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City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, Book 2) Paperback – March 24, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,175 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Mortal Instruments Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—In this sequel to City of Bones (S & S, 2007), the nonstop action continues. The Shadowhunters are battling a world of demons that few people can see. Guided by the laws of the Clave, these hunters balance fighting with the other more mundane aspects of life—love, betrayal, and confusion. Jace, the fiercest teenage Shadowhunter, seems determined to make everyone around him angry, and is looked upon with suspicion because his father, Valentine, is out to rule the world. Meanwhile, love triangles abound, vampires are reborn, and general teenage angst blossoms among a group of friends and siblings. Set in an alternative present-day Manhattan, the story comes complete with Britney Spears references and even, ironically, refers to the scientific CSI. Well written in both style and language, it compares favorably to others in this genre. The human characters are well developed and quite believable. The whole book is like watching a particularly good vampire/werewolf movie, and it leaves readers waiting for the next in the series. Watch this one fly off the shelves.—Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A gorgeous fantasty that's so good, it's dangerous." (Holly Black)

"Prepare to be hooked." (Entertainment Weekly)

"The whole book is like watching a particularly good vampire/werewolf movie, and it leaves readers waiting for the next in the series. Watch this one fly off the shelves." (School Library Journal)

"Readers of urban fantasy will devour this delicious...adventure." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[A] smart, funny, romantic read." (Seventeen)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416972242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416972242
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
After loving The Year of the Great Seventh, an amazing fantasy novel free of vampires and werewolves, I had promised to myself that I was going to stay clear of any bloodsucking creatures. But when I came across The Mortal Instruments (Book 2) City of Ashes, I could not resist the temptation.

I was a big fun of City of Bones as I thought it was a very original story. However, I wasn't sure how much more Clary and Jace have left to give. Putting my reservations to one side, I decided to go for it.

City of Ashes revolves around the mysterious murder of Downworlder children in New York City. Clary and Jace are still obviously attracted to each other, but now that they know they are actually siblings, they are trying to repress their feelings for each other.

When the Soul-Sword, the second Mortal Instrument, goes missing, the frightening Inquisitor thinks that Jace had something to do with the disappearance. Clary suspects that Valentine, Clary and Jace's father, is behind the Mortal Instruemnt theft, and possibly, behind the Downworlder children murder.

There is nonstop action through the entire novel. The Shadowhunters continue to fight the demons that almost no one can see. Clary, her best friend Simon, and her now Shadowhunter brother, Jace are tangled in a complicated love triangle. Plus it is easy to relate to the characters even though some of them are half-human.

If you want a captivating read packed with mythology creatures, romance and adventure, you'll love this one.

I am glad I broke my "no more bloodsuckers/werewolves" promise. Ms. Clare: five glittering stars!
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Format: Paperback
The fantasy genre is well known for taking rich, varied, and well known mythology and twisting it up in new ways. Or at least, attempting to twist it up in new ways. Because let's face it, the vampire has already been invented. Now it's all about what you do with him.

So first, the really good- Cassandra Clare does a mighty fine job of taking rich and varied and well known mythologies and giving them a brand new spark of life that has not been written into the ground already. I enjoy that she picks bits of mythology from all over and uses it to create a world full of truths and half-truths and the people who have to deal with it all. This isn't just another fantasy novel. It reminds me of The Dresden Files for young adults.

The other really good thing about this book, is that the characters are a lot less cliched and stereotypical than most books in this genre. The main male character, Jace, might be pretty and the love interest (more on that in a moment) but he is also haughty, cocky, unlikeable and reactionary. She writes him so well that I sometimes find myself irritated with him- a beautiful and well drafted flaw. Who says our heroes need to be perfect anyway? This is also somewhat of a problem for her though too, because she tries so hard not to write predictable characters that they tend to fall out the other side of the extreme.

I'm also delighted by her fight scenes, which are clear and well written but not long and drawn out. Fight scenes have a tendency to be repetitive. She knows when to get on with it.

The bad- some of the prose is a little watered down. Contrite but clearly written with pleasure. Clare has never met a metaphor she didn't like.
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Format: Paperback
Without a doubt, the second novel in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series is just as nerve-wracking as its prequel. With the return of some of my favorite Shadowhunters, I couldn't help smiling as characters fell in love, pondering as new discoveries were made, and gasping at every turn.

I've always loved the world Cassie Clare had created. A world of nephilim, vampires, werewolves, faeries, and warlocks-each species being a combination of either angel, demon, or human-fascinates me. And the plot in this book! I was engrossed in this one even more than I was in City of Bones (I think I have a thing with murders in books; they just grab at my attention).

Cassie's characters also majorly improved. With this installment in the series, Clary became less of a Mary Sue in my mind. Her newly discovered talent with runes still didn't qualify her as kick-butt, but my opinion of her rose rapidly. And Jace-Jace became even more complex, even more of a character whose emotions dominated him.

The romantic tension between Clary and Jace grew even more in this novel-which of course made me pleased. (Totally Team Jace here.) Even though they still had that pesky little hurdle of (spoiler if you haven't read City of Bones) incest, they couldn't help falling in love with each other, no matter how hard they tried to push their feelings away.

I adored this book. With even more plot twists and major improvements in character development, this book left me flipping its pages 'til the very end. Readers are going to want to get their hands on City of Glass the very minute-no, the very second-they read the last word in this novel.

Source: copy borrowed from library
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