City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare

If you are like me, this will not only be your favorite book in the series, but it will also leave you thinking “What in the hell is happening?!”

“What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.”

The book prior to this one, City of Fallen Angels, left me feeling a little “meh.” It was a good book, don’t get me wrong. Cassandra Clare did something different with the young adult paranormal genre. Angels and demons, vampires and werewolves and warlocks and the fae. All these characters combined and without a heavy dose of religion. The writing is beautiful and there is no questions in regards to where the characters are at in their motives and heads. However, this latest book in the series has turned around my feelings towards this series. Only a bit. I still love Infernal Devices series more, but I’m glad to see some more character growth in this book. I feel that Clary is a little too flakey; Jace is way too perfect and a bit too much of a jackass; and Simon, well, he’s just a poor little puppy dog following Clary around. For crying out loud man, you’re a vampire! Except it! Anyway, never mind that rant there…

And that was my issue with all the previous books was the character development. I felt that all the characters just seemed to be pretty people fighting other pretty people in a secret world of horrors. However, I was happy to see that Clary developed a little bit more in the way of brains and also that Simon and Isabelle are finally developing some kind of real adult feelings for each other. And the villain of the tale, Sebastian, he is super creepy and evil. More creepy than evil (I mean, wants to get busy with his sister? Shiver. Ew.), but still a well rounded bad dude.

I found that the best scene in the way of imagery and scene development was where Clary goes on a far out Fairy-acid trip that goes spectacularly downhill upon getting freaky with Jace. I did enjoy the portion of the scene where Clary is tripping her brains away while Sebastian is having a cryptic and semi-serious conversation with her. It cinematic the way it was written: from the textures of the club to the lights and darks of not only the atmosphere, but also the people there.

My main issue with this installment of the series is that I felt we had to be taken the scenic route to get to the big battle at the end. Lots of exploration in the realm of feelings: love, hate, betrayal. It was an exercise in taking the long way around.

However, all that being said, I got to the end and had to applaud Ms. Clare for a really amazing cliff hanger. I will give away any spoilers only to say that, damn, she set us up to demand for the sixth book to be released as soon as possible.  

From what I have read the sixth will be the last in this series, and I hope that the build up that was made from the previous books pays off.