City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Genre: Young Adult! Action! Adventure! Romance! Drama! Snark!
Summary: Picking up right where City of Fallen Angels left off, City of Lost Souls finds our heroes desperately searching for Jace, who appears to have been kidnapped by the totally-not-dead Sebastian. Things get tricky when they discover Jace hasn’t been kidnapped, he’s gone off with Sebastian willingly and the two are apparently BFFs now. Unable to go to the Clave for help, the kids decide to rescue Jace on their own. But as always in the lives of our favorite Shadowhunters, things are not as they seem…
City of Lost Souls!!!! Here’s the breakdown:
Simon is the best.
Clary does what she wants and it’s pretty stupid.
Jace, for once, wants to be happy with Clary instead of being a withdrawn, emotionally self-flagellating weirdo, but unfortunately it’s because he’s kind of EVIL.
Isabelle learns that it’s okay to need people. <3<3<3
Alec is an idiot dummy stupid idiot.
Magnus has SEQUINED BATTLE ARMOR.
Maia and Jordan are basically happy, and therefore boring.
Sebastian tries to convince us that he’s really nice now.
All of the adult characters… are there adult characters in this book?
Everyone is a snarky sassy-pants.
WARNING: Very slightly spoilery reviews ahead!
City of Lost Souls was totally entertaining, funny, sexy, awkward, tragic, frustrating, and all the things I expect from Cassie Clare at this point. The action starts on page 1, and only lets up for the frequent snappy banter. I’m pretty sure the entire novel takes place in a span of a few days, which is crazy because SO MUCH HAPPENS.
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up: *takes a breath* It turns out Sebastian isn’t as dead as everybody thought so he kidnaps Jace and due to something something something Mark of Lillith (?) they become bound to each other, but Sebastian is totally in charge and controlling Jace’s brain kind of! The Clave decides they’re not going to try to find Jace because they’re a bunch of douchenozzles, so Clary and the gang decide that they’re just going to find Jace themselves! And then Luke gets stabbed with a Morgul blade! And then Clary ditches everyone and goes on a fun romp through Europe with Jace and Sebastian! Meanwhile, the kids back in New York summon all kinds of nonsense to find a way to separate Jace and Sebastian!!!
To be honest, some of my favorite parts of the book have nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with funny one-liners and the emotional development of the characters. Like I loved Clary and evil-Jace going on a romantic date in Venice and stealing somebody’s boat to make out in. In general I really liked evil-Jace… hm…
Clary and Jace really didn’t bother me as much as my colleagues. Maybe I’m just used to their shenanigans at this point. That being said, it is definitely refreshing to read about people who are not completely obsessed with each other.
For example, I seriously enjoy Simon and Isabelle’s developing relationship. Now that Maia’s out of the way with *yawn* Jordan, it’s cute to see them getting closer. It’s also cute to finally have a pair of people who have been through hell together, clearly care about each other, want things to go in a romantic direction, but are not OMG-YOU-ARE-THE-LOVE-OF-MY-LIFE crazy.
Speaking of relationships, can we take a moment to talk about how much of a stupid Alec is? Maybe he doesn’t really get how things work because Magnus is his first boyfriend, but every time he asked about Magnus’s past loves or complained about how he was immortal I wanted to PUNCH HIM. Bro, even if your boyfriend was mortal, chances are HE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE. And chances are you two will break up even BEFORE you get old and unattractive, and Magnus will eventually FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. It’s normal. You do NOT need to magically alter anyone’s lifespan. Jesus Christ.
Okay, but I really did have fun reading this book! And I think we’ve set up a decent Big Bad to fight off in the next one, so I’m excited!! (Just less excited than I am about Clockwork Princess…)
As per usual, I started City of Lost Souls as I start all new Cassandra Clare books – thinking “What the heck happened in the previous books?” I strained my memory and vaguely remembered something about a rooftop and everyone leaving Jace alone and the Sebastian did something or other to him and then they both vanished. Okay, that’s enough back story I’m sure. So we begin COLS with Jace missing and everyone really sad. Or actually, more interestingly we begin with Simon’s family troubles which are highly annoying and heart-breaking at the same time. Why is his mom such a bitch?
Anyway, Jace is missing so Clary is all…sad. And by sad I mean refusing to eat or do anything except sit around and think about missing Jace. Although really it is mostly her fault for not bringing him downstairs with her and leaving him on the roof. Also, she’s on trial for something for reasons, but then it’s fine.
Moving onward – things actually start happening. Clary and co. – Simon, Izzy, and Alec – go see the Seelie Queen for help finding Jace. She promises to help if they steal some magic fairy rings from the institute and bring them to her. Yeah right. Clary goes to steal the rings out of the library when suddenly – JACE AND SEBASTIAN JUST SHOW UP. Say what?
I’m shocked because I’m like 7% in and George R.R. Martin has convinced me that nothing ever happens in books to advance the plot. Cassie Clare is the anti-GRRM. She puts out two books a year and THINGS HAPPEN IN THEM. Amazing. I honestly was expecting us to dance around Jace being missing for at least 75% of the book. Eff you GRRM. Why don’t you write something??
What was I saying? Oh yes – things actually happen and it’s amazing. Let’s now quit with the recap and go over some stuff I did and did not like. Obviously I DID like that things were actually happening. I read the book very quickly because things KEPT happening too. Or maybe I went through it so fast because I was always so anxious to get to the next scene with Magnus Bane.
