• Page Count: 453
  • Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • My Rating: 3.5 stars

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) 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?


Ok first things first, kids — the whole Cersei Clary and JaimeJace thing is straight up weird. Like even if he turns out to not be her brother (nobody tell me anything), they still think they’re siblings right now and are really not making a strong effort to not be in love…

It’s just unnecessarily drawn out and got kind of old. Like so much of the plot is this odd sexual tension:

“The gold in his eyes had turned hard, metallic. She wondered for a moment if he might actually spring at her, what it would be like if he struck her down, grabbed her wrists even. Fighting to him was like sex to other people. The thought of him touching her like that brought the blood to her cheeks in a hot flood.”

WTF on every level.

But aside from that fascinating method of adding obstacles to the plot, the story itself was entertaining enough. I got a better sense of a lot of the characters and could tolerate Jace more in this book when he toned down his “humor.” Clary even developed half of a personality, so there is growth! I want to see more of Alec + Magnus, though.

The creative worldbuilding is definitely the best part… I think I would’ve liked this series more when I was younger, though. At least I liked this one more than the first book!


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