Saturday, May 19, 2012

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

- The Mortal Instruments #5
Release date: May 8th 2012
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

And with that huge summary, here we are: City of Lost Souls is officially out, and after so many negative reviews, haters lashing out at Cassandra Clare for writing yet another novel, and fans swooning and dying to read the aforementioned book, I decided to read it on my own and see what I thought of it. The thing is, The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite series, and to say I was happy when I found out City of Glass was going to have a sequel is an understatement. City of Fallen Angels was, however, a disappointing story, so my expectations weren't that high.

City of Lost Souls was a typical Cassandra Clare book. Slow beginning, a lot of character development, and an ending that blows your mind. I usually have issues with the first chapters or so, because I can't handle all the unnecessary descriptions that Cassandra adds in the dialogues. They end up being kind of boring, because just when I start paying attention to the conversation, the narration focuses on how the guy is feeling and how the light makes his t-shirt look shinier than it really is, even though I don't really care. This only happens in The Mortal Instruments series, and that's why I end up skipping some pages. However, in City of Lost Souls, I was so into the story that I actually read and paid attention to every single detail.

The character development in this book is solid. Jordan, Isabelle, and Clary, especially, surprised me a lot. It's amazing how, even after four books, there's still so much to work with. Isabelle and Clary were my favorite characters, and not because they were so badass (although they were badass... but that's not the point). Isabelle let Simon go past her emotional walls, and Clary, on the other hand, learned how to truly be a Shadowhunter. That's exactly what I was waiting to happen since book three, and I couldn't be any more glad at Cassandra Clare.

Jace, however, was... not a disappointment, exactly, but exhausting. I had to think this over and over in my head for a few days, but it's the truth. Don't get me wrong; I love Jace, and I suffered right along with him and Clary, wanted to kill Sebastian just as badly as him. But there was something missing. It's like there's nothing else to say about him, so Cassandra just recycled the first three books and threw it at Jace again. It's tiring. I can't stand his anguish and self-hatred anymore. All I wanted to do was yell "Get over it!" right at his face. It would be nice to see how Jace would behave normally, without crying or leashing out at everyone he loves because he still thinks this is the best option. Even then, though, I still loved Jace.

And so, I must say that the waiting was worth it. More than a year waiting for City of Lost Souls to come out was worth it. Solid plot, revolting villain, and a fantastic ending. Cassandra Clare disappointed me when it came to Jace, but she built an outstanding story. It's actually quite funny, you know. Just when I finished City of Lost Souls, I remembered why I became a fan of this series in the first place. This world, these adventures, ... they're not something you can forget easily. And I won't. I really won't.

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