Wednesday, July 11, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 544 pages

"Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series."

This is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series so I highly advise leaving this review if you haven't read up to City of Fallen Angels. I will admit that after reading the first three books I was so smitten with the series. Cassandra Clare has a way of developing this spectacular world in the middle of New York City with characters full of life. But I will also admit that after I heard Cassandra Clare was creating three more books to make six in total, I was a little disappointed. Mostly, because I loved how everything came together at the end of City of Glass and also because I wanted it to stay that way. Don't get me wrong, I adore Jace, but I was just getting sort of annoyed with how he was dealing with Clary. City of Lost Souls was difficult for me to finish because I just could not get so enveloped in the plot like I usually do with Clare's lovely novels. I didn't find it was terrible, I did enjoy it, but I just expected something better and also, not so long.

The plot starts to get interesting when Jace is missing, and he is missing with none other than Sebastian. We all know how evil Sebastian is, so this stirs quite the passion within Clary because she has to get Jace back. Naturally, of course. The only problem? If you kill Sebastian, you kill Jace. Somehow they are linked together and it's quite the mystery. Everyone is set off to help save Jace: Alec, Magnus, Isabelle, Simon, and Clary, obviously. Clary is just as reckless as she's been before. Her bravery truly does shine throughout the novel and the lengths she is willing to go to so she can save Jace. Alec and Magnus are tied to each other, but Magnus's immortality stirs up a few troubles within their relationship. Simon will basically never get over Clary, which is what I've always found a little irritating, but he's falling a bit for Isabelle too. Isabelle is good for Simon and vice versa. I was also glad to see that Simon had some character development. He seems to discover more courage as the novel reaches its climax. Jace can be hard to read at times, but he's still his same snarky self. The scenes where Jace and Clary are together were probably my favorite scenes and the ones I would look forward to most.

Clare always has one main conflict and drive for her characters, but then she also always has lots of little side plots going on. She does do a fantastic job at switching the scenes, pacing the reader so they'll have to read to the next chapter or snippet to find out how the problems will get resolved. That much I did like. But the part that I didn't like was that I wanted more of the real Jace. I know I'm not the first to say this, so don't get mad at me, but I do not like Simon. I don't want to be rude about it, but I sort of don't care so much about his personal life and the extents of it, however we get to hear from Simon's sister, Becky, and there is definitely more of the focus on Simon throughout the novel. I know Simon has always been there for Clary, but there comes a time when everyone just moves on. I was hoping that would happen a lot sooner.

The writing is detailed, as always, with Clare's books. I could picture every scene in my head with ease. At times she does get a little carried away, but it didn't bother me really. It's nice to see her writing improve throughout each book.

Overall, I did not love City of Lost Souls like I had hoped I would. I adore the characters wholeheartedly, but the plot twist sort of got annoying. I think this is due to the fact that this is the fifth book and after book three I started to lose interest. If you're a die-hard fan of The Mortal Instruments series or Cassandra Clare, I say read it, but if you weren't that intrigued by City of Fallen Angels, I say pass.

Rating: 3 stars - I liked it. Worth borrowing.

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