City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
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.
Ok, this book just blew me away. In the last one, I wasn’t quite engaged, but wow, this one was just plain full of excitement and lots of drama and tension.
I particularly loved how the Sebastian and Jace camaraderie played out. There were times I was really doubting my instincts and, right along with Clary, wondering if things weren’t as bad as they seemed. Then there’s a bit of craziness with Magnus and Alec, but it’s more of a side story, kind of underplayed and yet disappointing. But as for relationships, I think my favorite one is Simon and Isabelle’s. They really grow a lot and in interesting ways.
Oh yeah, and the fight scenes are fantastic. Very exciting and dangerous. Clary gets plenty of opportunities to flex her new Shadowhunter skills in this book. The demons she and the others fight are scary, and unfortunately, I could picture them extremely well.
I listened to the audiobook version of this story, and as for the narration, I thought it was pretty spot on: good pacing, consistent voices for the characters, and all that. Just one narrator this time, one who’s read for the series before. I started these via audio, so I’m planning to follow through to the end the same way.
One thing that bugged me, however, was the continuing brother-sister tension thing. I thought we were through with that theme in previous books, but it rears up again, only worse. I kept thinking to myself, ‘it’s bad enough,’ and, ‘didn’t we already have this plot line?’ Still, it’s not quite the same, and it works for the story, so I guess that’s just what it is.
Another thing I noticed, which I thought was corny, actually, were all the little remarks like of course everybody loves Jace (or Clary or whomever). They’re perfect. There’s also some clunky writing here and there, particularly with some circular descriptions, where the same word keeps popping up to describe the same thing or even itself in close proximity. Just a bit sloppy, and I was surprised I picked it up, especially since I was listening to it and unable to flip back and check.
Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to folks who enjoy paranormal YA fiction with lots of action, drama, and excitement. There’s plenty of angst, too, if you like that sort of thing. Still, I picked up on some things that might annoy folks, so take that with a grain of salt.
Good news is, if you want to play it safe, you could always do like me and borrow this from your local library.
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