Sunday 4 September 2011

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

I enjoyed this sequel a lot more than its predecessor, but it still irked me just a little bit.

Picking up about a week after the events of City of Bones, City of Ashes sees Clary and Jace dealing with (or rather, not dealing with) their feelings for each other while trying to figure out what the heck Voldemort Valentine is up to and who is behind the mysterious deaths of Downworlder teens (gee, I wonder).

The plot is well-paced and the writing is fine - though there were still a few inconsistencies (like the weather; trivial, I know, but distracting), and if I didn't get the message that Jace looks freaking angelic by the 96th mention of his luminous eyes/hair/jawline/nipples (not really, but almost), I definitely got it on the 97th. Still, I found myself more attracted to him this time round and I enjoyed the story a lot more, too - it was certainly hard to put the book down, and the characters stuck around in my mind even while I wasn't reading it.

BUT. I think one of the reasons I raced through it was because I was waiting for the resolution of a certain WTF plotline. A resolution that never came, leaving me extremely disappointed. In fact, if I hadn't already looked up spoilers and discovered that a resolution WAS coming eventually, I can't say I would have really enjoyed the book much at all. Overall, it brought up way more questions than answers, which I guess shouldn't have surprised me considering it's the second book in a series. But it made me super glad I had the next book handy, otherwise I have a feeling I would have been about 10 times more frustrated.

Rating: 3.5/5

Spoilery Talking Points
  • I can't believe the incest thing is STILL being dragged out. It puts a serious damper on the steamy scenes. Boo!
  • I thought the way Simon's transformation was dealt with was a little underwhelming. I mean, except for not being able to go in sunlight, it was like business as usual - and even that little speedbump is smoothed over by the end. There was no crazy thirst, no moping about on Simon's part - it was all just a little too easy. Unlike some other things (*cough*Jace and Clary*cough*).
Eye Candy
Same as City of Bones, plus...

Alexander Skarsgard as Valentine

Tyler Posey as Raphael

Adrian Pasdar as Luke

Bianca Lawson as Maia

Christina Hendricks as Jocelyn

Fine Print
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 2008
Get It: Book Depository


  1. great review i think you've managed to write all my thoughts down about how i feel about this book.
    i'm kind of amazed its so popular, i mean i understand twilight because it had two hot guys but i find a few things that really annoy me.
    anyway enough of my rambling, i'm looking forward to your thoughts on the next book.

  2. I think you casting choices for this book are perfect! I enjoyed this more than the first one but I haven't finished the series. There is something that is a bit off about the pacing that makes it hard for me to read this series :)

  3. Abbey - I don't quite get the popularity either. Twilight, I totally got (even though it wasn't perfect) - but Jace ain't no Edward Cullen. ;)

    Nic - Yes I've just finished the third book but I'm going to give the rest of the series a rest for now. I'm not loving it enough to continue for the moment.