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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare
(The Mortal Instruments # 2)

You know you are fighting a losing battle with a book when you are cheering for the bad guy. And not just bad in a mummy-didn't-love-me kind of way, but evil in a I-want-to-drain-childrens-blood-so-I-can-a-release-demon-horde-and-kill-everyone way. That's right I sympathised, Valentine was evil, like a Shadowhunter Hitler really, racial cleansing and all, but atleast he was honest about it. That's what bugs me most about these books, every Shadowhunter feels exactly the same way as Valentine about Downworlders and even Mundanes; they all think they are far better, far purer then a Downworlder and far superior then a Mundane. If Valentine employed different methods other then killing children and summoning demons I am sure they would all be frog marching behind him.

But despite how I felt about the Shadowhunters attitudes towards Downworlders, I did like some aspects of the book. Ms Clare writes superbly, she has a very evokative may of describing people, emotions and the world around them her writing is like a clear window in to the world she has created, not just showing you what it looks like, but what it feels like as well. And the world she has created superimposed on to the world we know is very interesting, I like the way she uses runes and how she has transformed a very cliche magic wand into something very beautiful and deadly.

Another reason I like this book is that I like the bonds she creates between her characters, at first I thought characters like Simon, Isabelle, Luke and Alec would just be distant stars orbiting the stars of the books Jace and Clary. But this isn't the case, although they don't get as much page time as the main two they do have their own little stories and relationships that don't totally revolve around Clary and Jace. I think this adds a nice depth and complexity to the books.

Now back to the bad, I don't really like Jace and Clary to me feels very bland. Jace is irritating and although he has grown on me since the last book, I think it helps that we see things from his POV, I am just no endeared by him and his bad boy act. And Clary there doesn't seem to be anything to either like or dislike about her, she is just....there. But what freaks me out is the brother sister thing. I think the sibling relationship thing between them is a lie, and I don't understand why she has put it in there, to me it felt weird I didn't like that they were struggling with feelings of lust when they think they are brother and sister, frankly it icks me out!

This is never going to be my favourite series, there are too many things that annoy me and not enough things that I love. I think I will read the next book, but I feel no burning need to see what happens next. 

Purchase Links: Amazon


Mary @SweepingMe said...

I have the series. I haven't been able to read one yet but I hope after the holidays I will be. Great Review. Makes me want to get them out now...


Sophia Rose said...

I was sent these on loan when they were just a trio while I was recovering from a leg injury. I was worried since they are YA fiction and I'm not big on the teen angst stuff and the rehashed teen romance formulas.
I was not big on the main characters so much either, but I adore Simon and the Warlock (name is alluding me right now).
The whole fantasy world she created was great and I thought her writing level was beyond the usual YA.

Thanks for the review!