Wolf Reads: City of Ashes

I think you all know the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that hit theaters back in 2013. So, reviewing something you already know would be a bit boring. That’s why this is a review for the second installment of the Mortal Instruments.

The story starts right after the end of book 1. Jace, is at the institute and Clary is back at Luke’s, behaving normally, as before Valentine “happened”, behaving normally, as before Valentine “happened”. Their time doing the usual soon ends when a strange series of murders become their concern and Jace starts to be seen as a criminal. Everything is in disorder when our favorite villain decides to make another appearance and this time, he has even bigger plans. Even with the whole shadow world watching, going rouge for the greater good might be the shadowhunters of the New York Institute’s only option. With their father planning to raise hell, Clary and Jace have to do the impossible. More secrets start to surface and more power is going to be unleashed that will change the shadow world forever.

In this book, the characters became even more complex than the one before, as they were put in different situations. In the first book, the characteristics of each character were presented clearly through their actions and speeches, but in this book, we have to dig a bit deeper to understand the characters’ emotions. Now, the characters seem conflicted and confused. Clary, now distant from Jace, is finding ways to distract herself from the fact that they are actually siblings. She is also denying the fact that Valentine, her real father, experimented on her and made her more than a mere shadowhunter. On the other hand, Jace is haunted by his past. He accepts that he is Valentine’s son, but is denying that he is bound to evil. He goes on solo missions and starts detaching himself from the group as his entire life with lies starts to fall apart. When Jace and Clary found out that they are actually siblings, it put a strain on their now-a-forbidden relationship. They still love each other, but they have to hold back, like putting a pause on. (Major Spoiler) Simon, who decides to back away from the shadow world, is forced to come back in the middle of it when he became a fully turned vampire, a downworlder. I think that there is a big change in his character after he becomes a vampire. He is even more lost and out of place than before. Despite that, he is still able to pull himself together and be brave. We can see a more sensitive side to Alec in this book with Magnus’s help, of course. Overall, a different side of the characters is shown in this book, a conflicted Clary who is always headstrong, a hurt Jace who is arrogant and brave, a now turned supernatural geeky Simon and a more emotional Alec.

In my opinion, I think that the plot in this book is more interesting than The City of Bones. As we are more familiar the shadow world and supernatural beings, we can follow along with the plot more easily. New settings are introduced such as the Seelie Court and the Ship. More fantasy elements are involved and there is more depth into supernatural beings, especially, its rules and how they might be bent. (Spoiler) For example, how a force of good could control demons, how there are shadowhunter hybrids and a vampire who walks in sunlight. The climax of this book was more intense than the last as the battle was bigger and the stakes are much higher. There are many foreshadowings in this book that lead up to a big reveal in the next book.

I believe that having, “a world hidden within our own” means that there are always opposites to everything, sometimes visible, sometimes hidden. Another thing readers can pick up is that anything can happen anytime, but all you can do is move forward. One thing that I didn’t really like about the plot was that in the middle of the book, somewhere in the rising action, everything slowed for a while. (Spoiler) The group is based at Luke’s, some at the institute and some are trying to figure out Valentine and battling minor demons. No major information about Valentine or the mysterious things Clary and Jace can do were revealed yet. Even though this part of the rising action isn’t actually rising that much, it reaches the climax again when Jace goes to find Valentine alone.

Overall, the book is really enjoyable. The descriptions of the settings are so captivating and extremely detailed. I really like the way the author describes a character’s expression or reaction. There are lots of forbidden romance and humor mixed in with all the action and fantasy elements in this spectacularly crafted world.

If you haven’t read the first book The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, I recommend that you do. If it suits your taste and you come to like it, I suggest you read the whole series. Stay tuned for my next review, which will be about The City of Glass, the next book in The Mortal Instruments series.

Featured image from http://readeroffictions.com/2015/05/cover-snark-146/

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