, but in the series I really hated her. I think she seems more human to me in the books and I’m getting to like her a little better. Because you actually know that what she does she’s doing it because she loves her family. She only wanted to protect Jace and that’s why she ‘abandoned’ him, or tried to at least.

The entire Simon-Clary relationship was so good thought through. I still like that Clare wanted to show how they would be together and I love that Simon was the one to break things off because he realised that (at least at the moment) Clary just didn’t love him the same way and that it would be best if they were just friends. Also, this gave the opening for Maia and I can’t wait to read about that relationship (drama) again.

One thing that now, after having read the entire series before, really disturbed and annoyed me in this book is how much everyone said that Jace looked, talked and seemed like his father. Everyone sought out his resemblances to him and I just find it a little ridiculous. The only character that actually really did find an accurate alikeness to Valentine was Alec. I’m sorry, but I can’t find the page anymore and totally forgot to write down the quote, but I think he said something about a character trade that had nothing to do with appearance and all with what a parent could teach you in your behaviour whilst growing up (does that make enough sense to you?).

I also forgot how much Jace actually wanted to be with Clary and how much he denied their siblinghood (I didn’t want to use to word relationship so you’ll just have to accept this). I actually found it really sweet and of course my heart was broken when Clary finally wanted to give in and be with her true love no matter what and he chose that moment to tell her that her initial restrain was justified and that he now wanted to do the same. Ugh, so complicated. Also, I’m still confused by his last name… I have to pay better attention to who he seems to be. That’s another side plot twist installed by Clare that hasn’t been explored further yet. I think he already heard that he could actually be a Herondale because if I remember correctly the Inquisitor told him that when she was dying? (I could be wrong, it’s been two years since I’ve read the series the first time.) So I’m looking forward to exploring this further in the next book.

Other Reviews in the Shadowhunter Series


City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1), Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) & The Bane Chronicles

Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices Trilogy)

I'd like to know

First of all: Will you be joining me in the Shadowhunters Week? Read all about it here. Have you read The Mortal Instruments and what were your thoughts on City of Ashes? Do you disagree on anything strongly that I've just said? Don't forget to link up your own Book Review at the end of the week.