City of Ashes (#2) by Cassandra Clare – 3.5/5
While I am only rating this second book in The Mortal Instruments series a 3.5, I still quite enjoyed it and will definitely continue in the series. I have come to the conclusion that this series is one of my new favorite guilty pleasure reads – it’s light, fun, and easy to read! 🙂
In this second book, Cassandra Clare starts to write from multiple POV’s which gives the readers an opportunity to start to learn more about the other characters aside from Clary. While I enjoyed this, I did find that the POV jumping was a bit harsh and sometimes difficult to follow, which slowed my reading down tremendously. I found myself going back and re-reading certain parts to make sure that I was connecting the right POV’s together to make a whole cohesive storyline. I was most intrigued with Jaces’ POV as the book has to do with his relationship and his father, Valentine. I always enjoy reading about a characters’ internal struggle between internal values and external influences, especially in younger characters.
Speaking of Valentine, I don’t always like to admit this – but I love a good antagonist! I am always impressed when an author is able to construct an antagonist that is equally villainous, as they are equally conflicting. My own stance on humanity is that all people are innately good and that they are shaped by the external forces around them. With that being said, I believe that all antagonists have a past and I appreciate when authors are willing to flush out those details and make my heart bleed for the bad guy. Valentine is definitely one of those antagonists – he is definitely BAD and quite frightening. What I find most intriguing about his character is that he really believes that what he is doing is for the greater good and doesn’t seem to see it as bad. The love that he has for Jace and even Clary definitely seem present, but incredibly misguided. I am quite excited to see where Valentines’ character will continue to grow, as I have a feeling that war is impending on the horizon in this series.
Now – the world building – I have to hand it to Cassandra Clare, she is quite the storyteller within the Shadowhunter world. There were so many different demons created AND we start to learn more about the other Downworlders and how they interact amongst one another. I particularly enjoyed/was creeped out by Simons’ transformation, which was so interesting to read about! I thought that Cassandra Clare created this backstory seamlessly and it was definitely my favorite part of the book. My heart broke for Simon, really throughout the whole book, but I am so glad that he gets to remain in the series! 🙂
The biggest downfall of the book for me and why I didn’t rate this book higher was the battle towards the end of the book. You could definitely see this battle coming from the beginning of the book and it was definitely built up, and so I was a little let down by the battle. There was so much POV switching during the battle, that it took away from the intensity of the actual battle. The POV switching breaks up the battle scenario a bit too much for me to follow the actual fight, until Jace showed up to the Clary and Valentine show-down. Le sigh – if this was done a bit differently, I would’ve enjoyed this book so much more! Oh well…
There was so much foreshadowing in this book that I am definitely looking forward to the rest of this series. I plan on reading “City of Glass” next (the third book) and then moving onto The Infernal Devices trilogy. I am going off of Christine from PolandbananasBOOKS suggestion of reading the two series in publication order – I am quite excited to see how the two series blend into one another.
One foreshadowing that I am most looking forward to is learning more about Jace – especially after his final interaction with the Inquisitor – WHAT DID SHE WHISPER IN HIS EAR?!?!? I must KNOW!!!! After a quick break, onto the next one in the series! 😀