Monday, June 4, 2012
"City of Lost Souls" by Cassandra Clare
Okay, so I just finished this book a couple of days ago, and I'm glad I didn't write the review right away, because it might've come out a bit biased (as in, I loved the other 4 books, so by association I loved this one too). Truth is, I so loved the other four books in this series, that I was totally inclined to like this one too. And I did like it, but not as much as the rest of them. Bear with me and I'll tell you why.
So we all know how City of Fallen Angels ended, and what a killer the cliff hanger was. Jace and Sebastian missing, lots of blood splattered on the floor, etc. etc. I could say that it alone made me wait for City of Lost Souls with anticipation. But when I opened CoLS, guess what happened... I found myself submerged into Simon, Izzy, Malec, Jordan and Maya and some Clary. And no Jace. And no Seb. And grrr!!!! That was so totally disappointing. Sure, they were all playing some role in the story, but I missed Jace!!!
I was really frustrated that from mostly a Jace/Clary story, it was twisted into a Jordan/Maia story, Simon/Izzy story and Magnus/Alec story. I mean, don't get me wrong - I think they are all awesome characters, and I was glad that the relationships between them are developing, but are they supposed to be what we should focus on? I thought it was a bit too much.
I think we were supposed to get to hate Simon's mother even more in this book, though if you ask me, she had all the right to be frightened and freaked out. Her son had turned into a vamp for God's sake! Honestly, wouldn't you freak out? I know I would. Sure, she sort of overdid it, but heck, I understand her! What I don't understand was Becky's (Simon's sister) reaction... I mean, seriously? If you learned your brother had turned into a vamp, would you just say "Umm, okay. I get you're a vamp now. But I still love you. Come, give me a hug." I don't think so. No. It's too unrealistic, especially since Becky has no clue there are real monsters out there. So darn, the realistic reaction would be to run the heck away! Perhaps in a day or two, when she got her wits about, she could brave meeting Simon again. Now THAT would be pretty realistic to me...
Then there was Alec with his insecurities in Magnus. Yeah, I understand him pretty well. If your boyfriend was an immortal, wouldn't you want to be one too, to be together forever or something? Or if that's impossible, wouldn't you want to turn him into a mortal instead? I honestly don't know because of two reasons: 1st - forever is quite a long time, and what if a year or two from now you realize you don't feel the same about that person anymore? So what, you're stuck living forever now? And 2nd - you can't just take somebody's free will away just like that! For your own purposes, and because you couldn't handle a little emotional hardship! It's just silly, and it's enough to break even the strongest relationship. I was just totally disappointed in Alec because he even had the will to consider these options.
And Magnus? Boy, couldn't he tell that something was going on in Alec's mind? I mean, if they were indeed THAT CLOSE, he should've noticed and done something about it, no? So his behavior frustrated me pretty bad. I expected him to be proactive, sensitive and all that, but instead, he just turned into an insensitive bastard and slammed the door on Alec. If that wasn't stupid I don't know what was.
Yet, even with all that, Alec was somehow prone to being insecure. He sort of had it in him. But I would've never expected it of easy going, confident Izabelle, who never gave off the vibe of an insecure girl. And now she just started to show a side of her that must've been buried so deep down inside, that I honestly never saw it coming. And she's insecure about Simon of all people!! Because of... Jace-struck Clary!!! That's so unbelievable, I can't even now wrap my mind around the concept. Sure, feeling a little unstable is understandable. After all she's lost her little brother, and now Jace is missing too, but Izzy's always been able to hold herself together. Why on earth would she feel insecure about Simon?
Then there came Jordan and Maia, who I was totally surprised to see so much of in this book. Perhaps Ms. Clare was trying to fill in the pages.. I honestly don't know, but I think she sort of overdid it with including those two in the mainframe of the story. Yeah, I sure enjoyed their hot passionate relationship, but I didn't think that was necessary to be included in the book. Perhaps an extra would've been a better choice..?
Aaand now onto the characters which should've remained as the main ones but didn't quite make it there...
Clary, and perhaps she's the only character who felt realistic to me throughout the novel, has grown into a brave girl ready to do whatever it takes to save the one she loves. She's not the girl we used to know in City of Bones. No, she's decisive, strong, a bit reckless, and infuriatingly good at kicking monster butt. I loved how she considered the consequences of her actions, I loved how she seemed to think things through at the right moment. How she was able to make traps for Sebastian. And I loved how she made the right decision in the end. Can't tell you what that was, but it was incredibly swift and smooth and she deserves applause for building up the nerve to do it.
Jace, oh Jace! I missed him so much, I can't even describe the feeling! Sure, his body made an appearance from a certain point onward, but it wasn't Jace in there, not really. It was a person totally controlled by Sebastian. What confused me was that this Jace also seemed to love and want Clary. How did that happen? Then our Jace was back for a little, and I was so glad to see him even for a little while. My heart broke for him, and I ached to comfort him somehow. I could understand his dilemma, his pain and even his decision, even though just the thought of it tore my heart apart to pieces.
And Sebastian... the bastard! I was halfway convinced that he had something good in mind this time, but heck - I should've known better! Nothing good comes out of a bad tree, does it? The Bible says so, and we can see the same principle applied here. But he was so darn convincing, saving Clary from those demons and all... Then again, he did try to seduce her, and killed a bunch of people, and then did all those horrible things to Luke's sister, Amatis. I was just totally grossed out by him in the end. So no, he won't turn good, like ever.
On the story in general, I have the following thoughts: I hoped that the reason behind Sebastian's craziness would be something more intriguing. But in the end it didn't turn out all that great. It almost felt like Ms. Clare was running out of plot ideas, so she decided to wrap up Seb and Jace in this weird plan to ... well I won't tell you more.
So, you might think that with all I've said, I wouldn't recommend this book, but that's not true. I totally recommend it, because my opinion is just this. My opinion. Yours might be totally different. So yeah, you gotta try it for yourself! ;)