Since this is a series, we’re back with the protagonist, Clary. She has some of the same cohorts, Simon, Jace, Luke, Magnus, plus some newer cohorts who play a bigger role than they did in the first book, Maia, Isabelle and Valentine.
Clary’s now a full-fledged demon-slayer. Her mother is in a magically-induced coma. Her father, Valentine, is intent on destroying the world, both the world you and I live in and the magical world. Clary’s in love with Jace, except she can’t be because he, it turns out, is her brother. Simon is in love with Clary, except, well, she’s not exactly human, except, well, there’s a big twist in the book, except, well, this is a paranormal/fantasy book so….
Anyway, everyone’s at war with someone. Valentine controls the demon world and will kill everyone, including family, if it means he gets his hands on the Immortal Instruments.
And there you go. City of Ashes has much more action than Book 1. It’s fast-moving with nary a dull moment. As with the first, it has a few too many characters to keep up with, but it was easier this time around since I knew the main players.
Clary has advanced in her skills as a Shadowhunter. I liked seeing her fight and stand toe-to-toe with the others. The alternate world that the faeries, vampires, werewolves, shadowhunters, and others live in is handled well in this book. I could see the differentiation and uniqueness of the various clans.
This book seemed to really focus on those main characters, instead of the “adults” in the two worlds.
The drawback for me was, as with Book 1, there’s so much going on that it’s a bit difficult to keep up. But then, I probably need to read more slowly. But that’s hard to do with the action is fast and often.
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I admit that I’m well-past the target age of this series, which is probably around 16, but I’m still giving City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare a rating of Hel-of-a-Story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FTC Disclaimer: This book was loaned to me by an unknown girl who is a friend of my son who read all four books, but was not overly impressed, but then he’s not a teenage girl, so that’s logical. That, however, did not influence my review. I was influenced by the uptick in the action from the first book, and by Clary getting her armor on. She’s now a fighter and can get in the fray with the rest of her friends and hold her own. I like that in a female protagonist. Next time I find a tarantula in the garage, I’m gonna see if she’ll come get it and set it free in the woods.