This review is spoiler free.
“I don’t want to be a man,” said Jace. “I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and take it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Published: 2015, by Walker Books, Ltd.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Fiction, Supernatural, Magic, Angels
Contains: Death, Violence, Anger, Strong Language, Blood/Gore, Imprisonment, Torture
‘City of Ashes’ is the second instalment of The Mortal Instruments series, following Clary Fray as she adjusts to her new life as a Shadowhunter. However, Clary just wishes that her life would go back to normal, but there’s a new problem at hand. Someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children, and it’s up to the Shadowhunters to capture the culprit.
I’ve owned the entire Mortal Instruments series for quite a while now, yet something was always holding me back from continuing the series. However, recently I felt it was about time I delved back into the Shadowhunter world and rediscovered my interest. And I’m so glad that I did.
Cassandra Clare has a talent for writing enticing characters. Although, Clary Fray made a few mistakes along the way, she’s a brilliant protagonist. She’s head-strong and heartfelt, making for an interesting read whilst we learn about the world she was brought into alongside her.
Jace’s character drove the story from beginning to completion in this instalment, following on from his discoveries in the first novel and setting aside those he loves to accomplish his own personal desires. It was fascinating to read, understanding his reasoning and managing to sympathise with him thanks to Clare’s skilled writings.
Alec was another character that evolved in this novel, moving on from the sharp-tongued boy from City of Bones and into a hero in his own right in this novel.
However, one of my personal favourites had to be Magnus Bane, the smooth half-human with impeccable fashion taste. He was desirable and cool throughout the story, yet continues to be there whenever the gang needed him. I admired that about his character, enjoying the anti-hero trope and the way Clare managed to achieve it.
The writing style is fairly simplistic, but it works brilliantly in its favour. As readers, we’re drawn into the world by the addictive characters and their entertaining dialogue. The world-building itself is impressive, it hardly feeling the need to dump heaps of information on you, whilst the narrative is easy to follow and makes for brilliant afternoon entertainment.
Overall, I loved this novel. The stakes are gradually rising with the plot, but Clary, Alec and Jace continue to carve runes into my heart.