I read the Mortal Instruments series fairly recently after much begging from my friends and I really enjoyed it (save for the fourth book which I had some issues with). So I was excited when I heard City of Lost Souls was coming out within a month after I read the fourth book. Excited and scared.
General Summary: Jace disappears and Clary is on a misson to find and save him. However, when Jace does reappear he’s not himself. He’s connected to Clary’s creepy brother Sebastian. So doing what she does best, Clary acts impulsively in order to save Jace’s life. But will her impulsiveness work this time around?
I was a little skeptical about reading this book. I wasn’t that impressed with the fourth one, but I had such great thoughts about the first three that I decided to read it despite my qualms. The results were mixed.
Let’s talk about the good first. I do think there was a lot of plot development in this installment of the series. It is quite obvious that Clare is setting up Heavenly Fire to be pretty epic and I can’t wait. Also, kudos to Clare for answering some questions while making me have even more. It’s always good to raise interest for the next installment. And she did this without an overt cliffhanger too. So, good for her.
Okay, the bad. There’s little Jace in this novel. And when he is in the book, for the most part he’s this Sebastian-fied Jace which sucks ass. Big time. Jace was one of the only reasons I continued reading this series. His point of view was so interesting, until he and Sebastian bonded now he’s essentially Sebastian’s patsy who likes to get high and try to have sex with Clary. I don’t like reading that Jace. In fact, I’d rather read about Simon.
Who was actually surprisingly better in this installment: yes, I liked Simon.
So that must tell you how much Jace sucked under Sebastian’s control or for that matter how much Clare has done a turn around on the Simon character. And if it’s the latter good job, Clare.
My biggest problem with the book was the return of incest. I hate, hate, hated the incest plot in books one through three. And I thought Clare put an end to this silliness in book three, but nope. Sebastian apparently wants his sister so much he’d take her by force if necessary. And all I have to say is
This ickiness aside, I really couldn’t get any Sebastian love. He is a dark character. And while I do enjoy a good baddie, I think I would’ve preferred Valentine to return from the bad because A) He was a gray character which allows for more character development, B) I like one consistent baddie in my series, and C) Sebastian just creeps me out.
Best Feature: Less Simon (or at least Tolerable Simon): Although, Simon played a huge part in this book he was more tolerable. Almost like old Simon except he had fangs. And even though I don’t like what he did to Isabelle in the previous books, I have to admit that they’re pretty cute together.
Worst Feature: Incest: I was hoping with City of Glass the series had seen the end to its incest plot. However, it appears Sebastian has inappropriate feelings for his sister too. And Clary, even though she hates him, can’t help but admit that he’s good looking. Must I show this clip again:
Appropriateness: Let’s just put it this way, this book is a borderline adult book. While there are not as many action sequences as there was in its predecessors, it still contained some rather grisly scenes with intense imagery. Also, there are several sex scenes in the book. Nothing too graphic but it’s implied that the characters are having sex. Finally, there is an attempted rape in the book that involves incest. So definitely for the older teen crowd.
Overall Rating: This is a tricky book to rate. While a part of me liked it a lot better than City of Fallen Angels, there were parts of this book I found even to be more annoying. Because of that I’m going to give it a six out of ten.