Categorized | Fiction

City of Ashes Fiction Review

Posted on February 2, 2009 by TezMillerOz

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Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2)
Simon & Schuster

Demons are more personal when one’s father is summoning them, in Cassandra Clare’s second Mortal Instruments novel, City of Ashes.

Shadowhunters (Nephilim) can defeat antags by carving runes on their skin and surroundings, and by using various blades and whatnot. But Clary Fray’s and Jace Wayland’s father Valentine has stolen a Mortal Instrument or two, using them to summon demons. Why? I’m not sure. Will the teens hunt down their dad and destroy him? There’s definite hunting, but we’ll have to wait for the final installment in the trilogy, City of Glass, for closure.

Meanwhile, Clary’s BFF Simon really likes her – a little too much. She tries to give him a chance, but ultimately they can’t stay in the more-than-friends category. And it’s not just that Simon’s getting to know werewolf Maia. After all, the one Clary really wants is…Jace. Yes, INCEST ALERT. You’ve been warned. Are they full siblings, or just half? I’m not sure who Jace’s mum is, but Clary’s mother Jocelyn is in a coma. Clary tries to avoid Jace, but he has no such care – he just wants to go for it, damn the repercussions. Out of all the people in New York they could’ve chosen…

The Shadowhunters seem rather up themselves, and that’s evident in their name for others: those without paranormal abilities are “mundane”, whilst vampires and werewolves are “Downworlders”. Will someone please take the Nephilim off their freaking pedestal? They have yet to understand the concept of “everyone is equal”.

An emo vampire acknowledges one’s own emoness, so at least he/she (don’t want to spoil) has humour. This is important, and well done on the author’s behalf, for emo vampires who don’t admit to being emo are just no fun. Also, look out for the delightfully creepy Silent City, a haunting setting to remember – awesome.

I can’t recollect much of the first book, City of Bones, but I enjoyed it more, so City of Ashes comes as somewhat of a disappointment. Alas, there is still one book to go, and hopefully it’ll engage more than this angsty middle.

Review by Tez Miller

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