City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes was far better than I imagined. I sped through this book at lightening speed, simply because I just could not put it down. I have to say, City of Ashes is even better than City of Bones. The story kept moving along while meeting new characters and facing new obstacles. One of the things that Cassandra Clare is good at is details. Details, details, and more details. To some, this is tedious and unnecessary. When I am reading the books, the details make the story that much stronger. Clare really made the Mortal Instruments world feel absolutely real. You truly feel like you have been transplanted into this world while you are reading these books. It's amazing!
In City of Ashes, Clary and Jace are struggling with their feelings for one another after the realization surrounding them from City of Bones. Jace seems to struggle with it even more so than Clary because it is affecting the people around him. Simon makes his move with Clary and she casually accepts. Something happens that changes Simon forever. I just loved experiencing Simon's transformation in this book. We get some insight into the love lives of Isabelle and Alec. Luke has become even more of a father figure to Clary. Magnus is still, well...Magnus. I really loved how his character developed in this book. He has so much more emotion and his wit and snarkiness is still there. Maia was a new character and she was just so darn likeable. I kind of felt sorry for her because of her past. We get to meet the Lightwoods, the parents of Alec, Isabelle, and Max. Imogen is also a new character that I couldn't help but despise. I really loved Magnus and Simon in this book.
The major conflict of the book is centered around Valentine and stopping him from fulfilling his plans. After following the clues for what they are, they find out what Valentine is up to. The epic battle scene at the end of the book includes all of the characters. I loved finding out how each character reacts during the boss fight. I think that Jace's reaction when he finds Simon is one of the most touching moments in the book. It was definitely one of my favorite moments in the book.
At the end, Clary uses her newfound power to stop Valentine. Though, no one is certain if he escaped or not. A new character emerges at the end of the book and tells Clary that she is the only one that can help bring her mother out of her coma.
I am extraordinarily excited to see what happens in the next book in the Mortal Instruments series!