City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
I feel like it was just yesterday when I read the end of City of Fallen Angels and wanted to throw the book across the room in frustration. I knew there were going to be THREE whole new books following the original trilogy, so of COURSE we’d be left in some state of cliffy discomfort. But I wasn’t thrilled about the anxiety-ridden wait to find out what happened to Jace and Sebastian. Finally, the wait is over.
Where City of Fallen Angels served as a jumping off point for new dangers and plotlines to take flight, effectively stirring the pot and then leaving us boiling in it, City of Lost Souls actually provides a bit of closure for the biggest plot thread, while successfully ramping up conflict for the final installment. While City of Lost Souls didn’t fly across the room accompanied by a loud outburst of expletives, I’m still clamoring for the next book. There is a lot at stake, and the danger in this half of the series is pulse-pounding, creeptastic stuff.
Here are the best parts of City of Lost Souls:
Clary Steps the $@%$ Up
Clary has always been a solid heroine in this series, but you rarely have the urge to fist pump and go “yeah Fray!” This time around, Clary really comes into her own, proving herself to be a skilled and formidable Shadowhunter, rather than Valentine’s long-hidden daughter with a nifty talent for runes. Clary takes off to follow Jace and Sebastian on her own, and she has to make use of all that training we witnessed in COFA. She fights some seriously nasty demons without any help from her New York Institute pals, hurling weapons and flying through the air like gravity and inertia are fictional concepts. I’m definitely impressed, and am actually kind of glad that Jace was incapacitated for much of the book, so we could see Clary fend for herself in some pretty terrifying situations.
The relationship between Alec and Magnus has progressed to the point where they are like a cute married couple, practically living together at Magnus’s Brooklyn apartment. All’s well in paradise, until Alec decides to take what had been kind of cute jealousy about Magnus’s past, and go a bit psycho-boyfriend. REALLY Alec? You’re going to go to Camille Schadenfreude Belcourt for relationship advice? Did your brain happen to fall out when you were fighting those crazy cult baby killers? I love this relationship so much and want it to work out, but we must keep in mind, this is Alec’s first relationship. He’s bound to screw up something, or it would be a very implausible happily ever after. So I’m actually ok with the events of this book, even though I wanted to slap Alec fiercely.
Psycho Villain With Mommy/Daddy/Sister Issues
Sebastian is just now coming into focus as a formiddable and powerful villain worthy of these new books, perhaps capable of even more destruction than Valentine (blasphemy? maybe, but I don’t think so). When he says he’ll burn down the world, I 100% believe him. His control over Jace and sick fascination with his sister make him the kind of crazy you don’t negotiate with—you just need to TAKE IT OUT. But Basty isn’t sitting still long enough for that to happen. And there is oh-so-much damage he could do in book six.
Jace & Clary Sizzle
Oh wow, do I miss Jace Lightwood; the REAL Jace Lightwood. The snark, the bravado, the one liners, the smoldering ball of sexiness that ignites between him and Clary when they’re together—all of it. It’s been a LONG time since Jace wasn’t under the influence of some evil-doing supernatural force. In the last book, despite the awkwardness that came from Lilith’s influence, we were still able to have a few breakthroughs to the old Jace (and a smoking hot DSBS). In COLS, we have a brief respite from zombie Jace, and it is DELISH. There is also a slightly zombiefied, but still sexy DSCS, and it is nothing to shake a seraph blade at. While I would have liked even MORE DS scenes, I am satisfied with the way Clare was able to deliver Jace & Clary sexy-times in the midst of this mind-control plot.
City of Lost Souls is an action-packed book that kept the excitement level high while giving us generous amounts of time to develop our favorite characters/relationships.
While I’m so very happy this series is going to hit the big screen, I would also really love to see a TV series based on the books someday. There is SO much material here, and so many fantastic characters. These books could provide seasons and seasons of Vampire Diaries style entertainment, with an ever-rotating cast of villains and heroes, rather than being crammed into 12 hours or so in the theater. It’s like Game of Thrones; could you ever possibly imagine that series being made into films? Like, GOOD films? You NEED all that time to do it justice. That’s how I feel about The Mortal Instruments. I hope when the movies are done something like that would be possible.