Winter Reads: Book One {City of Lost Souls}

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Okay, Cassandra Clare, thank you for this book. First thank you because City of Fallen Angels was such a disappointment for me (I'll get around to those reviews eventually, promise. I know I'm doing these in a weird order, but bear with me!). Second, thank you for writing another book that makes me laugh so much.

I loved the first three books of this series. LOVED. And I, like everyone else in the world, thought The Mortal Instruments was a trilogy. Buy silly us! You couldn't let go of your characters yet! How could you - they were happy, things were perfect! Why not ruin that and make their lives difficult again? So, book #4 was one of those moments where a lot of readers felt like you were pulling a Stephanie Meyer, Breaking Dawn move - that you couldn't leave well enough alone.

But then, thankfully, you wrote City of Lost Souls and a lot of us have been forced to shut up. I still I wish you had made City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and whatever book comes next into another, independent trilogy. Just for face value's sake. Leave the first three where they were and "start over" with a new trilogy. But, beggars can't be choosers - I'm just thankful this book has been able to redeem the series.

I'm going to assume, if you've read this far, that you've read the first four books of this series. If you haven't: go, read them! Then come back to this post, okay?

The plot is as such: Jace is still missing at the beginning of this book and the Shadowhunters have been on the lookout for him since the night with Lillith. Unfortunately the clave has decided that locating Jace is no longer a top priority. Finding Sebastian is. Meanwhile, Clary is on trial for, well, essentially everything from the first four books. Once the young Shadowhunters and their friends (Clary, Alec, Isabelle, Mangus, and Simon) make a pact to find him themselves, at whatever the cost. They turn to the Seelies, deamnos, and the Iron Sisters - all in hope to save their friend.

When Jace and Clary finally meet again, Clary realizes that Jace has become possessed by the magic of the deamon Lillith. This magic has united Jace and Sebastian completely - whatever pain one feels, the other feels; whatever injury ones sustains, so does the other; if one dies, they both die. Clary, against all reason, decides to play a dangerous game that could cost her her life and Jace's soul.

All the while dramatic and terrifying events are taking place in the lives of all the main characters. Love, betrayal, heartbreak, magic, and secrets are at the core of this novel. Cassandra Clare does not disappoint with this installment of the series.

It's true, I really enjoy this series. I love Clare's quick wit with her characters. I love the relationships she has built among them. Not just romantically, but the bonds of friendship between them all is inspiring. Yes, Clary's love for Jace borders on the creepy level of Bella's for Edward, but it is a believable love and Clary is a strong female character who takes action for those she loves (I want to stop making any hint at comparison between these two series' because there's nothing similar about them). 

Clary showed a lot of heart and a fair amount of development over the course of this book. She is a strong, devoted character - the type that a lot of young adult readers need to see today. Simon is still probably one of my favorite characters. It's been great to watch him grow since becoming a vampire and to watch his relationships with Clary and Isabelle grow. Jace was probably the best written character in the book - the dual versions of him? The anguish? It was amazing. Sebastian was even sympathetic at points - which I thought was impossible for a cunning picture of evil. And don't get me started on Alec! Send me an email when you know what I'm talking about because I am dying for someone to read this book so I can talk to them about it! 

Like I said at the beginning, this book was a total redemption for Clare after the last book. Was it perfect, probably not. But it was incredibly enjoyable and I cannot wait for the next book to come out.

Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult
Medium: Hard Cover
Pages: 535
Date Read: 12 December 2012
First Line: Simon stood and stared numbly at the front door of his house. 
Favorite Line: "Basia coquum," Simon said. "Or whatever their motto is." - "It's 'Descensus Averno facilis est.' 'The descent into hell is easy,'" said Alec. "You just said 'kiss the cook.'" - "Dammit," said Simon. "I knew Jace was screwing with me." 
Last Line: I am coming. [whited out for spoiler's sake]
Recommended: Yes. It's a good story, a good installment in the series, and a total redemption for the previous book.
Recommended For: Middle School +, Lovers of YA Fiction, People who love sarcasm & snark, Paranormal lovers, Those who have read the first 4 books of the series :)

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