City of Ashes

City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare Read this review, and many more on my blog October Tune!

Fair warning, if you loved this book, you might not want to read this review. Also, this review might have some spoilers in it, so I won’t read it if you haven’t finished the book yet!

When I first finished City of Bones (the first book in the series), I told myself I wouldn’t continue this series. I didn’t like CoB at all, and I thought that the rest of the series would probably be as bad. After rereading the first book a couple of weeks ago, I decided to read at least the second and third book, because those where the original books in the series (until Clare thought it might be a good idea to write three more books). I decided to read CoA because I just wanted to know how it went on, without having to read other people’s opinions, but I kinda regret it a bit. Not only where the big surprises in this book not a surprise to me because of the movie (I honestly don’t get why you would spoil stuff from the next books in the first movie, honestly!), it just wasn’t better than the first. Okay, maybe a little bit.

The first thing I noticed, was that the point of view in the book changes a lot. First they’d be telling the story from Jace’s POV, and then a couple of parts further it would be from Clary’s. Sometimes it was from Simon’s POV, or Maia’s (which is a new character, and I’ll talk about her later). Everyone probably already knows that I HATE books with multiple POV’s. Sometimes, I get used to it, when it’s done correctly. Like in Requiem, the book switched between Lena and Hana, one chapter would be told from Lena’s POV, and the other from Hana’s. (and I don't mind it at all in the Doctor Who books I've read).

This book did not do it correctly. I found it really annoying, and confusing at some points, and I just really hope the other books are not like this. There are two other things that I don’t like in books (and in real life); incest and love-triangles. And hey, guess what? This book had both of them! The way Clary and Jace were still in love with each other though they knew they were brother and sister made me feel a bit weird at some times. The whole kissing scene in that Seelie Court (or whatever it was called, I don’t remember) made me feel really bad for Simon and ugh. Gross.

And then there’s the love-triangle thing. Clary is in love with both Simon and Jace, oh no, what should she do?! Kiss both of them of course, because that’s what always happens in every book that has two love-interests for the main character. WHY DO WRITERS FEEL THE NEED TO DO THIS, HONESTLY?!

In City of Bones, I had a list of words that I didn’t know and I didn’t even bother looking them up. I don’t get why writers like to use ‘difficult’ and fancy words, while they can simply just use the easy version of it. We are teenagers (okay maybe not me, but most people that read this book are), we don’t all know the meaning of all those difficult words, we don’t feel like reading a book with a dictionary next to it! At least, I don’t. Luckily, City of Ashes had less difficult words (either that, or I just completely ignored them, that might also be it), so that made me a bit happier.

Now onto the characters. I have two favourite characters. Luke and Simon. Not only because they are played by two of my favourite characters, I just like them. Luke is a werewolf that owns a bookstore, and he’s just awesome, and Simon is just adorable.

Like I said earlier, we were introduced to a couple of new characters in this book, one of which was Maia; a fifteen (or sixteen I have no idea, I think at one point she was sixteen, and then at another she was fifteen, I might have read it wrong though) year old werewolf girl from Luke’s pack. I liked her, and I felt bad for her. Not only did she have an abusive brother, after finally getting rid of her brother, she got an abusive boyfriend who was eventually the one who changed her into a werewolf. And then she got forgotten throughout the entire book. At least, that’s what it felt like to me.

There was a part in which they were all at Luke’s house. Maia left the living room and hid in the kitchen because she’d been crying; and then we don’t hear about her for a long time. There is a tiny part afterwards in which she leaves the house and gets captured by Valentine, and then we don’t hear from her for a while. Then, on Valentine’s boat, she is tortured (HER HAIR GETS TORN OUT OF HER HEAD, she gets silver powder all over her face/body, and we all know that werewolves are ‘allergic’ to silver), and then gets freed by Clary, pushed through a hole in the wall, after which we don’t hear anything from her anymore. Though Clary asked whether she was safe (among other people), she is told that everyone is safe, but we don’t hear anything from Maia anymore. Not a word. We don’t hear whether she died, whether she’s safe, nothing.

Then there are the characters that I DIDN’T like. Clary, Jace, the Inquisitor, Valentine; Clary because she’s just really annoying. I can’t really give you a perfect example, but I was just annoyed throughout the book. And Jace, oh god Jace. He picked a fight with several werewolves, visited his father after being told he couldn’t leave the house, being a total ass to almost everyone in the book. Ugh. The Inquisitor made me want to punch a wall. Though I hate Jace, I thought she was completely unreasonable with him, not believing everything he said. She reminded me of Snape, punishing someone’s child just because you hate the parent. I can’t stand people like that. And then she dies a heroic death and saving Jace's life, wow yes totally the Snape of this story. And of course, Valentine was just an ass. Grrrrrr.

I am not the first, and I will certainly not be the last, but both CoB and CoA have some Harry Potter (not just HP though, but these were the ones that I noticed because I’m a huge HP fan of course) ‘influences’ to it. I know about Clare’s plagiarism history, so it made me feel a bit uneasy when I read those things. I’ll give you two examples from this book: Valentine is looking for the Mortal Instruments, three objects that (if I’m correct) make you the ultimate Shadowhunter. Voldemort was looking for the Deathly Hallows (okay eventually he was looking for only one, but shhhh), three objects that make you the ultimate wizard/witch. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Then, there was a demon, called Argamon (which reminded me of Pokémon), who ‘takes the form of whatever most terrifies you’. And then apparently it also ‘feeds on fear’. A bit like a boggart and a dementor in one, what fun!

The following part might have some spoilers in them for those who haven’t read this book yet. Then there was Clary, who is a Shadowhunter. But apparently that is not enough, no! She has to be a SPECIAL Shadowhunter, because why would the main character be a normal Shadowhunter?! That’s ridiculous! No, Clary can make up her own runes, wow wow wow so special! In this book, Simon is made a vampire (which I already knew, THANK YOU COB MOVIE) and wow no not an ordinary vampire, what the hell were you thinking?! NO HE’S A VAMPIRE THAT CAN WITHSTAND SUNLIGHT WOW SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE SIMON (He’s still my favourite character though, shh). Why can’t they just be an ordinary Shadowhunter, and an ordinary vampire, ugh. (sorry I just let myself go at this bit, but ugh)

To make a long story short, I didn’t enjoy this book. I am going to read the third book, because that was supposed to be the last in the series. I don’t know if I’ll read anything beyond that, but we’ll see what happens after I’ve read the third book.