City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)


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Book review: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But 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.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? "

Rating: 3/5 stars. 
This review is one of the hardest I had to write, as I have really mixed feelings toward this book. I really liked the the first book, but I'm not so sure about this one. Don't get me wrong. It's not like I didn't enjoy it, because I did. And I will probably be picking up the next book in the series, it's just that there were too many flaws in this book for me to give it 4 or 5 stars.
Here's the things I didn't like:

-The dialogue. This is one of the major reasons I didn't like this book. Alot of the times the dialogue felt unrealistic, naive even. Clare forces her characters to explain <i>every.single.thing</i> happening around, leaving no chance for the reader to try to figure out anything on his own. I mean seriously, at times this is how the dialogue felt like:
Person A:I am going to heal him
Person B: Ofcourse you will, since you are one of the world's most famous and successful doctors.
Ofcourse, this isn't a real quote, but you get where I'm going. There was no subtlety in the way Clare delivers information to the readers.

-Valentine.I first thought Valentine was a strong villian; he knew how to manipulate people into thinking what he really wants. And while Clare focuses on this even more in City of Ashes (and does a somewhat good job), any scene that involves Valentine and one of the main characters made me feel like I was loosing some of my IQ points. I mean, every single time there's a confrontation it turns into a therapy session, and the characters start discussing their inner demons and you have it instead of ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING.

-Jace.If you have read my CoB review, you'd notice that I actually loved Jace's attitude.(Reminded me of Gregory House). And I had fears that Clare would make him go all soft and decent in the next novel. True story.
But Clare did the absolute opposite, I mean I don't mind Jace's honesty (even if it's considered rude and inappropraite at times) but this time, Clare pushed it a bit too far. Jace is absolutely one of the funniest characters I've read, and his one-liners were much appreciated in CoB , but in CoA it was like everything he was saying in a one-liner. There was no actual dialogue, just sarcasm from his side.
And I don't like the way he controlled everyone's actions. More than once in the novel, he asks Clary to step aside while he deals with one thing or the other. I appreciate protectivness, but again Clare pushed this a bit too far.

-Too.Much.Prose. I didn't mind Clare's prose in the first novel, but this time..(let the ellipsis do the talking)
It was just too much, and most of the time it didn't make sense. "Coppery" and "metal" is used to describe almost everything in the novel.

But enough ranting, how about the good things?

Believe it or not, Clary's character actually improves this time around. She grows up a bit, becomes more mature and so, but her annoying impulsivness is still there, so I just learned to come to peace with it. I found the plot more engaging than CoB, and the focus goes to some new and recurring characters: Magnus and Maia. Magnus was absolutely amazing, and he starts taking a more important role this time. Maia, a new character, was also likeable.
One thing remains constant in this book is the sense of humor. That I have to give to Clare. Alot of times while reading I found myself laughing out loud(something that rarely happens to me while reading).

So all in all, I enjoyed this book. Although I spent alot of time ranting internally about one thing or the other. I'm going to read the next book in the series, but this has become a guilty pleasure of mine instead of being a series I enjoyed and recommended to other people.  

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