Thursday, January 10, 2013

Read - City of Ashes

City of Ashes
by Cassandra Clare
2008
453 pages

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? 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?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
 
*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
 
This is the second book in the Mortal Instrument series, and I enjoyed it more than the first.  This one jumps around from various characters' perspectives.  Normally I don't like it when stories do that, especially when it's done with more than one character, but in this case it allowed my favorite parts of the book to happen . . . the interactions between Jace and Valentine.  I was almost wishing this could just be Jace's story.  I think a huge part of why I'm so fond of their storyline is because of who is playing them in the first movie from this series.
Jace is being played by Jamie Campbell Bower.

Valentine is being played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

I *loved* Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII in The Tudors.  I haven't seen him in much else, but the one other role, the first one actually, I remember him from was the movie Ride With the Devil.  He was this really skinny, pale, rather homely looking bad guy cowboy, but something about him stuck with me.  Well, the few things I've seen Jamie Campbell Bower in, I have liked him, but he sort of reminds me of . . . JRM in that Devil movie.  Go figure!  The fact they are father and son in this series makes it perfect.

(Or ARE they father and son?  Hmmmm.)

So anyway, in this second book Valentine is causing trouble again.  He has the second of the Mortal Instruments and has a deadly plan.  Now that it's confirmed Valentine is indeed alive and that things are in chaos, more characters from the Clave show up in this book.  Alec and Isabelle's parents and little brother have returned home, along with the hard-nose Inquisitor.  She is there to question Jace about what happened in the first book, and his apparent connections to Valentine.  It's obvious from the start that this Inquisitor woman does not like Jace but it's not until much later in the book that we find out why.  And then there is a twist.  While I didn't see it coming, and they did not actually reveal it in this second book, I do think I know what the hints are meant to mean.  If it's going to be what I think, it will be stupid.  It will be reaching too far to try and bend the story around to something else.  It also makes me sad for Jace because it will once again make him wonder who he really is . . . if my guess is right.  (Even with my spoiler warning, I don't want to say it here.  Sorry!)

Some big events happened with Simon, Clary's best friend and now boyfriend.  At first I thought it was a ridiculous angle to the story, but then I was surprised with how sad it all really was.  It kinda got me in the gut.  There is obviously some plan farther into this series that will heavily involve Simon.  Or at least I hope so, because although what happened to him in this book was interesting, I think it would be a rather large and unneeded twist if there is nothing important for him to come.

The story sticks quite close to one main plot in this book, which is always good.  There were some extra things going on in the first book that, while they did serve a purpose, seemed sometimes distracting.  There was also sort of a detached feeling in this book with the jumping around in perspectives.  Everyone was focused on the task at hand, but it also felt kind of spread out.  They would come and go from the Institute, a place we really got to know in the first book, but it seemed so cold and distant.  After the big battle, as the book wound down, it was actually kind of heartwarming or reassuring or whatever to have Jace and Clary revisit the diner they'd gone to in the first book.  It was like something familiar, something to bring it all back together.

I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to seeing where the next one takes this story.

11 comments:

  1. Brother, eh?
    Evil guy is the father, eh? Sounds V.C.-ish! Lol.

    Wow, that pic with Jamie Campbell Bower--wow.
    Or as I shall start calling him, Mr. Soft Buns.

    Glad the book was good!

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    1. You should Netflix that show he's in that I think I told you about, called The Prisoner or something.

      ~Deb

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    2. Ooh, I didn't remember you'd told me that. Which is pretty funny, considering comment below. Lol! (Although that would be longer-term memory)

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    3. Lame, it's DVD-only on Netflix.

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  2. I haven't heard of this series! Fun! Right now I'm reading the last of the Stieg Larsson books. I know, I'm late. I started it a long time ago and picked it up again yesterday. Your posts about books inspired me to read again. I used to love it then I don't know what happened.

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  3. I admit, I had to look up who that is. I haven't read any of those books even though everyone tries to shove them my way. I saw the US version of the first movie and didn't care much for it.

    Although I'm reading, I wish I was retaining more like I used to. My mind is so scattered these days that I'm barely remembering what I read from one bunch of pages to the next.

    ~Deb

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    1. I'm glad to hear someone else's brain doesn't work either, because my short-term memory is awful lately. Like really bad. Nearly alarming. But I've decided not to actually fret until I find myself wandering around a grocery store in Canada or something with no memory of how I got there.

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    2. A couple years ago I tried some of the free brain games at that Lumosity site. We also have two brain exercise game things for DS that I was all into playing in the beginning but quickly fizzled out. I don't know, I think I might NEED to do something. It just feels like there is a rock in the center of my head that keeps from focusing on anything for more than two seconds.

      ~Deb

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    3. Yeah. I looked at Lumosity awhile back--either I didn't realize there were some free games on there or there aren't any anymore. Maybe I'll check into it again. Or just look up some free games that are supposed to help in the same ways.

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    4. And I need to dig out the DS and those brain games again. Maybe they have something for Wii?

      We discovered some free games on Xbox and got addicted to one called Peggle. Funny how the silliest simple things grab us. LOL!

      ~Deb

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    5. Lol!

      Yeah, I should look stuff up for Wii.

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