Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published March 25, 2008

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Clary just needs a little normal. Her days are filled with hospital visits to her mother, who is still trapped in a self-induced coma and with avoiding Jace, since their romance is now doomed by the fact that he is actually her brother. Jace wrestles with not only Clary’s addition to his family, but also in the identity of his father, Valentine, who seeks to destroy the only world Jace knows. But Jace may be expelled from the Shadowhunter world even before Valentine has a chance to make his move when a powerful leader questions Jace’s loyalty and isolates him from his adopted family. As Valentine gathers evil forces to him in an attempt to build an army that will destroy Shadowhunters and mythical creatures alike, Clary, Jace, and their friends frantically search for the key to his plan in time to unravel the whole thing.

Filled with the same snappy dialogue and wittiness as the series opener, City of Bones, this novel is wildly entertaining. Though a few of the plot turns are a little too conveniently accepted by the characters, overall City of Ashes is packed with the unexpected twists and unforgettable characters fans of Cassandra Clare have come to expect from her work.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Moderate but infrequent.

Sexual Content
Clary and Simon explore their new identity as boyfriend and girlfriend. They discuss sex and go to bed together, but very few details are given. Clary and Jace still experience intense attraction toward one another despite Valentine’s claim that both are his children and therefore brother and sister. They smooch a few times, and realize that their relationship can’t be understood by anyone else because it would be considered incest. Is it too convenient that they never really doubt Valentine’s claims?  Also, Jace’s close friend Alec becomes romantically involved with an older man/wizard, Magnus Bane. Nothing much happens between the two on camera beyond some longing looks and a wordless argument.

Spiritual Content
Shadowhunters are supposed to be the descendants of angels and are charged with keeping peace on earth and killing demons. No real mention of God or spirituality much beyond the lore about angels.

Violence
Valentine gathers a demon army to himself and destroys anyone who stands against him. Battle scenes are scattered throughout the story and though often brief do contain a few harsh descriptions.

Drug Content
No recreational drug content.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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