Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Released: 8th May 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
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?
Where to start with this one? I was very excited to get it and I read it in a day. The pacing is good, it's not heart-racingly, blood-pumpingly fast but it moves along in a way that means it's never boring or slow.
Clary, in a fit of her standard recklessness, goes off to 'save' Jace, leaving everyone else to do the actual work. I was starting to like Clary, but she did kinda get on my nerves a bit in this book. I mean, she was there more so she could tell the story of what Jace and Sebastian were up to, but she never really did anything, and when she did have a chance to help, she was too weak to take it. Ultimately, she did make the hard decision, and she did redeem herself, but by that point I was a little fed up of her.
Fortunately, we spent a lot of time with the other characters and that helped. I think Isabelle grew a lot in this book, and I liked seeing that. She's fairly adult, and mature about everything that goes on; yet at the same time she reveals some of her vulnerability. Simon too, I really liked. He starts to come into himself more, away from Clary I think he really steps up and he makes some tough calls. Magnus and Alec....my heart ached for Magnus and Alec. Magnus in particular. Poor bloke. He's changed a lot since book 1, he's sacrificed a lot, he's committed himself and in this book it does sorta come back to bite him in the arse. I think he handled everything in the best possible way, but that doesn't make me happy about it! Alec, I do feel really bad for him, but he was a complete idiot. Jocelyn was another to get on my nerves, her and Clary clearly have this whole mother/daughter annoyance factor. She now refuses to treat her daughter as the shadowhunter she is, and has even admitted that keeping it from her has made Clary reckless and it has. I resent Jocelyn's poor decision making. Sebastian comments that Jocelyn is just as ruthless as Valentine, and I actually think he's right.
Ah, Sebastian.His relationships with both Jace and Clary are very bizarre but for different reasons. I didn't quite find him as....captivating as I expected to,but I really liked to see the developments in his character. I'm not sure how complex a character he is, how much of him is an act and how much is the real Sebastian. Jace was...well, bonded. And bonded Jace is unnerving.
Plot wise, this is definitely superior to CoFA. There's a big, overarching plot, there's things that need to be unravelled, there's information to be uncovered, risks to take, gambles to make. There's lots of nice little subplots, spin-off elements that all worked well. The ending of CoLS isn't the huger shocker that CoFA was, but it definitely sets a tone of foreboding. Lots of things happen in the build-up to the last pages, things that are definitely going to have some pretty huge consequences. I'm definitely intrigued for the final book, I think we can expect big things
At over 500 pages, CoLS isn't a small book, but I never once got bored. Reading about these characters is like slipping into a favourite pair of pyjamas; it's comforting and familiar. Yet at the same time Cassie's exemplary storytelling and interesting plots make for an exciting read.