City of Ashes Review: Interesting But Not Compelling

I am in a fix. I am confused about this book and The Mortal Instruments series. I don’t know if I want to continue or stop right here. Before you jump to any conclusion let me make it clear that I did not hate City of Ashes but I did not like it either. I found it to be a very average book. The plot is riveting, the world is enticing but I feel the writing does not do justice to it. I wanted more from this series and this book but I was left disappointed. I was not very impressed by the City of Bones (first book in The Mortal Instruments series) but still went on to read City of Ashes because I saw a lot of potential in the story. Sadly, this book too was not up to my expectations. Now I am not sure if my high expectations are unreasonably high for this book series. But even if I keep my expectations aside, City of Ashes did not make me want to jump in excitement or make me want to stay awake the whole night just to know what happens next.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Walker Books

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.

(Description as on

I LIKE City of Ashes Because,

City of Ashes Review

…I still like Clare’s writing. I find her writing persuasive enough for me continue exploring this fantasy world. I like the characters she has created and I am always curious to know more about them. Clary is still unaware of her full potential as a Shadowhunter and I liked the fact that some of her powers were unlocked in this book. I feel she can become a very strong protagonist provided the writer too sees her that way. I have no clue how her character will develop in the latter part of this series but I am hoping to see a really strong, kick-ass Clary in the following books.

I Do NOT Like City of Ashes Because,

City of Ashes Review

…Valentine is the weakest antagonist I have ever come across. This books series looks highly inspired by the Harry Potter series where we have teenagers fighting against an extremely powerful villain. The case is similar in The Mortal Instruments as we have Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alec fighting the evil Valentine. However, Valentine does not generate the kind of dread Lord Voldemort generated in the minds of the readers. Voldemort was someone who people feared to even talk about but Valentine only seems like a crazy rebel on the loose and nothing more. I don’t even find him powerful enough to scare anyone in the Shadowhunter world. In the City of Bones too he continues to wreak havoc but despite the nuisance, I still find him a rather weak villain. None of the teenagers fighting him ever feels the chill in his presence. Even Alec confronts him fearlessly. It is mainly this lack of terror for the main villain Valentine that demotivates me from reading this series. Thankfully, I have rented this series and not purchased it (yep!! learnt a lot from The Lunar Chronicles mistake) so I still have the option to drop it here.  

Favourite Quotes in City of Ashes

“Well, I’m not kissing the mundane,” said Jace. “I’d rather stay down here and rot.”

“Forever?” said Simon. “Forever’s an awfully long time.”

Jace raised his eyebrows. “I knew it,” he said. “You want to kiss me, don’t you?”


“That does it,” said Jace. “I’m going to get you a dictionary for Christmas this year.”

“Why?” Isabelle said.

“So you can look up ‘fun.’ I’m not sure you know what it means.”


“Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?” asked Simon.

“No,” Jace said. “Sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.”


“Alec looked at her and shook his head. “How do you manage never to get mud on your clothes?”

Isabelle shrugged philosophically. “I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.”


“I was alive when the Dead Sea was just a lake that was feeling a little poorly.”


Final View: With more secrets revealed the plot thickens in City of Ashes. If you liked City of Bones you will like this one too. However, if you too did not really enjoy the predecessor then you can steer away from this book series.


You can check out for a discount on this book.

Also Read:

READ  City Of Bones Review: The Beginning Of An Exciting New Fantasy Journey
READ  City Of Glass Review: Nearly Impossible To Keep This Book Down
READ  City Of Fallen Angels Review: Not As Charismatic As Its Predecessor
READ  City of Lost Souls Review: A Good Read To Gear Up For The Series Finale

READ  Cress Review: Third ‘Book’ Lucky As The Going Gets Better From Here

READ  Where She Went Review: The Perfect Conclusion To Adam And Mia’s Imperfect Love

error: Content is protected !!