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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
2012 BOTY : City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the second in her Mortal Instruments series. As with most sequels, I didn't find this one as intriguing as the initial book. However, it still had a nice easy flow and the characters continued to be full bodied. The story seemed to have a little more tunnel vision than the first book and not as much was going on beyond the primary plot.
City of Ashes more or less picks up where City of Bones leaves off. As with other series books we all know and love, it's difficult to tell you much about the plot without ruining the first one. I'll do my best...I apologize if I inadvertently give up any spoilers.
Clary Fray is trying to save her mother while also working to thwart the evil plans of Valentine, a powerful Shadowhunter who believes that the destruction of Downworlders (werewolves, vampires, warlocks and faeries) is the only way to make the human race safe. His extreme views don't sit well with the majority of the Shadowhunter world. They believed him to be dead fifteen years ago, but it is clear that he was only biding his time until he could make an attempt to thwart the power of the Clave.
I did like this book. Don't get me wrong. But, I was a little disappointed. I had some issues with the "sophistication" level of the first book. That trend continues with City of Ashes. The book becomes even more juvenile than the first book as the plot moves on. Yes...this is Young Adult fiction and I do expect it to play a little more to a younger set of readers. However, the story becomes more about teenage love and angst and loses sight of the plot every now and then. The writing isn't as powerful as the initial novel and it is certainly a step down from the writing in Clockwork Angel from her Infernal Devices series.
Oh...and guess who made a crappy decision yet again? Yup...as with Infernal Devices, not all books in The Mortal Instruments series have been released. In this case though, I think that might work to my benefit. I am currently reading the third novel, City of Glass, and I am finding that I could certainly do for a break from her writing. This clearly indicates that this series lacks the luster of those like The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson or the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - books where I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one. Because of this lack of enthusiasm on my part, I ultimately gave the book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.