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Publisher's Summary

Clary Fray just wants her life to go back to normal - but that turns out to be impossible. For one thing, her mother is still in the hospital, in a mysterious coma. For another, she and her brother, Jace, have fallen under a cloud of suspicion now that the Shadowhunter world knows that Valentine is still alive - and that Jace and Clary are his son and daughter. Not to mention that someone in New York is killing Downworlders and draining their blood, creating a climate of suspicion that sends Downworld Manhattan to the brink of civil war.

When the Silent Brothers are murdered and the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Sword of Souls, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor is dispatched from Idris to investigate. She clearly harbors a personal grudge against Jace, and she drives a wedge between him and his adoptive family. When Clary's romance with her best friend, Simon, starts to heat up, Jace feels abandoned. But has he, as the Inquisitor accuses, joined up with his father?

Then Simon is turned into a vampire and kidnapped by Valentine, who intends to sacrifice him as part of a bloody ritual that will make the Mortal Instruments his own forever. Jace knows he needs to save Simon's life, for Clary's sake. But what if he's too late? What if Valentine has already made the Mortal Instruments his own?

©2008 Cassandra Claire, LLC (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,798
  • 4 Stars
    1,816
  • 3 Stars
    664
  • 2 Stars
    134
  • 1 Stars
    72

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,984
  • 4 Stars
    1,494
  • 3 Stars
    640
  • 2 Stars
    153
  • 1 Stars
    85

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,306
  • 4 Stars
    1,369
  • 3 Stars
    542
  • 2 Stars
    122
  • 1 Stars
    54
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting

After I finished listening to City of Bones I couldn't wait until book two, City of Ashes was released. To fully appreciate it, I re-listened to book one and then continued straight into book two.

The first thing I noticed is the different narrator, which at first I thought would be an issue, but it wasn't. Natalie Moore did a wonderful job and after only 15 minutes or so I forgot she was a different narrator.

As the adventure continued in this book you find yourself in a world full of thrills, excitement, puzzlement, joy, sadness, love, war, and the want for more. Could there be in the future?

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good but left us with even more questions

This felt very much like a middle book. I enjoyed the conflict and interactions. I wanted to yell at several characters though. On the romance front, I not only wanted to yell at them; I wanted to slap some sense into half of them. SO FRUSTRATING.

I'm looking forward to some resolution in the next book. I NEED some resolution in the next book.

Magnus is still one of my favorite characters.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • BookMama
  • NAMPA, ID, United States
  • 08-16-12

Wonderful narrator - drew me in

The narrator for City of Ashes was much better than the one for it's prequel, City of Bones. This narrator, Natalie Moore, did a fantastic job. She switched between characters flawlessly and had a perfect voice for each character, too. It was almost exactly how I imagined them when I read through the stories in paperback, especially Valentine. I am looking forward to book 3 with this Natalie Moore as well.

These stories are great, I am really enjoying them. They are definitely young-adult genre... which means they are easy to follow along, not too in depth, and typically light reading/listening despite the intended dark nature of the stories. Still, though, they are great books! The author does a great job building up the characters, every single one of them. I hardly feel anyone is left out or goes unnoticed in the stories. It's well done.

I also know they are making movies out of this series, the first one coming out next August (2013). I will definitely be going to see it. :)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mishel
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 10-01-12

Not appropriate for adults - YA only

What disappointed you about City of Ashes?

While I was able to get through the first book in this series, the second failed to keep my interest. I am an avid YA fan even though I'm an adult and some are better (Hunger Games, Delirium trilogy) than others. The constant life threatening situations the characters had to face got old after awhile and the lack of character development was disappointing. For teenagers, I think this series would be perfect - plenty of action. For adults, I think you'll be wanting more.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Incest is in?

Yeah it hits rock bottom right here no doubt.... I do get that a lot of people like this book but why I don't know.... Maybe it was because there were a couple interesting characters or maybe it's because they just link all books related to the wonderful world of magic.

Again, like the first book, I like the concept; in fact the concept of the book in and of itself allows for the book to have a whole lot of potential. That however can not take away from the shoddy story itself. Sadly there wasn't any real growth between the first and the second story in terms of writing style (not from my vantage point at least).

I found a number of disturbing concepts in this book that I just am flabbergasted that the author and their editor allowed to go on in this book. I was telling a friend of mine about the book and their take is that way too much was going on in the book and I agreed wholeheartedly.

