Review: City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“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?”


Alright, I have to be honest it was a real struggle to read and finish City of Ashes. I think the flow was much better than City of Bones, but overall I just didn’t like this book.

Jace is not a likeable character, and look I know that these first three books are largely based off a Harry Potter fanfiction that Cassandra Clare wrote. That Jace was Draco, but here’s the thing Draco wasn’t the romantic lead. I just have a big problem with him in general. I don’t really understand how no one has taken Clary under their wing and started training her. Like obviously, there are much bigger things happening in the world with Valentine wanting to start a war; however Clary keeps involving herself in these issues. It would probably be helpful if she knew a bit more about fighting and the Shadowhunter world. Also, there were too many Simon is dead fake outs in this book.

Let’s get to the real problem though…it’s the incest! Everyone is under the impression that Clary and Jace are siblings. It has been revealed at the end of the previous book. Obviously, it is a bit awkward them having kissed prior, but we can write that off. We can’t write them off making out in the fairy kingdom, super gross. The absolute biggest problem I had though was in an honest conversation that Clary is having with Luke about his relationship with her mother, she thinks “I do still love Jace, damn society I’m going to be with him anyway.” She then runs to Jace to declare her feelings, when Jace tells her, “We are brother and sister. We can’t do this.” Cassandra Clare, are you implying that I should also feel devastated along with Clary? Because that’s what the tone of this book suggests, and I really absolutely hate it.

Look, I straight up didn’t like this book and honestly I’m really hoping that it gets better from here. I knew about the faux incest plot going into this series, but I didn’t think there would be this much emphasis on it, my mistake. I’m going to power through this next book and hopefully we start to see some improvement.


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