Tired. I post this, then probably go to sleep for a long time.
The Mortal Instruments Book Two: City of Ashes
Clary has just about given up on living normally. Her mother is still in the hospital, unresponsive, her best friend, Simon, is now her slightly-awkward new boyfriend, and the man she’s always looked to as her father has turned out to be a werewolf.
And then there are the Shadowhunters.
Clary’s been getting along better with Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, but she’s not sure how to behave around Jace. It was hard to believe when she found out he was her brother, but it’s even harder for her to believe she still has a crush on him. And when Jace is accused of aiding and spying for Valentine, the most evil Shadowhunter in history, Clary will go to any lengths to help save him from the demented Shadowhunter Inquisitor, and help him stop Valentine from unleashing a horde of demons on an unsuspecting world.
This was a pretty decent book. I think I liked it better the first time I read it because there were a lot of plot points that were really ambiguous and made me want to read the next book so they’d make sense…but since I’ve already read the third book and know how it goes, I wasn’t as interested in all those things.
The biggest thing I think this book does is flesh out Clare’s vision of what the different cultures in the shadow world are like, since Clare not only adds more Shadowhunter characters, but has some parts of the book take place in the middle of a werewolf pack or in the faerie court. The faerie court was pretty interesting, I thought, since fewer authors take on describing something like that and go for just the vampires and werewolves.
Clare also added more depth to more of her characters in this installment. Instead of telling the story from only Clary’s point-of-view, Clare skips around and tells some of it from a werewolf girl’s perspective, or from Jace’s.
The only thing I’m still not sure if I like about this book is Clare’s tendency to have her characters tell each other a lot of the back story. Like, I know that happened a LOT in the Harry Potter books, but it happened in different ways…like viewing memories in the pensieve, or reading old letters or things like that, but with this story it’s just lots of dialogue instead of the characters “discovering” the story. And I admit everything can’t be Harry Potter, and I’m not saying that it ruined the book…but I have to wonder if there wasn’t a better way to do parts of this back story stuff.
The other thing I wasn’t really pleased with was Clare having the villain be the character that goes around quoting the bible all the time. Now, I get why she does it—because he thinks he’s doing God’s work when really he’s just being selfish and evil—but I’m absolutely sick of villains that think they’re doing the right thing for religious or semi-religious reasons. Absolutely sick of it.
That’s probably the biggest thing that I found offensive in the book…although I also realise that for many readers, Clary’s crush on her brother would maybe rank higher on the list of things that offend. I wasn’t that bothered by it though. There’s also more allusions to child abuse and demons that eat kids and cute fluffy animals, but I think that’s about everything that could offend anyone.
So, as my aunt would put it, this was a very “middle” book…basically setting up for the third book but not being that exciting on its own. Still worth a look though, if you like supernatural stuff.