Magnus is still clearly the best character on earth. I do miss Woolsey Scott though, so I appreciated his mention. I’m also still in love with Isabelle for being such an awesome badass and despite being so girly with her appearance is totally not lame and girly about boys. Just hilariously awkward because she literally doesn’t know what to do when she actually LIKES a boy for more than just sex and fun times. Also she kicks ass. Still enjoy Simon as well. His stunt with the rings and the smurf question – priceless.
The character that took the worst nosedive was Alec. Alec – What. The. Eff. You are such a jealous psycho you literally are willing to KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND OVER IT? Get over yourself. I am sad about what happened between him and Magnus in the end, but it was well deserved. What an idiot. I don’t like him anymore because he mad Magnus sad and is a jerkface.
And then we have Jace and Clary. I can’t stand them. If I had to read one more scene about them NOT HAVING SEX, I was going to vomit. Like, seriously Clary – you are building up this sex thing into some huge magical thing that it is just NOT. Sex is not this big of a deal. Either have it or don’t. DO NOT ALMOST HAVE IT AND THEN NOT HAVE IT FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES AND DRIVE ME UP A FUCKING WALL!! Get over yourselves. Both of you. Ugh.
What else happened? Um…end of Season 2 of Buffy happened. Of course. Cameos by Azazel and the archangel Michael are very much appreciated. Jace and Clary didn’t have sex.
Most exciting part for me was what happened with Camille and Maureen at the end – probably the only thing making me excited for the next book.
Overall, I did enjoy the read, but mostly I just cannot wait for Clockwork Princess!! Wheee!!
Speaking of Clockwork Princess….holy Brother Zachariah. Cassie Clare, what are you doing?? The hints about the Clockwork series in this book were NOT subtle!! Maybe she’s just planting this in our minds to pull a fast one on us later?? I hope so.
Guys – this book series sends me into existential crisis mode. Mainly because I read the Jace and Clary parts and shake my head. “Those damn teenagers!” I think to myself. And then I feel insanely old and begin to contemplate the futility of existence, the nature of time, and the improbability of Jamaican bobsled teams.
What is it about this relationship that sends me directly past GO to curmudgeonly old person? Angsty teenager love is pretty much a staple in YA, and I usually enjoy that aspect of the genre. But Clary and Jace are starting to exhaust me. They are one of those couples that are drowning in never ending dramaaa and sorrows, and nothing can be good in their lives for more than 5 minutes. While I know it’s the nature of Shadowhunters for shit to constantly be going down, it’s starting to get old. Or maybe I am starting to get too old for this series. And for YA in general… *cue existential crisis time*
All my old person grumping aside, I enjoyed this installment more than the last. Cassandra Clare balances out the Clary and Jace drama with drama I’m actually interested in – like Magnus and Alec dramz. Immortality angst and our favorite pansexual warlock- god, can Magnus have his own series already!? By spending more time on the other characters, Clare reminds me of how much I like the Shadowhunter world. There are old and new alliances forming, romances being rekindled, and more aspects of the world revealed – like the Iron Sisters. Of course, there is the snarky humor permeating the text, which remains one of my favorite parts about these stories. And we even get magical faerie rings (sadly, no LotR jokes). So interesting things are happening, but you have to trudge through the Clary/Jace parts (do they have a couple name yet?? I’m going to call them Clace) to find the good stuff.
Can it be Clockwork Princess now??
Oh, City of Lost Souls. Once again- since City of Fallen Angels- I find myself wishing that Cassandra Clare had stopped this series at book three. I no longer care about the increasingly more and more frustrating relationship between Jace and Clary, but would rather have the final book in the Infernal Devices series come out. A book I’m actually excited for.
The biggest headache for me was the repeated Jace and Clary nonsense. Cassandra Clare has pretty much moved them into Twilight territory in my mind, even writing the line, “She wanted to use him like a drug”. Clare then immediately launches into a comparison of Clary and Jace being like a lion and a lamb. WHY!?! I’m tired of their nonsense, and if I had read one more time about Jace’s golden hair or the way he and Clary fit like they were made for another, I might have thrown the book down and never picked it up again. The relationship is far too co-dependent, and has passed into the realm of pathetic. Dare I say their relationship was more fun when it was potentially incestual?
However, there are parts of the book that I did enjoy. First and foremost the fun connections between this series and the Infernal Devices. From the cock-blocking mention of a female warlock (Tessa), the Clockwork Angel being in a case inside the Institute, finding Will’s copy of A Tale of Two Cities complete with inscription, and Camille’s necklace being owned by Isabelle, there was a lot of fan service. And so many mentions of that damned necklace. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing, as Clare gives us hints into a Silent Brother’s possible lineage, the implications of which made me think twice about the resolution of Clockwork Princess.
Thankfully, the humor is still prevalent in the series, particularly when Simon tells Isabelle the bedtime story of Star Wars and Clary wishes Magnus had kept Sebastian as a coat rack. Although that would take out the fun villain of the series. And of course, there is still Magnus to love, and oh boy there was a lot of him in this book. He was often the only reason I kept reading, with an occasional side of Isabelle and Simon. Damn you Cassandra Clare, making me keep reading your annoying new novel!
WHAT WE LIKED MOST:
-Simon and Isabelle (and Star Wars)
-Unlike George R. R. Martin books, SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN.
-Snarky snark is snarky
-Clockwork Princess–oh wait.
WHAT WE LIKED LEAST:
-Clary and Jace need to calm down
-Alec needs to calm down
-Everyone needs to calm down
-JUST HAVE SEX ALREADY. OR DON’T. PICK ONE.
Join us next month when we review our June Bibliomantic Book Club Book: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne.