Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Read it in: 3 days
Holy crap-- seriously guys-- you NEED to drop everything you're doing and GO READ this series like, pronto! No pressure or anything. I'm just saying. It is totally rocking my socks off-- I really enjoyed City of Bones, the first in The Mortal Instruments series, and City of Ashes has just sucked me in even more. From the world-building to the characters to the storyline, I am so hooked into these books!
One of the things I love most about this series so far is that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, not knowing what to expect next. In City of Bones, we were thrown an absolutely crazy plot twist towards the end, so I knew going into City of Ashes ANYTHING could happen. And Cassandra gives just enough info away that you're begging for more, but not quite enough that you ever stop guessing as to what will come next. For this reason, City of Ashes was definitely a page-turner!
So this second book continues the story of Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, and Simon warring against the evil Valentine, to save the powerful Mortal Instruments and make sure Valentine doesn't gain ultimate power to destroy all Downworlders-- vampires, werewolves, faeries and warlocks. Along the way, they team up with Magnus Bane again, Chief Warlock of NYC, the Queen of the Fairy Realm, and others to battle against the demons that Valentine has summoned to wipe out anyone he thinks is "impure" and ruin the Clave of Shadowhunters who live to keep a balance between everyone. In the last book, Valentine was after the Mortal Cup which gave him the power to turn humans into zombie-like Shadowhunters who would kill at his will. In this second book, Valentine is now after the Mortal Sword, which he can turn evil with the blood of 4 Downworlder children and then raise a demon army to follow his command.
I don't want to give too much away because it's really something you need to read and discover for yourself, but there were lots more surprises in store for the reader-- for example, the Faerie Queen makes mention that Valentine had used Clary and Jace as science experiments long ago. Now Clary is discovering that she can write out new and powerful runes that no one else even knows, and Jace can fly off buildings completely unharmed and fight off more demons than any other Shadowhunter. It's almost like Valentine tried to turn them into powerful weapons, and they are only now finding out what they are capable of...
I really love how Clary's character develops in this one, and the dynamics that play out between her and Simon, and her and Jace. Yes, it's a love triangle, but it's totally different than any other love triangle out there-- sometimes in disturbing ways, if you know what happened in the first book! But I am like 99% positive that Clary and Jace's "relationship" is going to turn out to be completely different than what it seems to be right now. (Otherwise, um... eeww. Haha.)
If I could change ONE thing about this book, it would be that more took place in the other worlds, like Idris. We hear about them all the time, and I am dying to actually GO there and see what these worlds are like! I do love the Institute but I think the story should move away from New York City for a change and go out into new places-- just a personal thought!
So I am all ready to get into City of Glass now, and can't wait to continue this crazy ride that Cassandra Clare has begun. If you love action and adventure and plot twists that keep you guessing, I would definitely recommend starting this series. Trust me, there is a reason they are so popular!
I love this cover. I think I like it even more than the first-- the colors are just so awesome, I love how Clary's bright red hair stands out against the dark blue backdrop of the city sky, and I just love Clary's pose-- she looks like such a bad-ass Shadowhunter, and this is just the way I would picture her being-- really strong, defiant, and brave. So yes, really fantastic job on this cover!