City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

 And it just keeps going and going…

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series

 I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m a fan of Cassandra Clare. I’ve read all her books and I’ve enjoyed them, but there is an adolescence to the series that I believe I’ve grown too old to appreciate. I’m only in my early 20s, and I LOVE Young Adult literature but some authors can’t cross over to the older generation as well. Clare is one of those authors. Her books are something I want young girls to read, each novel is packed with life lessons hidden within the text and her characters learn from their mistakes. Even though her characters are juvenile, the narrative voice has a mature overarching tone throughout. And yet, I still feel as though I can’t connect with the characters anymore.

 Don’t get me wrong, City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare was a really good read. I’ve read Clare’s stuff faithfully, but I wouldn’t call myself a diehard fan.

 The Mortal Instrument series continues to fascinate readers, me included. I loved the concept of Jace being taken over by Sebastian. The traveling apartment was interesting and Sebastian is as appalling as ever. There is a lot more face time for secondary characters in this novel. It only felt like half was Jace and Clary and the other half was everyone else. I enjoyed it because I’m more in love with Clare’s secondary characters than her main characters. Simon is my favorite vampire who provides all the common sense and comic relief. Also, Isabelle, the badass shadowhunter with an attitude and great fashion sense, provides a real element and comic relief as well. With Clary and Jace, their characters are so defined and, for lack of a better term, huge, they don’t quite live up to it. Jace is described as the hottest, most arrogant boy on the planet and Clary is such a faithful friend going headlong into danger without a second thought; it just seems like too much for me. They don’t really live up to the greatness Clare has thrust upon them.

 Although, the characters are executed beautifully, but I find myself annoyed with their decisions. Again, it’s that adolescent factor. Granted, I know this is a Young Adult novel and they are in their teens, but this series has that annoying quality where bad stuff always happens, no one ever just gets to be together and everything builds on itself. Everyone is helpless, ALL THE TIME. Everyone is against them, even the people who are supposed to protect them. Some would say that’s good plot building, but for me as a reader, it’s exhausting. I mean, come one, why can’t Clary and Jace just be together? The adults in the novel treat them like children and they think like children, yet they fight like adults and make serious decisions. There is so much conflict without resolution. There is no pay off for going through each battle with the characters. For me, that creates a detachment from the characters. I just want everyone to man up and be their own person! Is that too much to ask?

 I will continue to read this series. Clare comes up with unique spins and surely bad things will continue to rain down on her poor, tortured characters. I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The series seems drawn-out, someone dies and then another rises up. People that are supposed to be dead are magically allowed to continue to exist. There is too much meddling in the logic of a consistent storyline for my comfort. When will it end?!?  However, I’m still a sucker for the world that Clare created. My personal grievances aside, this was a really great installment of the series and I really want to see what happens next.

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