I recall when I read the first book in this series, I kept rolling my eyes at how ridiculous everything was. By the second book I was like, incest? This is SUPER awkward. And yet I had fallen in love with Jace and Clary, and read on to the third novel. Once the entire plot was drawn together, it was one of those “aha!’ moments when the story works out and you’re not so skeptical about it that you just want to throw the book down in disgust. (Is that too negative? Sorry, I enjoyed the third book – more than just ‘put up’ with it!) The third book tied up so nicely, I was hesitant to begin the fourth, knowing I’d be back at square one, probably with just as much eye rolling. Enough back story, book five.
“I have a feeling you’re right, Sherwin.’
‘Simon. My name is Simon.”
– Magnus Bane, City of Lost Souls
The Mortal Instruments should certainly have been a trilogy, though admittedly with spin off series. This new plot is acceptable, and I appreciate that Cassandra Clare isn’t dragging it out more than necessary. By that I mean, yes, the book itself may be slow. However, at the end of the book the main conflict has been settled or at least I understand what’s going on, so we can move on to a new problem. But… I’m just so bored of Clary and Jace. And their six-month romance that is just so naïve and annoying.
“His eyes softened. “But it doesn’t change what we are to each other. It’s like there’s always been a piece of my soul missing, and it’s inside you, Clary. I know I told you once that whether God exists or not, we’re on our own. But when I’m with you, I’m not.”
– Jace, City of Lost Souls
Actually, plot-wise, this book still has some good vs. evil going on, but it seems to have turned entirely into an investigation of different types of relationships. True love, broken trust, lack of trust, resentment… you’re hit with a wave of broken relationships and the characters who are trying to repair them. Even Clary and Sebastian are learning about how similar they are. And while when mixed up in the plot I found it frustrating to read through, when authors write about inner thoughts and relationships it intrigues me.
“Does she still love you?”
“I don’t think so,” Magnus said dryly. “She wasn’t very pleasant the last time I saw her. Of course, that could be because I’ve got an eighteen year-old boyfriend with a stamina rune and she doesn’t.”
Alec sputtered. “As the person being objectified, I … object to that description of me.”
– City of Lost Souls
You know what I really want to know more about? MAGNUS BANE. I mean, they’re raising all these questions about him and honestly I’m a little disappointed that Cassandra Clare made him less awesome in these series. I mean, the guy is an eccentric 500 year old warlock, stop making him a mushy infatuated boy who can’t seem to communicate or realize how his partner is feeling. I’m going to have to get on the Bane Chronicles, they better have some answers for me!
Final consensus? Three stars.