As readers of series starter City of Bones already know, teenager Clary Fray is a Shadowhunter, a demon slayer who has the gift (?) of spotting Downworlder werewolves, vampires, and faeries. She is also an adolescent in an abnormally dysfunctional family: Her mom is in a magically induced coma and her father is probably insane and undoubtedly evil. All of which places Clary in situations that would challenge even the most talented average American girl.
Having whipped through City of Bones and being left with uncertainties in a particular part of the story line, I was anxious to get some resolution in City of Ashes. This might explain why, initially, I found this one a slow starter. I just couldn't get passed that one element.
Fortunately, Cassie Clare's writing doesn't allow you much time to dwell over not getting the exact story line you want. Clare feeds you a little of want you want (even though you know you really shouldn't want it) in devious ways that make you need to continue. She offers the reader clues, making you question what things mean or what the outcome will be. For the most part, it only takes a few pages for these questions to be answered...except for the one big one.
The conclusion of City of Ashes was full of fighting and intrigue and truly made you want to seek out the final book in this series immediately. What I found refreshing here is that this book avoided that familiar second book slump; it did not merely act as a bridge between the first book, which is meant to catch your attention, and the last book, with all of the necessary resolutions. City of Ashes stood it's ground.
City of Ashes may have started slowly for me (with my hesitant reading) but it definitely picked up pace quickly thereafter. This was another fantastic offering from Cassandra Clare in this dazzling, captivating world she has created!