Whoops! I somehow forgot to post on Friday as I usually do. Sorry all; I blame HeroesCon. :3
The fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Lost Souls continues where City of Fallen Angels left off with a two week intermission.
Jace, after reviving Sebastian, has disappeared. No one can locate either boy no matter what attempts they make. Clary has been questioned and cleared by the Clave, and soon learns that while the search for Jace has not been officially ended it is no longer top priority for the Clave. As if matters weren’t awful already, our protagonists learn that Jace and Sebastian are bonded to each other in the demonic version of the parabatai ritual; if one of them is hurt, so is the other.
This causes our little band, out of desperation, to undermine the Clave and take matters into their own hands. They consult with the Seelie Queen, the Iron Sisters, and even demons to find ways to separate Jace and Sebastian. Clary ultimately decides that the best course of action is to go with Jace and find out what he and Sebastian are planning, but to do so will cut her off from her friends and family. This leaves Clary on her own, mostly defenseless and with little means of communication.
Meanwhile, Alec struggles with his continuing mortality and Magnus’ immortality, going so far as to meet with Camille Belcourt in private. Both Isabelle and Maia struggle with their feelings for the boys they like (Simon and Jordan, respectively). And just what is Sebastian’s plan? What is it he really wants to accomplish? It may very well be the end of the Shadowhunters if he succeeds.
City of Lost Souls is probably my least favorite of the entire Mortal Instruments series so far. I was really starting to like Clary even more with the last book as she started to grow into herself. However, I feel like she starts to become too enthralled with Jace to the point that she is ignoring everyone else’s sound advice. I realize that she is trying to save the boy she loves and is willing to take any risks necessary, but she completely ignores the advice of her mother – who more than anyone understands what she is going through – and her best friend. She ignores the advice of seasoned Shadowhunters (Isabelle and Alec) and Magnus, with hundreds of years of experience.
I can’t help but compare Clary to Tessa sometimes. When Tessa wanted to turn herself in to Mortmain to save Jem, she was willing to sacrifice everything for him. But she didn’t as she listened to how that would affect everyone else in the London Institute and ultimately didn’t go. This didn’t stop the chain of events that eventually led her to Mortmain (unwillingly), but she did take into consideration the feelings of her closest friends. But Clary seems to disregard what her friends suggest she do. She follows through with her plans, which even she admits is dangerous and has no idea what she is getting into. This makes me very, very disappointed in Clary as a character after all the development she has gone through.
There was this one moment when Jace comes back to himself and is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. That one moment redeemed Jace in my eyes, much for so than Clary as he was being sensible. This one moment helps to redeem the story for me, despite all the other shortcomings.
There’s enough momentum and plot building in this volume to keep me going (and just enough features and mentions of Brother Zachariah), but the character development for Clary and Jace fall flat for me. Just one more volume and I will be finished with the Mortal Instruments.
My rating: 4/5