City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare Probably my favorite kind of scenes that Miss Clare writes are the kissing scenes between Clary & Jace. And while this one is supposed to be all sexy, hot & heavy, it just doesn't have the same effect on me as the kisses that preceded this one. I don't know if it is the fact that both Clary and Jace are under the effect of that silvery Fairy stuff that ruins it for me, or that fact that Jace still isn't really Jace in this one...but it just fell kind of flat to me. Much like this book did generally speaking :S

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2.5 stars

This was beautiful and bitter-sweet. I'm glad this letter was offered as an extra because I often wondered what it contained. Jace has had such a cruel and torturous past, I'm glad to see a bit of comfort; albeit conflicting regarding his real father.

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Bleh, I hate the connection between Jace & Sebastian. It gives me the creeps even just reading this tiny excerpt.

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Camille is diabolical, evil, cunning and manipulative. I hate how she's using Alec and I can't wait until she gets hers

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Ahhh the ongoing struggle between Simon & Isabelle. Their misunderstandings are legendary at this point, but this was a cute, albeit short extra.

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I enjoyed the progression of the characters compared to the last time they appeared in Seelie Court, especially Simon.

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Not much here in the way of new information, but I still like reading all things Magnus.

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Rating Clarification: 2.5...or maybe more like 2.75 stars

I guess I should start out this review by saying I do not consider myself within the norm when it comes to my feelings regarding 'The Mortal Instruments' series. Most people seem to have loved the original trilogy...at least initially. They now seem for the most part very let down by the continuation (book 4 and now book 5) to the point where they wonder what they ever saw in the first books to begin with. I, on the other hand, was beyond underwhelmed by the first books in the series. I felt the plot and character development were seriously lacking in book 1, and even worse in book 2. I didn't even really like Jace until we had some scenes from his POV...and then I started loving him, despite my standing issues with the rest. My feelings were mostly positive by the end of book 3 and I think my love for Jace and Clary as a couple and the fact that many secondary characters were growing on me, kind of made me somewhat overlook the issues I had with book 4. I also felt certain areas that had been lacking in the initial series were finally developing in book 4 and so despite what had bothered me all along; I could see improvements on some fronts. While it's obvious that this series was meant as a trilogy, there were things to enjoy after the fact. I am also the type of reader who tends to get devoted to my fictional characters the more time I spend with them... I have to say I went into City of Lost Souls hoping for more of what I loved, and braced for what I had come to expect of Cassandra Clare's style. Having completed it, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in some aspects that are hard to ignore. But I don't feel passionate in my disappointment, since I was ready for most of it. There are also plenty of things I liked about CoLS so here goes my attempt at putting my conflicting feelings in review form!

I've always felt that this series was NOT amongst the most original within the YA realm. The clear inspiration taken from the Potter books was staggering to me in the first books, though obviously done without J.K.R's poetic imaginative, concise and flowing style. In City of Lost Souls I randomly noticed some similarities to Twilight. And while that's another series with plenty of hate on it, I am a fan of the Twilight series and it was weird for me that some specific scenes in CoLS were almost identical to certain scenes in Twilight. How Clary goes all '' Bella from New Moon '' cause Jace (Edward) is missing and can't sleep unless Simon (Jacob) is with her o_O...not to mention the whole sexy vampire scene with Simon and Isabelle....uhm yeah. And the whole thing with Jace being missing and under Sebastian's control. I couldn't believe how even Jace had become lame till I clued in that it wasn't really him; the scene where he's himself again made me realize that while he was like Jace, he was not really Jace. But even getting that bit doesn't fully make up for the fact that for most of this book without our real Jace. This was a HUGE letdown for me since he's pretty much the reason I keep reading these books. If Jace had been himself throughout, this b>might be a 3-star rating.

Now on the one hand, the multiple narratives are a great way to get to know some of the better secondary characters. Let's face it, as far as character development goes, we didn't know much about Simon, Alec, Isabelle or Magnus until we started getting glimpses into their thoughts and feelings. So for me, it really helped me grow to like and understand them all so much better. I didn't care much for Isabelle or Simon initially but they have since grown on me. So in that respect, I get the multiple narratives. On the other hand, it is getting a bit convoluted and out of hand at this point. I never did get why book 1 was solely from Clary's POV when the other books keep getting more and more different POV's. I mean in this book we also get Maia's, Jocelyn's and Maryse's POV. While it wasn't done haphazardly, I still feel that 8 different narrative voices is excessive. It kind of dilutes the advancement of the plot, and it felt like a way to stretch a story out over more books than it actually needed to be.

There is one positive aspect that sticks out for me above all others. Cassandra Clare's willingness to write about sexual orientation diversity in such a positive light. Too few authors dare to introduce prominent gay or bisexual characters. I really have to applaud her openness for diversity, not just sexually speaking, but racially as well. More authors should be willing to take the risk, since I feel it gives books a more authentic feel. In this book in particular we get insight into Alec's coming out, Magnus' orientation and the addition of a lesbian character was pretty cool. I also liked how Isabelle wanted Simon to be a little attracted to Jace cause she felt that would be 'kinda hot'. Frankly, I'm shocked how little this actually happens in this day and age. Magic world or real world, there are people in every race and orientation. This in and of itself almost made me rate this book 3-stars...almost.

I also feel, that true to form, there are some things Miss Clare does very well. She shines when it comes to fight scenes and steamy-romantic scenes. Both are definite highlights in this book, especially when you consider much of the other weird and out of character stuff going on in this book don't even get me started on Clary celebrating with Sebastian or that bit where Clary and Jace popped that silver fairy acid or whatever. Ugh! I was especially pleased that Clary's fighting skills have kicked in quite a bit. Her lack of training was one of my biggest pet-peeves in the original trilogy, so I was loving her butt-kicking scenes. Another thing I really love (and this may seem lame to some people lol) is that this book is filled with cat-people. I find magic stories and cats kind of go hand in hand and I hate how many authors make cats evil or say they never liked cats... being a HUGE cat person myself. So shout out to Church and Chairman Meow ♥

So, all things considered this book almost felt like a middle book in a second trilogy to me if that even makes any sense. It certainly sets the stage for an explosive finale for her upcoming 6th and final book. Even though the series as a whole is inconsistent and lacks development and originality, I have come to far to quit now. I'm invested in Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Magnus. So I'm crossing my fingers for the last book, which I will be reading once it comes out. A strong ending might just make up for all these ups middles and downs. Here's hoping!