Posted: August 30, 2016 in Book Reviews


The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes

By Cassandra Clare

453 pages

Well our evil bad guy Valentine has escaped and starts to plan his domination through use of a demon army. But first he must steal the second of the mortal instruments guarded by the silent brothers. With this and the blood of downworlders he will turn the instruments to his purposes. It seems that clary, Simon, Jace, and friends are everyone’s only hope of stopping valentine. You know the typical teen novel fantasy story line.

The first book City of Bones, I felt was not well written and overall was not that great, I am happy to report that this second installment, at least I feel improves on the writing, at least a little bit. There is still the teenage love triangle tacky romance within its pages, but the writing of the characters improves to seem more real and less cliché.

The story begins to form in a way that leads to more likely and plausible story development instead of easy outs for the sake of insuring more story in the next book. Yes Valentine escapes, but this time it was not simply “No I can’t kill you” and letting him go kind of easy out. Something that I can honestly say I appreciate in this volume.

Valentines character comes out in more realistic ways and we begin to understand his character more. His motives and ideology begin to emerge and to be honest I like his character. The ideas he expresses are in reality ideas that many of us already feel but never act on.  Is the bad guy really the bad guy? or is he a good guy just trying to make the world a better place? He is reviled and set up to be the villain and perhaps he is.

“A man does not have to agree with his government to be a patriot, does he? It takes a true patriot to dissent, to say he loves his country more than he cares for his own place in the social order. I have been vilified for my choice, forced into hiding, banished from Idris. But I am – I will always be – Nephilim. I can’t changed the blood in my veins if I wished to – and I don’t” — page 260-261

“You think of me that way because you look at me and at what I do through the lens of your mundane understanding of the world. Mundane humans created distinctions between themselves, distinctions that seem ridiculous to any Shadowhunter. Their distinctions based on race, religion, national identity, any of a dozen and irrelevant markers. To Mundanes these seem logical, for though mundanes cannot see, understand, or acknowledge the demon worlds, still somewhere buried in their ancient memories, they know that there are those that walk the earth that are other. That do not belong, that mean only harm and destruction. Since the demon threat is invisible to their own kind. They place the face of their enemy onto the face of their neighbor, and thus generations of misery are assured. I’m not like that, I can see the truth of it. Mundanes see as through a glass, darkly, but Shadowhunters – we see face-to-face. We know the truth of evil, and know that while it walks among us, it is not of us. What does not belong to our world must not be allowed to take root here, to grow like a poisonous flower and extinguish all life.”  page 400-401

This view-point expressed by Valentine, at least from his perspective makes it appear that he is in fact the highly mis-understood good guy just trying to do what he thinks is best for all humanity and the world. He does not see himself as the bad guy. He sees himself as a victim of misunderstanding.

Perhaps he is.

Overall this is a good follow-up and improvement over the last book. I was struggling with continuing the series and I am glad that I did. Reading this second book gives me cause to be hopeful that the series will continue to improve. If you make it through the first book things just may turn our alright in the end.

I give this book a slight upgrade from 5 to 5.4/10 book worms. hopefully the next one can make it to 6 at least

  1. […] THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF ASHES August 30, 2016 […]

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