Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

I didn’t plan to write this review, but I was sitting on the couch and thought “wow I should review City of Ashes” and here we are. This is the quickest review I have ever written and it may show, but oh well.


Summary from Goodreads:

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.

This review is spoiler free.

“If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever. You have to let it be free to change.”

4 stars

I feel like I go against the norm when I say that City of Ashes is my favorite from the first three of this series. I mean, objectively, City of Glass is probably better and all that, but this one is my favorite. It is just so good? Like, I am not going to sit here on a high horse and say that this is the best book I have ever read or even the best book in this series (I mean, hi, City of Lost Souls exists?), but this one is just so much fun. Also, the Luke and Clary content in this book is very prominent and on point so that is just like, giant positive points towards it.

Anyways, instead of horribly rambling I will attempt to now organize my rambling into sections because that’s how reviews work (at least when I write them). I really want to start with characters because I love ranting and raving about how much I love Clary and Alec, but I will start with the writing because I hear that is important for books.

In my City of Bones review, I talked about how the writing was not the best. It wasn’t bad per say, but it wasn’t really good either. I am happy to say that it improves with this book. It doesn’t suddenly become amazing and there are still some weird things and phrases that catch me off guard (like how Clary eats yogurt mechanically? like I totally know what she was getting at but everytime I read that phrase my brain goes lol what), but it improves vastly from the first book. There are also some uh, problematic aspects about this series and those are definitely present in this book and the only one I feel like I could actually discuss is spoilery so I guess I will move on along.

I have seen so many people say that nothing happens in this book it is not funny, but I think a good bit happens? Like, I am always more entertained by this one more than most of the others in the series. There are some pretty big developments and reveals and we get to see other characters reactions to the reveals and developments from the previous book. There is also a super good battle scene (well, I mean, it was bad because people died? but it was well written soo) at the end that still has me enthralled on my seventh read. Basically, others say there is no plot but I think there is and also I think it is enjoyable.

Finally, onto the characters. I freaking love Clary in this book so much. I mean, I obviously love her in every book but she is starting to come into her powers and realise she can do things on her own and I love love love reading it every time. Jace in this book is um, not it for me (sorry pals). He does some pretty shitty things and while I get it, it is also pretty annoying. I felt sorry for Alec this entire book, it is always really hard to read older books when it comes to Alec because he is so unsure of himself and sad and angsty and it makes me go :(. Simon goes through so much in this book and I am honestly really proud of how he handled everything, I would have handled it much worse. I feel like Izzy wasn’t in this book much? But she is still a fiercely loyal and confident woman and I am so proud of her.

I could keep ranting about characters for literally hours, but I will try and stop here. Overall, I really enjoy this book, like, a whole lot. It isn’t a five star read, it isn’t anything brilliant and I totally get why other people tend to not like it, but I really enjoy it. We get to know the characters more and see them come into themselves, I just think it is fun and enjoyable. Also, here are some other quotes I enjoy from this book before I go:

“Clary. You know: short, redheaded, bad temper.”

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

“Somebody’s girlfriend, somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter. All these things I never knew I was before, and I still don’t really know what I am.”

“I remember you saying that growing up happens when you start having things you look back on and wish you could change. I guess that means I am grown up now.”

5 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

  1. Wow, it’s been so long since I read this series that I can’t differentiate what happened in the first four books anymore. 😂 But I do remember loving all the Clary/Luke moments. Maybe this wasn’t my favorite, just because you mentioned Izzy not being here and she’s my fave from the series. 😅

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I first read this series I read them so fast I couldn’t differentiate between them either lol. The Clary and Luke moments are just amazing! I love Izzy so much, it makes me sad that she isn’t in the early books as much.


  2. ugh you just keep reminding me that I really need to start my reread of tsc so that I can FINALLY get caught up. i did read this book way in the past but I don’t remember much.. i just remember the incest but not incest.. yikes. Otherwise, I love that whenever you talk about these books, you always acknowledge that they’re probably not the best books in the world, but it’s so clear that you love them despite that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The incest but not incest is something I always block out in my mind then I reread and I’m like Oh that’s a thing. I know these books are actually like, not great, but I still love them a whole lot. I mean, Clary is in them sooo I see no other option lol.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s