BOOK REVIEW: City Of Ashes – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City Of Ashes
(The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 25th 2008
Finished reading: May 22nd 2015
Pages: 453
Rating 3

“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 takes it out verbally on other people instead.”
“Well,” said Luke, “you’re doing a fantastic job.”

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While I was reading City Of Ashes I couldn’t stop asking myself: how many love triangles does a story need? Seriously, there are so many different love triangles in this second book of The Mortal Instruments series that it’s becoming ridiculous. And I’m not even talking about what is going on between Jace and Clary… THAT is just seriously messed up.. Sure, the story has a fast pace and Cassandra Clare is using a prose that is easy to read and even funny at times. But I’m having serious difficulties with some of the characters and their behavior. I won’t be going into details to avoid spoilers, but those who’ve read this sequel already will probably understand what I’m talking about. There are quite a few plot twists and while some are quite interesting, others are plain cheesy. I already have a copy of the next two books on my TBR shelf, but I’m not so sure I will actually continue this series any time soon…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read City Of Bones yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

After all that happened, Clary just wants her normal life back. But that is not as easy as it seems, because the Shadowhunter world doesn’t seem to be done with her. With her mother in the hospital with a coma, Luke being a werewolf and her newfound brother Jace being a Shadowhunter, things are just not that easy. Besides, Valentine is still out there planning something evil and he isn’t going to stop until he finished whatever he is trying to do. It’s up to the Shadowhunters to stop him before it’s too late… And they are trying to solve the Downworlder children murders as well. Who can they really trust and will they be able to win the fight against Valentine?

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I actually liked the prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices way better and I don’t think I will continue The Mortal Instruments series any time soon. I found the characters and their actions really annoying and I don’t think I can take any more love triangles for now. I’m not saying this is a bad read and it’s actually quite well written and funny at points, but I think there are way better YA fantasy series out there that I would prefer reading instead. This one turned out to be too much of a cheesy romance novel for my taste…

BOOK REVIEW: City Of Bones – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City Of Bones
(The Mortal Instruments Series #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
First published: 2007
Finished reading: September 20th 2014
Pages: 485
Rating 4

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

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Somehow I feel like I’m about the last person on earth to have finished reading City Of Bones. Cassandra Clare is a very popular YA author, and I don’t now why I have been putting off reading one of her books for so long. I guess I was afraid of the hype around her work and the mixed reviews out there… But now I’ve read the first book of The Mortal Instruments series, I can see why she is so popular. While City Of Bones might not have the perfect prose, the story itself just worked for me. And although the start was a bit slow, I was sucked into the story soon enough. It was hard to lay the book down and I probably could have finished this book days before I did if it weren’t for non-reading activities. Sure, the actions of Clary, Jace and especially Isabelle were annoying sometimes, as was the prose. But I just couldn’t get enough of it anyway; the story itself is highly entertaining. To give an indication of how much I enjoyed this book: immediately after finishing City Of Bones, I went and got book number two, three and four as well. I will be reading the next three books in The Mortal Instruments series VERY soon…

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When Clary entered the Pandemonium Club with her friend Simon, she thought she was having a great time. But things change drastically when she witnesses a murder. The worst part: the killers with strange markings on their bodies cannot be seen by others… Soon her world as she knows it turns upside down as her mother is attacked by demons and she is let to the Institute where some of the so-called Shadowhunters live. It turns out she has ‘the sight’ and she isn’t just another ‘mundane’; unfortunately her memory seems to be blocked and she cannot remember anything that will help her understanding her past.

Her mother wasn’t just another normal human being as she thought, and her father turns out to be someone completely unexpected. The leader of the bad guys, Valentine, is not dead as they all thought and he is looking for a cup Clary’s mother has hidden from him to build himself a new army. The Shadowhunters are trying to stop Valentine, but Valentine is holding her mother as a hostage, and has some very interesting secrets of his own to reveal… Will Clary discover the truth and save the world by preventing Valentine’s rise to power?

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I have to admit the characters of The Mortal Instruments series bare a lot of similarities to those in the Harry Potter series. Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Draco and even Voldemort; they all sound similar to the characters in City Of Bones. I myself wasn’t as bothered with that as some others, but it does make you wonder about the originality of Clare‘s story. The overkill in similes did affect my reading pleasure, and I know that a lot of people have had similar problems with this. I don’t mind the use of similes as long as they are used properly and not too often. Unfortunately Clare seems to think similes are as necessary in life as air and water… Still, I think the storyline in general makes up for those annoyances, and I’m definitely going to read the rest of this series. It is an entertaining read as long as you don’t expect too much of the prose itself.