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City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments Book 5) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 546 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Here are the four reasons why I gave The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls 4 out of 5 stars:
★ COVER ART
I don't usually give stars for a book's cover, because the outside of a book does not necessarily allude to what exists on the inside. A plain cover may hold the most intricately written, thought-provoking story. And, an elegantly designed cover may contain a dull, one-dimensional story.
We've all heard this stated a lot simpler: Never judge a book by its cover.
Well, I am throwing that idea out of the window today because this is a book cover that I would frame and put on my wall; it's just so damn beautiful.
All of the covers in Clare's Mortal Instruments series are remarkably stunning, but this cover is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite. There is just something about Clary and Jace's loving embrace, and not to mention the models who are the perfect embodiment of those two characters.
In City of Lost Souls, Jace has been bound to his evil adoptive brother Sebastian. Clary, Isabelle, Alec, Simon and Magnus must figure out how to unbind Jace from Sebastian, among other things. I really liked the plot of Book Five. It allowed readers to venture outside of New York with the characters, and to see a different side of Sebastian--a side that really loves Clary (or at least what he considers love).
Action, humor, romance, adventure: City of Lost Souls has it all.
★ CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
I like reading about Jace and Clary, but I have to admit that their relationship is beginning to fall on the back burner for me as new, more dynamic characters emerge. Magnus & Alec, Isabelle & Simon, Maia & Jordan, and even Sebastian (who has no pairing) are getting more spotlight. And, this is Clare's greatest move. We are seeing how love is changing these people. Even Sebastian. He seems to be lonely and in need of companionship or love, and it makes you sympathize with him throughout this book. In my opinion, Clary and Jace haven't really reached the peaks of their development arcs yet. However, we do see Clary display some of her new fighting skills in this book.
★ BREAKS BOUNDARIES
Cassandra Clare is not afraid to journey across untread waters with her stories.
I love the way she writes about sexuality. When you are reading her stories, you're not thinking "Oh, yeah, Alec and Magnus are gay. Helen and Aline are gay." When you read Clare's works, you simply see these characters as people who are in love. Her writing is very poetic and lyrical, and it really speaks to emotions, emotions that help you to forget about gender, race, and stereotypes. In this way, Clare's writing literally breaks boundaries for me, because in the world she creates there are no boundaries, just love.
Clare also touches on another topic that you don't often see in YA books--incest. This theme recurs in her stories. We see it first in City of Ashes in the case of Jace & Clary being in love even after finding out that they are brother and sister. And then it returns in City of Glass, when Clary meets Sebastian. But, things get really uncomfortable with City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire.
The subject of incest is disagreeable, but I admit that it is well written and it fits into Clare's overall story. She is trying to evoke specific emotions from her readers when she writes on this topic--disgust, confusion, empathy--and she succeeds in doing so.
The Mortal Instruments books are generally pretty long. But, sometimes they can be too long as is the case with City of Lost Souls.
The length of this book gives way to repetition; I felt that some of the same things were being said over and over, some of the same points were being re-re-emphasized. I also thought that the length created a lack of action and plot projection.
So, all in all, this book just seemed unnecessarily drawn out.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed City of Lost Souls. It's definitely not my favorite of the series, but I would not say it's my least favorite either. I highly recommend this series to everyone. Before this series, I thought I hated fantasy but, as it turns out, I was wrong. You guys should give it a try and see how you like it!
Clare has created a very complex world of Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, faeries, etc. Rarely do we see an author handle so much subject matter effectively--Cassandra Clare does so with grace.
But in this book, I found (spoiler alert) the development of the villain (Sebastian) more complex, and far more interesting. I actually found the lure of his and Jace's world, with the addition of Clary, dangerously exciting and kind of intoxicating. Why should I villain be one dimensional? Why wouldn't he freely consort in a land of gray and thereby make Clary's and Jace's view of the world ...well....better rounded? Of course, the promise of this particular ( and most adult) fantasy of mine was eventually dashed by the proverbial battle of black and white, but nonetheless it presented itself as a possibility for a good chunk of the book, and for this reason I give this a 4 star review.
My happily ever after would involve some strange, somewhat dark world, where twenty something versions of Jace, Sebastian and Clary would be vaguely "bad" and cause a good deal of mischief for others, (but mostly themselves)...with a lot of messiness and moral ambiguity....but crap...thats the plot of Breaking Bad....
and I will go back to my adult pleasures.
Without giving away too much, the Clave is putting all their effort into searching for someone who was revived at the end of the last book. This leaves Clary, along with the now dubbed Team Good, to lead their own search for their own missing teammate. Everyone has to resort to desperate measures to keep said teammate alive, culminating in an intense final battle that will be the prelude of things to come.
I enjoyed most of the characters and was intrigued by their conflicts. I like what the author has done with Isabelle and Simon. Magnus never fails to disappoint whether it be his antics or his dialogue. Alec's development was disappointing, but understandable given the circumstances.
The reason I say I enjoy most of the characters is because of how Jace and Clary were handled in the book. I have to say, I liked the two of them better when they weren't together. Jace hasn't been himself for two books and I found myself really missing his character. Clary, on the other hand, I like less as a character the more I read about her. She does two selfish things in this book, one of which was so terrible that I found myself unable to keep reading for a moment because I was so angry with her. I know that the reader is supposed to forgive her because she does these things out of love, but my problem is that she isn't doing these things for the person she loves. She's doing them for herself. Her only saving grace is that at the end she realizes what an awful thing she's done and tries to make up for it. She was my least favorite character to read about in this book, even though much of the story surrounding her is interesting.
Overall, I would definitely recommend reading this book if you're a fan of the series. If you were disappointed with the last book, you won't regret getting this one. This book is either my second favorite or tied for my favorite entry in the series.
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