For one.... If you have made it this far you know that the main character is 'supposedly' the sister of another main character (and I put that in quotations because I can't possibly see this being the case by the end of the book series). The disturbing part about this is that they are in love.... And we are not talking about the platonic type here.... I am talking about the 'I swoon every time I see you/I want to kiss you so much/you smell like sweet lavender and the heavens part/awkward and wanting staring' type of love. Oh and yes.... they know or at least believe without a semblance of a doubt that they are brother and sister. I mean I know they didn't know they were brother and sister but seriously, they only knew each other for what I can only think is a week (2 the max) before they found out they were related, I am thinking that there is no way you can be THAT in love with someone that the whole idea of them being your blood sibling doesn't nip the whole I-want-your-body feeling they are harboring.

Disturbing fact two.... So we have a Alec in this book. I don't have an issue with him being gay, bi, confused or whatever. That being said the dude is 17 I think and is romantically involved with a warlock that's older than his mom, dad and grandparents' ages combined... No kidding.

Disturbing fact three.... This is the second most grievous aspect of the book for me. Simon. This dude is in love with the main female character who he's been friends with for years. Understandable of course but the thing that got me *major spoiler alert by the way* home boy gets turned into a vampire. By the end of the novel he somehow becomes able to walk in the sunlight (he doesn't sparkle though thankfully). Apparently this spares him from having to tell his mother that he is a souless, blood-sucking demon who will likely remain ageless and dash all of her hopes of having grandchildren (of the human variety at least) from him.

Disturbing fact four.... Well this wasn't too disturbing but moreso annoying. The uselessness of practically every adult character in the novel. This wasn't as the level of the first book but I still find it hard to believe that the adult characters can be as misguided and just plain as inept as most of them appeared to be by the end of the novel.

Now that I have gone through the disturbing facts; lets talk about the narration. The narration here is at best, forgettable and at worse jarring to the senses.

29 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Author still fining her feet.

This book is considerably better in both writing and narration over the original. The author still has some growing to do but this is much better than the first one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DD
  • ELK GROVE, CA, United States
  • 07-11-12

Great Storyline

I would definitely recommend this to others. It is easy to get into the story of Clary & Jace. You feel for them..you wonder what is around the next bend for them. I was disappointed when it ended, but couldn't wait for the next book!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • 09-19-13

Much better than the first!

I listened to the first book in the series a while back and was had no plans to finish the series, even though I LOVED Clare's Clockwork series. But, I recently watched the City of Bones movie and decided to give the series another try. I'm glad I did - the second book was much better. The story line was much more engaging/exciting and the narrator much better as well. Looking forward to book 3.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy
  • Bensalem, PA, United States
  • 08-20-13

Second Time's a Charm

Wow, how did I not know about this series sooner? It is right up my alley. Supernatural characters galore, budding romance, action packed, and so much more. The characters really come into their own here and the story propels forward at a better clip. The narrator of the first book is young, too young. This is resolved in the second book, although she sounds a little bit like a robot at times (sorry to put that in your head before you read it), by the third she has it down and it is just plain awesome all around. If you are a supernatural fan, then you will love these books. Highly recommend!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Entertaining listen

What made the experience of listening to City of Ashes the most enjoyable?

The first book in the Mortal Instruments, City of Bones, I read because I heard a movie is being made about the books. I rarely read young adult books and this just reminded me why...whiny characters, poor choices, and more whining. The book does pick up about half way threw it and ended with me wanting to know what happens next. I decided to try a audible book and I am really glad I did. I enjoyed the second book. The characters grew and i developed a hope that they would make it out of adventures together.

What other book might you compare City of Ashes to and why?

I compare it to Twilight for several reasons. One there is a love triangle. Even if it involves a 16 yr old girl who stays confused. Sound familiar? This book has angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, and a Sorcerer. The characters have lots of angst over their relationships.

Which character – as performed by Natalie Moore – was your favorite?

My favorite character by far is Jace. I love his witty remarks. I love his loyalty even when others doubt him. He is the main reason I continued to read the next book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

There is a war in the heavens......will Love conquer all and defeat evil?

Any additional comments?

I think this book is fine for teenagers to read and will probably be a blockbuster when it comes out at the movies. Adult conversation is rare and at times It was hard for me not to forget that teens live for drama and if not their drama a friends drama.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful