City of Ashes is the second installment of The Mortal Instruments series, so I don't want to go too much in detail of the plot of this book in order not to spoil City of Bones. City of Ashes starts off right where it's predecessor ended and in my opinion was a much better book. It's hard not to go into too much details, but for the readers who haven't had the chance to pick up this series yet and may be planning on it, this book actually surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. It was just as action packed, witty, and easy to get addicted to the story. The writing even improved, which was one of my main problems with City of Bones. I definitely think that if City of Bones wasn't a favorite of yours, giving City of Ashes a chance may be a good idea because I think it improved greatly. I can't say if it will consistently improve as you keep reading the series, but City of Ashes was definitely a good sign. I do plan on reading the next book in the series.
With the first book, I talked about how the characters were really what made me love the story, and City of Ashes is no different. I think the characters, the dialogue, and the world building are well done and easy to love to read about. Like I said in my previous review, I was really shocked with how much I have been loving Jace as a character. I am not sure what about me changed, but I loved him in this book as well. His sarcasm and interactions with each of the characters definitely had me laughing. I highlighted and took notes more in this book than I have in a long time. They aren't even notes or quotes I could use in my review, because they probably wouldn't have the same affect out of context, but I highlighted them so I could look back on my favorite parts in the future. And surprisingly enough Jace is in a lot of my favorite parts. I have been enjoying Clary a lot more also, she came off annoying in my first read of this series, but this time around I have been understanding of her motives and emotions towards what is happening in the story. My first read of this series I remember really liking Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus, and this time around isn't any different. I am enjoying their characters a lot, especially Alec and Magnus because of the small hints of their relationship. Simon definitely got on my nerves at times, because I am a bit sick of his angst over Clary. However, I don't hate him. I know this because the last section of the book had me worried for his safety, which was enough for me to realize Cassandra Clare had my heart in her hands.
While reading City of Ashes I was so relieved to see that the writing had improved so much compared to the first book. The similes were almost non-existent , the info-dumping issue was basically gone, and I either got over the Harry Potter similarities or the story became more of it's own thing. I am so happy to see that the writing has improved between the two books because I am really enjoying the story, and I wasn't sure if I could deal with the writing from the first book continuously for such a massive series. It makes me really excited for the next books. I am starting to really understand the hype around this book series.
The story itself was well done and I felt on the edge of my seat for a lot of this book. Cassandra Clare writes cliffhangers and tension really well which made me frantically tapping my kindle to flip the pages. I knew what was going to happen for most of the bigger moments because of either my past reads of this book or because of the movie/television show but it didn't stop me from feeling the tension and needing to know what was going to happen. I liked the more Clary/Luke scenes because I really like seeing their father/daughter relationship. Especially with everything happening, it's nice to see an adult taking care of these teenagers. Especially since the Lightwood adults seemed to be zero help when it actually came to protecting them. I think that the Inquisitor was an interesting character I think we didn't get enough backstory on. Her story didn't seem as fleshed out as all the other backstories we have been provided. It made her character not feel as real to me, and more of a plot device. There were a lot of really good visuals in this book and I could see it all so perfectly in my head.
I am really excited to see where the story goes. I wasn't sure how this re-read experiment was going to go because I wasn't a fan of this series the first time around but I am really happy that I have been liking it so much more. I think it is the result of me enjoying the television show so much. Even if the show has its problems, I am really happy it pushed me to try out this series again. I plan on reading City of Glass sometime in the next two weeks.