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Thursday, May 17, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Pages: 536
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound
Description: Goodreads
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.

If you are reading this review of the fifth volume in the Mortal Instruments series in order to decide whether to read the series, here is my heartfelt recommendation: 

Step away from the computer, go pick up a copy of City of Bones, open to page 1, and begin.  

Once you’ve flown through all five books in a matter of days and are left bleary-eyed from a mind-bending combination of uncontrollable sobbing and lack of sleep, return here to participate in the commiseration known as Shadowhunter Feels.

City of Lost Souls is full of all the aspects we’ve grown to expect from this wild and unpredictable series: there's sweeping romance, pulse-pounding action, and an exceedingly complex and creep-tastic villain.


CoLS picks up right where we left off in City of Fallen Angels for a short but heart-wrenching scene, then skips ahead two weeks to deal with the aftermath of Jace’s disappearance and Jonathan/Sebastian’s reappearance.  As usual, the Siblings Lightwood and Clary want to do whatever they can to locate and rescue Jace. Clary’s fierce stubbornness propels her on a journey she cannot possibly imagine or prepare for.  It’s Team Good vs. Team Evil in a battle for Jace’s soul, and no one knows if he can ever be restored.

Since this is the penultimate book of the series, much of this reads like a long set-up to what will be a fantastically written and satisfying ending.  As much as I ended up enjoying this installment, it did read a bit slower for me than TMIs past.  There was a ton of justifiable explanation to do in order to discover how to find Jace—not to mention the goings-on of Clary, Simon, Izzy, Alec, Magnus, Jordan, Maia, Jocelyn, and Luke—that by the time Clary finally embarks, I could not turn the pages fast enough.

Without giving away too much, I will say that Simon Lewis continues to be my favorite character of the series.  His growth over the past five books from quippy nerd sidekick to quippy bad-ass vampire has been so fun to watch.  I especially like his interaction with Izzy.  Neither of them knows quite what to do or say to each other, but it’s so fun to watch them figure it out.  In fact, the romantic relationships in this series, specifically this book, are one of the strongest elements of the story.  They are rich and varied, from Jordan and Maia’s bitter past to Magnus and Alec’s shaky present to Clary and Jace’s possibly impossible future.  There truly is something for everyone.

Long story short, I am ready for City of Heavenly Fire now, like now now.  I know Cassandra Clare’s got to be one of the busiest bees in the biz by now, with numerous books set for publication all the way through 2015, but you can make an exception for me, right?  Like I said, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and read this series (as well as the Infernal Devices series, which I actually like even more than this one!).  You will feel a million different things, but I guarantee you won’t feel disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great series, though I've been random about reading them (not in order and not all of them). At some point, I really need to read them straight through!