Book: City of Ashes [Mortal Instruments #2]
Author: Cassandra Clare
Review: CoA starts a few weeks after CoB. Clary's mother is still in a coma and Clary is trying to avoid her attraction to Jace (her newfound brother) by dating Simon. When young downworlder children start disappearing, Clary, Jace and crew must hunt down Valentine again to stop him.
I enjoyed this book more than CoA because it overall felt like a more original story line. I'm pretty sure my favorite character is the warlock Magnus Bane (seriously, he is awesome) and I wouldn't mind a whole series centered around him! Clare does a great job writing Jace because he is equal parts annoying and charming. He really reads like an arrogant teenager and I can see younger reader identifying with him. Unfortunately, Clary continues to grate on my nerves. I realize she was thrown into this world after living a regular human life, but she complains all the time and insists on going to battles when she is not trained and has very little skill. Speaking of her lack of skill, it is odd that none of the other hunters offer to train her. To rectify this situation, she comes into her own powers very quickly and with relative ease. I would have enjoyed more work on Clary's part to be such an asset.
Now, let's get to the main romance in this book. There is an incest theme between Jace and Clary which will probably leave many readers feeling icky reading it. I even found myself thinking "eww" at times but there are enough hints throughout the book to indicate they are not indeed blood siblings. So I don't think we'll be dealing with incest for however long this series is planned for but hopefully Jace's true parentage is revealed sooner rather than later. That being said, I think the only book I've ever read with an incest theme was 'Middlesex' so I have to give Clare props for putting it out there, especially a YA series. Very brave!
Overall, I enjoyed this book!