Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)Book: City of Lost Souls
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Library Copy
Pages: 534
My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Summary:
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?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

'You can't raise a child to believe the opposite of what you do. I don't think she doesn't believe she can die. I think, just like you always did, she believes there are things worth dying for.'

Hear that? I think that's the sound of Cassandra Clare's brilliance coming back. If there is one thing that is true about the Mortal Instruments series, I think it's that this book is way better than its predecessor. The plot isn't going haywire anymore, and for once there's direction to what the characters are doing. That's not to say that all the different perspectives and couples didn't boggle my mind, but I will willingly overlook that in this case. Clare has brought back the old sparkle that made her previous books so hotly discussed. I was no longer irritated with her for drawing out Clary and Jace's suffering. In fact, I thought Jace was pretty cute in this book. It was probably because he'd lost all moral obligation and wasn't angsting all over the place like he was in CoFA. My mom actually read this book before me, and she agrees with me. I really enjoyed the multiple facets that were seemingly given to Sebastian, and I almost found myself trusting him too. Which I never should have done, but kudos to Cassandra Clare for making me almost believe that the evilest evil-doer on the face of evil could actually be good. The best villains, after all, are the ones who are convinced that they're doing something right. Also, I am now 99% certain that Brother Zachariah is Will. Please. His "interest" in the Herondales and that time when he says he would die for two people? He's definitely not Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

One thing that stands out to me most about this book: Clary. She goes from the wimpy girl from CoB to a total demon ass-kicking heroine. I was pretty worried in the middle about her developing a case of Stockholm Syndrome, but even though she wavered at moments, she never forgot about the task at hand. Especially when she fights back against Sebastian. Speaking of Sebastian and Clary. Ewwwww. That scene with them...ewwwwwww. That is all I have to say. Anyway, Clary's final act at the climax proved to me that she had learned from all her experiences considering selfishness, love, and sacrifice. Which brings me to the next topic.

Whew, is there a lot of sacrifice in this book. There are people offering themselves up left and right, clandestine exchanges everywhere...It's a pretty bittersweet ending that this book has, and I hope that all of the characters will end up finding happiness, if only because all of them have been through such complete, utter crap. I mean, Magnus and Alec? It made me sad. It really did. But I was glad that Magnus had finally decided to speak out against the way everyone was treating him like the answer to everything. But I really like Magnus, and so I hope he and Alec solve their problems and are a happily ever after couple. Because they deserve nothing less.

One thing that niggles me about this book is the fact that the Clave seems totally useless. They're like the cops in those superhero movies, in that they always rush in and make things worse by getting in the superheroes' faces with their walky-talkies and badges or whatnot, and in the end their cop cars blow up and the villains escape because of them. I haven't seem them do anything good, actually. Their contempt towards Downworlders and the ineffectiveness of the "Law" don't exactly strike much faith in me. Also, I didn't enjoy Maia and Jordan's pillow talk. Or anything about them, really. Too much kissing, not much else happening. That was a problem throughout the book for me, actually. There was too much almost-sex happening where it didn't really mean anything, and I found myself skimming those parts. The ol' metaphors and similes are still at large, and I could have done with less description. But I loved learning about Paris, Prague, and Venice. It's always a nice surprise when the characters travel to different places.

Other than that, I really did like this book. I finished it in two days, if that's any indication.

Last thoughts:
Maureen: What. The. Flipping. Flamingo. I'm scared.
And one again, Magnus and Alec:

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