Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare
Released: 8th May 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Gift
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads description:

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?

My thoughts:

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.



    Awesome review, Cait! <3 So glad you enjoyed it!

    PS: Glad to hear that City of Lost Souls' ending is not a cliffhanger!

  2. I finished reading it as soon as it download on my nook...I am so full of mixed emotions right now. So many character developments, ESPECIALLY Simon! I did have to agree that some of the decisions Clary, Jocelyn, Alec made were just idiotic. Overall, it was an amazing read and left me dying to read City of Heavenly Fire. Now I have to wait another year...this sucks:(

  3. I didn't quite find him as....captivating as I expected to

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I wanted him to be as badass as he was in the trailer! :/

  4. You've read this already?! WOOOOOOW! I. Can. Not. Wait. Sounds amazing- I ordered from Amazon and my copy hasn't even shipped yet!

  5. My book still hasn't shipped, but it's supposed to be here by Thursday. I can't wait! You know, I really started liking Isabelle in CoFA. I can't wait to meet her again in CoLS. I'm a little worried about the Clary and Jocelyn aspect. I should have seen that coming. lol

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book! I'm super excited to read it already. :)

  6. I am going to start reading it as soon as my daughter goes down for her nap. I tried to download my pre-order for my nook at midnight, but B&N sucks and said it still wasn't available so I downloaded it first thing this morning. I can't wait to read it. Simon is one of my favorite characters, so I like that he has even more character growth. I can't wait to get my pretty copy of CoLS in the mail. I got the special edition with the letter to Jace from his father in the back. Awesome review!!

  7. Thank goodness!! I didn't know how I felt about the last book but I'm so so happy about your review for CoLS!! :)

  8. I decided to quit after City of Glass but I did always want to know about Simon and what happens to him. I just can't keep reading these, though. :( Clary and Jace drive me nuts!

  9. oh, glad you liked this one! not sure if I'll read it, though, since COFA wasn't my favorite book of the series and Clary is so dumb anyways... I don't like her at all. Although definitely curious about it. thanks!

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

  10. Woo! I've been curious about whether this would be a hit or miss since CoFA seemed to start going downhill even though people still generally liked it I think. I'm glad to hear this is great! :) Ah, Clary. I don't even know if I like her or not. I think for the most part, I just find her okay. I am SO WORRIED for Magnus and Alec D: STAY STRONG, MY FAVOURITE COUPLE OF THE SERIES <3 <3 <3 And yeah, I can understand the Jocelyn hate :/ I didn't really like her at all in the previous books... Luke is way too good for her LOL. I can't wait to read this one!


  11. It was a good read overall. Clary so does get on my nerves as does Alec. Seriously Magnus is better off without him. Poor Magnus and all the things he does for Clary and the gang. Never so much as a thanks.

  12. I agree with some of your review, but felt that COFA was better than this one; Clary pissed me off - she was weepy, indecisive and at times, an idiot in her decision making. Jace was so flat in this one, I was disappointed, and not a single "oh sh*t" moment in this book. I think Magnus was a cop out at the end to try and yank the heart strings, but I felt most of the book was just "setting up" for the last one. Not a very exciting read.... :( Hope the last one is better...

  13. Can't really say anything besides I agree with everything you wrote. And that I now NEED Clockwork Princess SO much. And CoHF. Honestly. I may go crazy. So many theories... Great review!

  14. I've never been a fan of Clary . . . so it doesn't sound like she'll ever improve in the series. But I love me some Simon and Malec - oh and a bit of my awesome Sebastian - so I can't wait to read this book just to read scenes with all of them in it! Anyway great review!

  15. I am SO NERVOUS. I can feel myself trembling inside because this series has the power to unnerve and frighten and sadden me. I'm so invested in many of the characters, and if anything really truly horrible happens it'll be hard for me to come down from that. I'm looking forward to an intriguing story, but I feel very protective over these characters and I hope we don't get heartbroken in the very end.

  16. So so jealous that you've read this already! It's next up on my to be read pile as it only arrived yesterday! A lot of people are saying it's wayyy better than CoFA and eeek! I just can't wait to get to it. I've never been a fan of Clary so I have a feeling she may annoy me in this book too I'm a Tessa girl all the way baby! Thanks for the honest and fantastic review!

  17. Awesome review, Cait! I am reading this at the moment and it is SOO good! :)

  18. I haven't read this book yet. It's sitting happily on the top of my to-read pile. Yes, it has trumped a few others. haha But, I'm not gonna read your review yet. I just wanted to stop by and say HI! So


  19. I'm in the middle of this book now and I am enjoying it so much! I decided not to read the entire review yet but I'll be back! I happened upon your blog through Avery's Book Nook, and I'm your newest follower.
    ~ Leigh Ann @ http://flyingonsilverwings.blogspot.com/

  20. I have been a fan of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series for a few years now and I think it's a safe bet to say that it is my favorite book series. However, the last book, City of Fallen Angels, kind of fell flat for me and I was starting to worry that maybe this series had lost focus. I am happy to say that City of Lost Souls brought me back to why I love the Shadowhunter world and left me itching for more!

    I think that one of my initial fears going into this book was that with Jace missing, a lot of the witty banter that makes these books so fun would be gone, but Jace is in most of the book and his personality does not suffer. Also, I found myself falling more in love with the relationships in this book. Simon and Isabelle, Jordan and Maia, Alec and Magnus, even Clary and Jace, all showed so much development throughout this book and I was appreciative to see how it unfolded.

  21. I've listened to the audiobooks of this series and have really enjoyed them, for the most part. I agree it was hard to not have Jace be himself for most of this story.


Thanks to blogger making it easy for us to reply to comments I will now be replying where possible, so if you comment be sure to check back! =]