City of Lost Souls
By: Cassandra Clare
The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.
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.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but when I look back on what actually happened in the book (character interactions and choices, and plot points), I found major, MAJOR flaws. This will probably end up being a long review because I will ramble on about a lot of things that bothered me, and even though it will seem like there are more downsides than upsides (which there are), I cannot bring myself to rate this book lower than 2.5 stars because, frankly, I enjoyed the book and Sebastian was an interesting villain, and at the end of the day I ended up rooting for him *shudders*.
So the world development was great. Aside from all of the problems I had with this book, what kept me reading was the world descriptions. In this book, the reader is transported from New York to Paris to Prague, and Venice. The constant changing of scenery is what kept me hooked. I love the idea of a house that can travel anywhere you want it to go. It’s perfect for a villain such as Sebastian, because he is difficult to track when he is always moving around. The impeccable descriptions of Europe made me feel like I was there alongside the characters, and whenever that happens, I am completely sold and it saves the book from complete slaughter.
This is where everything went downhill. I was never much of a fan of the main characters (ie: Clary and Jace). They are stale and are not good for each other. Plus basically every character in the book (aside from Magnus, he doesn’t really care much for any of the characters except for Alec) would rather have the world destroyed by Sebastian than to kill Jace… because that is SO realistic. If killing Jace would save the world from burning, I’d do it no matter how much he meant to me. The only good character development in this book was Sebastian’s, and I actually like how Clary can somewhat defend herself finally after four books of throwing herself into danger, just to be saved by Jace in the end. That’s also a problem I have with Clary, she throws herself into the most ridiculous situations and makes the absolute worst choices that get people (and almost herself) killed. Next on this list is Jordan and Maia. I actually like these characters but aside from Jordan giving Simon a place to live and having ties to the Praetor Lupus, he and Maia are basically the most useless characters in modern literature. They have an on-again-off-again relationship that drives me nuts and they take up so many pages of a book that is already too thick for the content. Next we go to Magnus and Alec. This is my favorite relationship in the book, but having Alec being so insecure about himself and being angry at Magnus (who is like 400 years old btw), for having dated people in the past makes absolutely no sense at all. I get why he is insecure, I mean he is an 18 year old boy he is dating a 400+ year old warlock who could, frankly, decide one day to just pack up his stuff and poof to Jupiter or something without even leaving a note, but even considering to take away Magnus’ immortality behind his back (even though Magnus has secretly considered it himself), is something that is sabotage on an entirely new level. Simon and Izzy are okay, but they should just stop beating around the bush and confess their love for each other already. Their story line is getting boring and stretched thin.
Barely anything ever happens in this book, which is around 530 pages long. Jace is connected to Sebastian and if you stab Sebastian, you are basically stabbing Jace also. This is clever writing, but the way it was handled, not the best. Because of the connection with Sebastian, Jace feels whatever Sebastian feels (if Sebastian wants to blow up the moon, so will Jace), but because of the true love between Jace and Clary, Jace is able to make decisions for himself. Hmmm…. Cliche much? What really baffles me is how four shadowhunters, two werewolves, one vampire, and a warlock are able to get their hands on a weapon that can kill Sebastian, but not even hurt Jace a little bit, whilst the Clave isn’t even able to find a toothpick with Sebastian’s saliva on it. (Okay, not a good example, but you get the point). I understand that the Clave is supposed to be corrupt or whatever, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful and resourceful. And that’s not even mentioning the little tiny sub-plots including Alec going behind Magnus’ back meeting up with one of the warlock’s old flames in order to un-immortalize him, Clary being trapped somewhere (and losing) the only communication device she has with her friends, and Angels being complete and utter useless pieces of heavenly power that do nothing for the plot aside from helping the main characters when they could easily kill them. Like can’t an angel of the lord defy a shadowhunter’s wishes if he pleases to do so? They are supposed to be all mighty and powerful, and their actual existence in the books should blow the reader (and character’s) minds, but we are all ultimately let down by their lame portrayal.
Let me know what you think of the book and my review in the comments below!