Sunday, November 15, 2009 By: Suzanne

City Of Ashes

This is the second installment of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. I have to say that I was not as impressed with the second book as I was the first. I enjoyed it well enough but I felt it was lacking the passion of the first book.

In this book we see a newly eyes-open Clary trying desperately to hold on to her old world while learning how to be a part of the one she has been thrust into. Now that she knows the truth of her family's past and how she is more a part of the Shadowhunter world than she ever would have imagined, she is simply more confused than ever. She is also finding that her relationship with her long time best friend Simon is becoming something more while her heart still belongs to Jace, even though she knows it is impossible.

I think what bothered me about this book (besides it's lack of passion) is that it was so damned predictable.

WARNING! SPOILERS! Except for the whole Simon becoming a vampire thing, everything that happens was not only predictable but kind of dull. Yeah, yeah Valentine is the bad guy. Got it. Yeah, yeah Jace is torn between wanting to be close to his father and wanting to do the right thing. But is he really? It would have been more interesting if Jace actually did turn to Valentine's side, even if briefly. And we're supposed to believe that Valentine just let him leave after revealing all his plans to Jace and Jace turned down his offer? Valentine didn't do a thing to stop him? He's simply so confident that his plan can't fail that he tells his son everything and when Jace basically says "Go to hell," Valentine says, "Sorry you feel that way, have a nice life." Ok, whatever. Of course, none of this is told in the book. We see Jace giving Valentine his answer and then next time we see him he's fine and dandy coming back through the door. And never does he seem to have a crisis of belief. If it is because what I believe will be the big reveal (think Star Wars in reverse) that Jace is NOT Valentine's son, then it really doesn't make sense. If Jace is his son, then Valentine has every reason to either keep him there until he chages his mind or make sure he isn't able to even try to stop his plan from happening. If he's not his son, then why bother with the charade in the first place?

Even so I did enjoy the story. I think Clare is a talented writer but she needs more practice. Maybe more time between books to iron out some kinks. Make it a little more interesting. Why is it in all these newer YA books the line between good and evil is so easily defined? Maybe I remember wrong but I remember the Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith books I read as a teenager being much more conflicting. Sometimes good turned out to be the last person you expected and evil wore the face of good. People are not so black and white. I think part of the problem is that the books are being churned out so fast no one is giving them the time they need.

I feel a little invested in the story now and I do enjoy Clare's writing so I will read the next book. I do think I know what's going to happen, at least part of it. I'll go ahead and place my predictions here:

1. Jace and Clary are in fact NOT related and all the secret "I want you but it's forbidden" talk will not be so disgusting on a second read through.

2. Maia and Simon will develop a relationship and bring together their two species in love. OR they will both be ostracized for breaking the centuries old feud between vampires and werewolves (more likely, the first was sarcasm if you couldn't tell)

3. The big reveal will be that the reason Simon is able to go into the sunlight is because he drank Jace's blood, which leads to the next...

4. Jace really is Wayland's son as he was raised to believe, bred under the direction of Valentine to make sure he has more Angel blood than most Shadowhunters. OR he is Stephen's son (the son of the Inquisitor who saved Jace's life) and the real reason Valentine wanted Stephen to remarry was to bring together two Shadowhunters who would make a child with more Angel blood than most Shadowhunters. Or something like that. I'm thinking some kind breeding program like the one from Dark Angel that we never got to see the conclusion of.

5. Clary really is Valentine's daughter and she also has special powers due to the same breeding program.

6. And of course there is some new Mortal Instrument passed down from the angels that the Clave is not strong enough to protect from 1 man. (What good are these people?) It will give Valentine unlimited power but he will be prevented at the very last minute from using it to it's full potential.


Cherry said...

Hiya Ton, this will be quick 'coz gotta go to work. My Friday 56 is at Will come back later when I get home from work. Happy Friday!!