Wednesday, 4 February 2009

City of Ashes / Cassandra Clare

Summary - Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter and your mother is in a magically induced coma? The Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

Review - As you may remember, I was a BIG supporter of the first of the Mortal Instruments Series. I was drawn in by many things; of which are continued in this novel. I hate it when sequels are described as “darker”, even when it’s a fitting adjective. It’s more intense, more action packed and simply more. And yet I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first. This could be a symptom of me overhyping it in my mind in the eighteen hours I needed to wait to get my hands on it.

While Simon’s transferal makes complete and utter sense, I was disappointed. I liked the idea of him being a Xander, a mortal and giftless observer of the magical chaos in this world. The fact that he is turned and then receives some extra perks at the end seemed too convenient. More of a device to make Simon and Jace appear to be equals on more levels.

I had no issue with the whole Luke/Leia romance angle in the first book but I think I miss there being a Han. Maybe I will find him in the third, upcoming novel, The City of Glass. I honestly don’t find Jace all that compelling. Yes, he’s attractive, strong and a jerk (it worked for Darcy) but I just didn’t feel the pull. You know what I mean? The sigh in your chest when they do something lovely. Clare’s done all the right things in creating well rounded characters with distinct voices and I feel sympathy for Jace. However, I would rather the Jace/Clary romance; VC Andrew-style got dropped. I suspect the whole sibling thing will disappear conveniently in the third book but I would prefer for them to finally deal with it and move on to being siblings that accidentally kissed once or twice.

I was a heavy proponent for Team Simon in the first book but now because of my qualms above, I am indifferent. I still like him as a character and I am glad the romance stuff dripped away. I think I am much more interested in the adults, whether or not that’s because I am one, I don’t know. I love Luke and would love to be in his head more often. I love the faeries but hated the kiss. I liked the return of Raphael and am falling more in love with Magnus (like another character pretends not to be). Magnus is like a combination of Ziggy Stardust and Perez Hilton crossed with some Dumbledore on acid, so he’s just as near to perfection as a character can be.

Clary. I like strong female characters. I love that she’s proactive, rather than reactive. Once she sheds both boys who are unworthy of her, I can see her breaking free and kicking some tail. That being said, I don’t see this happening but you never know. With the third book coming out soon I am more excited to see the resolution of the Luke and Jocelyn (just like Hannah and Jude in Jellicoe Road) I am really pulling for this long term, unrequited love.

Looking forward to Voldermort, oops sorry Valentine, getting his just desserts in City of Glass. (If I were a supervillianwarlock I would want a more intimidating name for sure).

Published: 2008
Format: Paperback, pages
Publisher: Walker Books
Origin: USA


So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I can't wait to strat this trilogy, although I need to buy it first!

m~ said...

I enjoyed your review, very well written. Magas Bane is one of the most colorful characters I have read recently. Simon is sweet. It is sad that he had been brought into the underworld, but I think CC has some surprises waiting for us that will make his change more than just an afterthought. I don't agree what what you had to say about Jace either. I feel that his character is struggling with inner demons. The facade of humor is the only way he knows how to maintain some sense of normalcy. I look forward to meeting the new characters too. Sebastian will give them all a run for their money. Enjoy!

Adele said...

Thanks m~. I was writing it from a two week old memory so some of the details were fuzzy. I understand what you are saying about Jace and I think all those things were conveyed in the book. My problem is that despite all that, I didn't connect with him as a character which might be more on me than him.
I personally can't wait to meet Sebastian either and see how Alec continues to evolve (one of the most interesting story points in my opinion!)