I only recently discovered The Mortal Instruments, but after reading City of Bones I fell in love with the series. I love the world and characters and I couldn’t wait to continue reading its sequel City of Ashes. Just like all my reviews, it’s spoiler free and completely safe to read it you haven’t read the book yet.
“The formidable glass-and-steal structure rose from its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading in the sky. There were fifty-seven floors to the Metropole, Manhattan’s most expensive new downtown condominium tower. The topmost floor, the fifty-seventh, contained the most luxurious apartment of all: the Metropole penthouse, a masterpiece of sleek black-and-white design. Too new to have gathered dust yet, it’s bare marble floors reflected back the stars visible through the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. The window glass was perfectly translucent, providing such a complete illusion that there was nothing between the viewer and the view that it had been known to induce vertigo even in those unafraid of heights.”
City of Ashes continues where City of Bones left off. Clary just wishes life would go back to normal, but the Shadow World isn’t ready to let here go just quite yet. She’s dragged even deeper into the Shadow World and someone is killing Downworlders.
In a lot of ways, City of Ashes is quite similar to City of Bones. It makes sense, single it’s a sequel. City of Ashes was much better though. There was no movie to spoil the plot for me this time, so that’s probably one of the reasons I liked it so much better.
The prologue in City of Ashes was both surprising and confusing. I didn’t expect a prologue and I had no idea what was actually going on. It kept thinking about it while reading and it made the story very interesting. I just wanted to read the entire book in one sitting because it was so good!
City of Ashes was really adventurous and the Shadow World got even bigger in this book. That and the plots twists made it a really good story. The world building is amazing, I’m usually not that good at visualising a story, but it took me no effort at all. It was as if I was looking at a picture book sometimes and I love it. Some parts were really shocking and sometimes even gruesome to the point where I was like “I’m not sure if I’d be able to watch this in a movie.”
The familiar characters have developed a fair bit, but I’m still a little disappointed about character development. There’s a few really nice new characters that have gotten a backstory, while the main characters don’t really have a backstory at all. I feel like I know more about the new characters than I know about the main ones. I still don’t really like Simon, I’m a bit sad about Isabelle’s small role, but I’m glad Alec and Magnus got to play a bigger part. Valentine remains the badass villain, probably even more badass than before. Jace really annoyed me though. I think I have a kind of love/hate relationship with him. I’m glad we got to read the story from multiple perspectives. I like Clary, but she’s not interesting enough for six book from her perspective.
I’m a little conflicted about the finale of City of Ashes. I loved it, because if the action and intense-ness of it. But it really just ends out of nowhere and it was rushed, it was a bit disappointing. I also really didn’t care much for Clary and Jace’s part of the finale. Alec, Magnus, Izzy and Luke were way more interesting to me.
My City of Ashes review including spoilers and my favourite part of the book can be found on Goodreads.
Sometimes sequels can get boring or disappointing, but that was definitely not the case. I loved City of Ashes, but I feel like I would’ve been better if the ending wasn’t so rushed. I still really enjoyed reading it, so it’s a 4/5 for me!
About City of Ashes
City of Ashes is book two in The Mortal Instruments series, which is part of the Shadowhunter Chronicles. It’s a series of multiple series/trilogies and standalone books which are set in the Shadow World. The Mortal Instruments has a prequel (The Infernal Devices) and a sequel (The Dark Artifices).
I also reviewed other books from the Shadowhunter Chronicles. You can find them in my Review Archive.