City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare (2009)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest Level: 15-18
City of AshesThe first title in this quartet, known as the Mortal Instruments, was one of my very first contributions to this blog. I quite liked City of Bones and its feisty heroine Clary, along with the assorted demons, vampires, werewolves, Shadowhunters, and other creatures that populate the world without glamour (the veil that protects mere mortals from seeing these beings). The budding romance was suitable for the story but the real focus was on the action. Not so much for this one. Perhaps my year and half of reviewing has made me more critical as a reader, but honest to Pete, any more “eyes of gold” and smoldering looks and jutting hips and I’ll scream. Author Clare spent far too much time on the looks and emotions of her characters, and it was most distracting. Clary gasped twice on the same page, at least once, and it had nothing to do with sex, poor thing. The romantic tangles are getting really complex too – Alex has the hots for Jace, his sort of stepbrother, while Magnus, who is over 300 years old but looks 16, loves Alex. Simon longs for Clary, while the air practically burns between Jace and Clary. Which is intolerable for everyone (particularly me, grumble), because they are brother and sister (or are they? The foreshadowing is painfully obvious on this). Maia the werewolf is introduced in this story, setting up a resolution that will have everyone paired up with a suitable partner by the end of Book 4, I predict. A mediocre follow-up that disappointed me, and is putting the rest of the quartet on the backburner as a result.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4062214-city-of-ashes

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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