City of Ashes
By: Cassandra Clare
My Copy: Borrowed from library
The middle book or film in any series is really important to me. In my mind, I call these works "hinges" because they should connect the previous works with those to come, but also include some new elements to entice us to move forward.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has a warm place in my heart because of this. The story connects itself to the past, but also changes to move it into the future. The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie. The Two Towers is my favorite Lord of the Rings film.
A bad hinge story can bore us. If the tale simply rehashes what we already knew and leaves to many plot points hanging, then it has wasted our time.
City of Ashes isn't a bad hinge... but it's not a great one. It elaborated on some of the mysteries of the first book, but you can tell it's left all the good stuff until the end. It was a bit more of an effort to finish it off than with the previous installment. The one big accomplishment of the book was Cassandra Clare's stunning ability to make me not creeped out by the fact that a brother and sister are looking to get it on for half the book. Hell, I even wanted them to just do it already and I know that's weird. So, kudos to her. A lot of careful writing and character development has lead us to a place where we identify with and understand the feelings of Jace and Clary.
Now that I'm done with this one, I'm looking forward to City of Glass. I even went and bought it while I was out this weekend instead of waiting to get it from the library. So, yes, City of Ashes made me want to keep reading, but not much else.