Book Review: City of Ashes

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Book: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Claire

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: YA Paranormal

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

So I was less than impressed by the first book of the Mortal Instruments series, but I found the world engaging enough to carry on with Book Two. This book was better written than the first, but I still find it rather like Taco Bell fast food–tastes great and fills that need for something cheap and yummy, but you feel bad about having had it about an hour later.

There are still things I don’t like, particularly the overdone love triangles. Alex loves Jace who loves Clara who loves him back but she can’t because he’s supposedly her brother but then there’s also Simon who loves her . . . but wait, Alex is dating Magnus . . . I felt like I needed a flowchart to keep track of everyone’s love lives.

If you can get beyond the melodrama, however, I still like the world and the general ideas of these Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I think there’s a general overabundance of vampires and werewolves in YA books these days, but since the main focus is on demons, I’m okay with that. I liked how Claire expands on the special talents of both Clara and Jace. I still like the concept of Marks, though I felt fuzzy on which ones were permanent or not.  And yes, I like Jace, perhaps because he’s such an unlikable, emotionally-stunted ass.

So I would call this an enjoyable romp. Don’t expect great literature, but if you like angst and melodrama with your paranormal urban fantasy, this book has plenty of good things in it. I think my favorite parts were the scenes between evil guy Valentine and bad boy Jace. There were also a few moments between Simon and Maya that were cute.

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