Rant and Rave: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

A fantasy world still seemingly real, set in various locations, carrying subplots that are just as interesting as the main plot? Confused? Throw all of that in – plus just the right amount of trivial romance – and you have City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.

Image courtesy of Margaret K. McElderry Books

City of Lost Souls is the fifth instalment in The Mortal Instruments series. It tells the story of Jace Lightwood/Herondale/Morgenstern and his binding with his evil not-so brother, Jonathan/Sebastian Morgenstern, who is really the brother of the love of his life, Clary Fray/Morgenstern. The book is bound to confuse, if you haven’t read the other books. The story promises an upcoming battle against the fires of Heaven and Hell, leading up to the final instalment, City of Heavenly Fire, set for release in 2014.

The book, although readable and well constructed, lacks the captivating essence of Clare’s other pieces, making it more of filler between City of Fallen Angels and the next book. The events were bland, for lack of a better word, with dialogue that left readers detached from the emotions they sought to evoke.

In terms of characterization and imagery, Clare delivers with her standard excellence. The scenes and actions are vividly portrayed; but again, other than the shock factor that is prevalent in Clare’s work, it was not as enthralling as her previous works. The characters, though, showed sufficient development and growth within the numbered pages – just the right amount of relationship dilemma to keep things from getting too bleak. Also, the lack of translations from other languages was off-putting because not all readers know how to speak Chinese, French, or Indonesian.

All in all, City of Lost Souls was an enjoyable read, but did not reach up to the standard that Clare had set with her previous book, Clockwork Prince. It leaves you with the unbelievably heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end that promises for a glorious last installment.

Jonnah Dayuta

By Jonnah Dayuta

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