Pretty safe to say, don't read the synopsis or review if you haven't read the previous books. SPOILERS.
For those who were disappointed by City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare's latest instalment of the Mortal Instruments series is much more like the first three books we fell in love with, and was everything I hoped it to be and more. I can't express how overjoyed I am to fall in love with this series again. I was so afraid that my dear Jace had been lost forever!
After Jace and Sebastian disappear from the Institute rooftop, the Council try to locate the boys but fail, prompting Clary and her friends to take matters into their own hands. While the gang exhausts every possibility, Jace seeks Clary out himself, missing her and asking her to come back with him. To where, you ask? Another dimension, where he's currently living it up with Sebastian, Clary's evil half-brother. I know, I was confused and shocked as well. What's going on?! Turns out, the mysterious ritual Sebastian performed on Jace in the last book linked them together, spiritually and physically. Jace submits to Sebastian like they're BFFs and one also can't be harmed without hurting the other. Alarm bells, anyone? While Jace isn't completely himself (since when does he listen to other people?), I've missed seeing him and Clary together and this was like a perfect life in a world of Hell. Despite her mission to save Jace and how wrong it is to be with this fake version of him, Clary enjoys her effortless and fun days with him, torn between two lives almost. Would it really be so bad to just love this new Jace, since life is so safe and happy?
Up until now, Sebastian's been the evil villain, sneaky and constantly up to no good, but we surprisingly see him in a new light. He smiles, doesn't kill puppies for fun and acts like he cares about Clary? Mind. Blown. Throughout the book, we're never fully sure of his intentions but I loved peeling back the layers of his character and exploring his relationship with Clary. It's new and unlike anything we've seen in the series so far! Should she trust him because he's being kind or kill him since he's bound to show his evil side eventually? But how will she kill Sebastian without killing Jace? Oh the mystery ;)
One of the things I love about this series is how we're able to develop the other characters and their stories with changing perspectives. There are so many romances blossoming in New York, you'll feel loved up yet tense throughout! All of them are complicated in some way and I felt just as invested in their lives and problems as Clary's. Clare is a wonderful storyteller and, over the five books, has really made us care about every single character of hers. It's amazing. But lovers aside, they deal with personal issues that relate to their own sense of being, their friends and their family, on top of the colossal pile of issues they're already faced with. I can't spoil anything here but I really loved every single twist and new plot point that was thrown at us in this book!
I really have so much to say about City of Lost Souls but I think I have to stop before I give you a second by second recap. It's fast-paced and action-packed like we're used to and engaging from start to finish. I think Clare did a brilliant job delivering the story on all aspects, and I enjoyed the love, heartache, pain and victories immensely. What a brilliant fifth book. I could just cry thinking that the next one will be the last! I can't bear the thought of NO MORE JACE. *sobs* The ending of this book is all kinds of epic in true Cassandra Clare fashion, as all of the suspense builds up to one big moment. Let's just say that the game has changed completely once again and that City of Heavenly Fire will be a very very exciting read.
There are several references to The Infernal Devices in this book and I couldn't stop flailing. Gah, I love that series hard. Can't believe that it's only got one more book to go as well! :'( LUCKILY, there's a sequel series. I may die the day we have to part from Shadowhunters for good. Cassandra, please keep writing another 20 sequel/prequel/spin-off series...