City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

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1.) City of Bones ★★★

“You are an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave, Jace. You are Valentine’s arrow. Whether you know it or not.”

I recently did a poll on Twitter, asking people if I should continue on with this series, or just throw in the towel and read Lady Midnight. I will say that the majority vote was for me to just skip it all, but so many of my best friends wrote to me and pleaded with me not to. So, here I am, continuing on.

I truly enjoyed City of Bones more than City of Ashes, which, I’m not going to lie, scares me for City of Glass, but I’m going to read it anyway. I just felt like this book has too many Harry Potter parallels. From the use of Fenrir Greyback to help Valentine justify being a bigot, to Valentine’s just general quest to collect horcrux-like items. Even the scene with him and Jace where Jace is screaming “I’m nothing like you!” I just felt like I could really see the Harry Potter fanfic shining through, honestly. And it made for a lot less enjoyable reading experience.

“A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane.”

But you know what I did like? The Queen of Faerie and her entire underworld quote. You all, I was living for that entire chapter, and twisted as the end became. I was on the edge of my chair reading. Completely falling in love with the imagery. From the morbid dancing, to the fae feast, to the inability to lie yet to twists words like no one else. I was living for it. And I personally love Seelie and Unseelie fae courts, and it was just everything I wanted. If the entire book was set there I would have given it an easy five stars.

So, in my review for City of Bones, I did this little breakdown for each character, and I really enjoyed it! I think I’m going to try to continue on for all of Cassie’s books!

Clary – I still don’t think I dislike her as much as many, but she’s just mediocre if I’m being honest. Not a very interesting main character. And *unpopular opinion* she does Simon dirty.

Jace – Meanwhile, Jace just wants to do Clary, dirtily. Like, I am really trusting you all that what is going on isn’t real, but I can’t believe I didn’t get an answer in book two. I’m still side-eyeing all of you. But especially Jace, because that boy does not care. All the Joe Dirt vibes. Also, just in general, Jace does a lot of shitty things in this book (more on that later).

Simon – I felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride this book with Simon. But, I honestly like him. I am not here for any part of this weird triangle, but Simon is the best point, in my opinion. Also, he got a whole hell of a lot more interesting in this book. And I actually really like the Jewish rep in this book, all because of Simon.

Isabelle – Has a sidepiece fae guard boyfriend and talk about goals. I love her. Easily my favorite character with…

Magnus – My bisexual, Asian love! The star of this series, I swear to God. I legit was tearing up at the end when he used his powers to… take a swim. Lord, help me. What a confirmed angel. I will say though, when they said he was over one-hundred-years-old in this book, I kind of took a step back and paused, since he is starting a relationship with someone who isn’t even eighteen yet. Like, I don’t want to get shit for this, but, like, that feels bad and honestly skeevy. And he might have the body of a younger person, but him and Alec’s mindsets are lightyears apart. And even though I love Magnus on his own, I truly don’t love his relationship with Alec. At least not right now in the story. Which I know is a very unpopular opinion. Please, don’t hate me.

Alec – Annoying green-eyed monster. I’m sorry, friends! I know how much you all love him, but, like, no. I guess he was a bit better in this book, but I just really don’t seem to like him like everyone else.

Max – Izzy and Alec’s little brother, and a totally sweetie. He was mentioned in City of Bones, but I feel like this was the book that I actually got to see his character.

Luke – You all, I love Luke. And the end of this book? When he has accepted his life as it is, just to have Clary’s mom in it. Too pure. Luke is probably my fourth favorite character and is a shining light after seeing all these teenagers doing dumb things constantly.

Maia – I actually really liked the introduction of this new werewolf girl, even though my heart was breaking constantly for her. I don’t know how I feel about Simon’s instant feelings, but I like Maia a lot and can’t wait to read more about her!

Imogen – This character just pissed me off mostly, but I feel like I should mention her mostly because of the last name “Herondale” and how I know you all go buck-wild over a person named Will Herondale that I haven’t met yet! But, it was probably pointless of me to bring this character up.

Valentine – The Voldemort vibes were abundant in this one. But he also felt like a mustache twirling and finger tapping villain, too. And he’s obviously playing all these kids.

Okay, everything else in my review is going to be kind of spoilery. Nothing major, and no huge plot points or anything, but just things that really bothered me and I kind of want to talk about. And, they are all about Jace.

First off, Jace outs Alec and it was so gross and made me so uncomfortable. In front of Clary and Simon, while Luke and Maia are also in the house. And the whole scene is painted like Jace is doing “good” by “not caring” and “wanting Alec to be honest with him” when Alec is obviously unhappy and very uncomfortable. And then after, he expected Magnus to “step up” and confirm that he was seeing Alec. Like, all of Chapter Twelve was disgusting, and it was all because of Jace.

Trigger and content warnings for abuse, bullying, murder, death, abduction, captivity, outing someone, and incestuous things (that is probably going to end up not being incest, but it still told in a way where it looks like incest).

“The greatest fear in Jonathan’s life is the love he feels for his sister.”

Okay, I’m just going to say it. Jace is totally, 100%, without question, okay with fucking Clary while he thinks she is his sister. Now, I’m hoping, and praying, and really thinking that this fandom, and all my friends, wouldn’t want me to read this series if they knew incest was truly in it. But, this book had me shook. Jace legitimately does not care. He even says at one point that no one has to know and that they can just keep it a secret. Like, Lord, clean my eyes, please. I can only imagine what all you where thinking, reading this for the first time, being little kids.

The last thing I guess doesn’t really have much to do with Jace, but actually Valentine. Why did he have to specifically choose the blood sacrifice victims that he did? I mean, the spell legit only called for the blood of children of the four houses (warlock, werewolf, vampire, and fae), why did he have to keep going after two of the most important and watched over ones? He could have legit got any random one off the streets and been a thousand times more successful.

Overall, I didn’t love this one, and I know I sound kind of negative in the paragraphs above, but I did have fun while reading this. I mostly liked every scene without Jace being problematic, and I read it in under twenty-four hours! Yet, I do like this world! And I think that the whole topic of “downworlders” and how people can believe that others have “not as pure blood” is something that I think is still damn important to be talking about in 2018. I will for sure continue on with City of Glass, and hopefully I will enjoy it more!

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