City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is the second book in the Moral Instruments series. You can read my review of the first book, City of Bones, here.
City of Ashes follows on pretty close to where City of Bones left off. It’s very much more of the same and definitely not in a bad way. A few new characters are introduced but the old characters we know and love take the centre stage. In fact, more of them have point of view scenes in the first book. This was a bit off-putting at first but I quickly got into the flow of it and enjoyed getting into more of their heads. There was one new character, the Clave’s Inquisitor, who had me wanting to punch her through the page and we all know such an emotional response is a sign of a well-written character.
The story revealed more of the history and mysteries of the world that were hinted at in City of Bones and it was nice to see Clary being accepted as one of the Shadowhunters, even if she’s never going to be fighter like Isabelle, Alec and Jace.
The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger (although I’ve read worse — no actual cliffs were involved) and makes me want to pick up the next book immediately, possibly on book-buying credit.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and/or YA fantasy. I suggest starting from the first book, however, since I’m pretty sure City of Ashes won’t make as much sense otherwise and definitely contains lots of spoilers for City of Bones.
4.5 / 5 stars