Sunday, September 5, 2010

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series: CITY OF ASHES & CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare






After reading City of Bones, the first book in The Moral Instruments series, I knew that I wanted to read the rest, so I quickly moved on to CITY OF ASHES and CITY OF GLASS, and am glad that I did.  I liked the first book in the series and the Shadowhunter world that Cassandra Clare created and the characters that she introduced me to, but I definitely wanted to know more about what happened to the people living there and the politics of the world they were living in.  Now that I've finished the entire trilogy, I realize that if I really wanted to know the whole story, I had to read all three books. I do like that about books that are planned to be a series from the start though, the fact that each one can stand on its own, but there is definitely a plan by the author for the overarching storyline and where it will end up that satisfies the reader. One of the things that I like most about series books, is actually starting them once the whole series is published so I can read them all in a row instead of having to wait many months for the next book to come out, but I can be impatient that way. 


Especially with this series, I'm glad I got to read them all in a row, otherwise I might have been slightly frustrated because there is a main conflict plot point between Clary and Jace that is not resolved until two-thirds of the way through the last book.  All along I was hoping there would be a resolution similar to what happened, and in fact, there was probably some foreshadowing along the way because I did predict a few of the details, but ultimately, if I had to wait a long time, I might have been a little less likely to keep going because after the first and second book I was disappointed in what was happening between the two of them. One of the reasons I didn't rank these two books quite as high as the first one was because there were times where I felt as if I knew more than the characters and I became frustrated that they weren't figuring things out quickly enough. However, another piece of these books that is so good are the secondary characters that are as engaging as the main characters - it left me wanting to know more about them. Ultimately, I because engaged with all of these characters and wanted the best for them, which is why I became frustrated when they weren't figuring things out - which shows that the writer was able to make me care about her characters and the world they were living in. These books are still page-turners that make me want to find out what's going to happen next.


Overall, this series continued to be an enjoyable world to live in through the writing. The plot continued to be fast-paced, exciting, intriguing, and adventuresome with it's family, romantic, political, and social issues.  These books are filled with adventures and battles and scenes that draw the reader in to the excitement in a way that I could  picture it in my mind.  There is an interesting piece of these books that deals with "otherness" and the idea that there can be hatred of others just because they are not like ourselves, and it is handled really well and leads to an understanding at the end that it's not the best way to think for us to get along in this society.  I do appreciate that although the books are enjoyable, they also do lead to a message that is important for adolescents to hear.


I am glad that I read the whole series and was satisfied with the way it all ended up. I'm also really glad to know that Cassandra Clare is going to be continuing the series with three more books to be published: City of Fallen Angels in spring 2011, City of Lost Souls in spring 2012, and City of Heavenly Fire in fall 2013. But first, I'll have to read CLOCKWORK ANGEL, which was just released, because it is the first book in The Infernal Devices, a prequel/companion series that takes place 100 years before the events of The Mortal Instruments books.  I'm sure they'll be on my to-read list because I did enjoy my time with these characters in their world and became invested in what happened to them, so I am curious to find out what will happen to them next after the resolution of all of the issues in the first series and the appearance of a happy ending for them all.
4 Stars for CITY OF ASHES
4 Stars for CITY OF GLASS

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