City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is fast-paced, exciting, hilarious, and heartbreaking.
In City of Bones, the first book, Clary Fray’s world is turned upside-down. She has never thought of herself as being anything other than ordinary, until she sees a group of teenagers kill a demon—and finds that no one else can see them. Soon after that, Clary’s mother mysteriously disappears, and she is plunged into a world in which vampires and werewolves are real. She discovers that she is a Shadowhunter—a race of demon-slayers. To top it all off, she finds herself caught in a nasty love triangle with Simon, her best friend, and Jace, an arrogant, handsome Shadowhunter. Just as she seems to be falling for Jace, she finds out that Valentine, the villainous man who kidnapped her mother* is her father, and Jace is her brother. Oops.
As City of Ashes begins, Clary’s mother is lying in the hospital in a coma, the Clave** suspects that Jace is a spy for his father, and Clary is very romantically confused.
Valentine goes after the second Mortal Instrument, the Soul-Sword, and is more of a jerk than ever. Jace is an angry, angst-ridden teenager.*** Simon seems to be becoming more than a friend to Clary, but she’s still struggling with her feelings for Jace. And—my word! Is our love triangle becoming more of a… love… square? Indeed it is! Speaking of love shapes, Alec gets a boyfriend.****
On top of all the aforementioned drama, Clary and Jace seem to be discovering mysterious powers. And, of course, there is still the lingering question: are they really siblings?*****
City of Ashes is fabulous—at least as good as City of Bones, if not better. Also, there are more flying motorcycles.
I give City of Ashes four and one-half daggers.
*He also stole the Mortal Cup, which is used to make more Shadowhunters, so that he can build an ARMY OF DOOM.
** That’s the big scary Shadowhunter government.
*** But really, he has every right to his emo-ness.
**** No, I’m not telling who it is. I think you can figure it out if you try, though.
***** I’m hoping no.
Riding a flying motorcycle, battling Valentine, and hoping beyond hope that Jace and Clary aren't related,
PS City of Ashes comes out on March 25.
Here I sit, reveling in the glorious-ness of the Advanced Reader Copy.
Very little is more satisfying than reading a book that is not yet on the shelf. That being said, City of Ashes is a particular type of ARC. Not only is it not yet available for the reading pleasure of the general public...It's really good! Vampires, werewolves, betrayal, corruption, love shapes, and Jace Wayland, all wrapped up in a lovely package of well written awesomeness.
I laughed. I cried. I ranted passionately to Aislinn about the events that transpired. (Which was rather frustrating, I might add, as I couldn't rant to her until she'd finished reading it.)
In short, City of Ashes is an awesome book.
Four and a half seraph blades...er...that is, daggers!