Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Title: The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Year of Release: 2008
ISBN: 9781406318494
Source: Purchased (Myer, $14.95)*
Number of Pages: 411 (this edition)

With her mother in a coma and her father hellbent on destroying the world, Clary Fray is dragged deeper into New York City's terrifying underworld of werewolves, demons and the mysterious Shadowhunters. Discovering the truth about her past was only the beginning. Now the fate of the world rests on Clary's shoulders, but can she master her new-found powers and control her feelings for a boy who can never be hers?

Before I begin this review, I need to apologise to all my followers and readers of this blog for being so slack in posting ANYTHING for the last few months. I am so sorry! With work, illness and many personal issues that I can't write here, I haven't exactly had much time for reading or blogging. Despite this though, I am really looking forward to getting back to doing the things I love, including writing and maintaining this blog. Thank you all so much for sticking by me and I promise to deliver soon! If any of you have any concerns/questions, you know where to contact me!
I finished reading City of Ashes last night (finally) and once again found myself incredibly satisfied with the content of this book, just as I was with the last one. Clare once again delivers an amazing story, not only building upon the last, but creating so many new twists and turns that kept me guessing throughout the entire book. She really wasn't scared to experiment with my emotions in this book, either. Reading this book for the first time is similar to a roller-coaster ride, taking you up with the joy and humour and laughs, and back down and upside down with the transformations, deaths and love and romance outcomes. 
New characters are introduced, old ones re-emerge, current ones are built upon, and Clary and Jace just need to get nakey already!  As I mentioned in my review of City of Bones, this is a book series suitable for people of all ages. There is something for everyone and every reader's interest; love, love triangles, intense and dramatic fight/battle scenes, supernatural powers and entities... everything a good and captivating series needs is captured in The Mortal Instruments. 
One of the things I love most about this series is the character diversity. There are so many different people and it makes the books so interesting. I don't mean species diversity here, though there is plenty of that, I mean individual character diversity. Differences in sexuality, personality, age, gender, race, it's so incredibly heterogeneous and keeps it entertaining. 
There is nothing I love more than an author that is not afraid to experiment with his/her writing and Cassandra Clare is definitely one of those authors. Though it is arguably damaging to my mental health, Clare kept the book going at a fast-paced speed and incorporated something surprising into almost every chapter. Never a dull moment. Clare's  skilful descriptions of the supernatural creatures and demons is enough to keep even the most toughest of tough reader's hearts beating at insane speeds. Her incredible amount of detail in these parts of the book are beautifully written, yet somewhat disturbing at the same time. I found the fact that I was genuinely grossed and freaked out at the same time as a sign of a good writer. 
To elaborate on this, one of my biggest book pet peeves is when authors fail to write end battle scenes properly and ruin the entire the book. Fight scenes that are supposed to be intense and all-consuming often fall short of these expectations, however this is not the case with Cassandra Clare. She writes brilliantly and her descriptions were perfect enough to bring tears to my eyes and have me feeling genuinely anxious and worried about my characters! 
The ending used a fantastic cliffhanger and now has me so excited for book three, City of Glass. 

Read my review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones here!
Visit Cassandra Clare's official website here
Find more information on the upcoming film of City of Ashes here

*Prices relevant to Australian stores