Saturday, June 23, 2012

REVIEW: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Audience: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Mortal Instruments #5
Format: Audiobook

Summary: Two weeks after the cliffhanger ending of City of Fallen Angels, Jace and Sebastian are still missing. The Clave is determined to locate and kill Sebastian, and Jace's disappearance is of little consequence to them. Not so for Clary and the rest of the gang. She, Simon, Izzie, Alec, and Magnus are determined to get him back safely, but when they discover that Jace and Sebastian are bonded—harm one, harm the other; kill one, kill the other—their task becomes infinitely more difficult. While the rest of the gang searches for a way to sever the bond without destroying Jace, Clary undertakes a dangerous mission of her own. Because while Jace seems to have forgotten his hatred for Sebastian and is actually cooperating with him, one thing hasn't changed. He still loves Clary, and now he wants her to join him to carry out Sebastian's secret plan.  

First Line: "Simon stood and stared numbly at the front door of his house."

Tracy's Thoughts:
I have listened to this entire series on audiobook, and I must say that this latest addition is easily the most polished production so far. I almost didn't even finish the last audiobook, which was alternately read by Ed Westwick and Molly Quinn. (Ed Westwick? Really??? I love his voice, but posh and British don't really scream Simon or Jace to me.) But Molly Quinn on her own? Totally rocks. She does a fabulous job in CoLS, inhabiting each of the characters and embodying all the emotion, tension, and confusion that they experience through the course of the book.

While I found book four to be a bit of a disappointment, I have absolutely no real complaints about City of Lost Souls (well... I might have liked a bit more angst from the Maia/Kyle storyline). Love, betrayal, internal conflict, violence, sacrifice, heartbreak; it's all there. Cassandra Clare keeps the excitement level sky high while still allowing each major character time to have their own troubles outside of the main plotline. The characters and their relationships are so well established, and yet Clare is still capable of surprising us. Even Sebastian—a villain perhaps even more dangerous than Valentine—had me teetering between (short-lived) sympathy and loathing. This is a dark book in many ways, but that darkness is balanced with a sharp, snarky humor and glimmers of hope. In fact, this one even has a happy ending—or at least a positive resolution—while leaving plenty of material for the next in the series. In my opinion, City of Lost Souls is the best book yet of this beloved series, and I am eagerly anticipating the (reportedly) final installment. Unfortunately, we will all have to wait until March 2014 (!!!!!!!) until City of Heavenly Fire will be released.

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