City of Lost Souls is the (wait for it i have to count on my hand...) fifth book in The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. The great thing...moreCity of Lost Souls is the (wait for it i have to count on my hand...) fifth book in The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. The great thing about series is that you really get to bond with the characters. You cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh and cringe when they have done something embarrassing. I feel like I have really got to know all the characters and it's always great to be able to pick up the next book and see whats installed for them.
The novel picks up a few months after Jace disappears with Sebastian. I had to jog my memory a bit as it felt like so long since I had read City of Fallen Angels. The Clave and "Team Good" which consists of Clary, Simon, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus and co have been looking for Jace and Sebastian however with other pressing matters at hand the Clave have decided that it is no longer a priority to find Jace. Clary and co decide to take things into there own hands. After Clary discovers that both Jace and Sebastian are bound and that you can't hurt one without hurting the others the team go to all lengths to try rescue Jace.
Clare has done a good job to pick up the tempo in this novel. Many people including myself didn't think the last book quite lived up t the first three books. However there are always going to be people out there that will love anything that Clare writes.
I think partially the reason why this book seemed so much better was the work the Clare had put into her sub characters. Characters such as Magnus, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, Maia and Jordan really showed their strengths in this book. Clare manages to integrate three different stores lines with such ease We see a different side to Isabelle. Her relationship with Simon takes a different direction and we really get to see a more vulnerable side to her. Magnus and Alec are going through some testing times. Alec struggling with his own insecurities and have trust issues is really taking a toll on their relationship. Magnus has to be one of my favourite characters in Clare's novels. His witty lines had me in stitches..here is an example (Magnus talking to Alec after visiting the Seelie Queen)
“How was the Seelie Queen?" "Same as usual." "Raging bitch, then?" "Pretty much.”
Talking about love:
“Ah,” said Magnus. “Nerd love. It is a beautiful thing, while also being an object of mockery and hilarity for those of us who are more sophisticated.”
Surprisingly one of my favourite characters to come out of the book was Sebastian. He is just pure evil. He is manipulative, cunning, sadistic, cold and just plain creepy but I loved it. He brought an extra element to the story and took it from high school love to something a bit more grown up. There are even some scenes which are borderline R18+. Many of you may have read some of the outrage with including one particular scene however it's not like it is anything new. In the earlier books issues such as incest are highlighted so topics such as sex were no doubt going to come up especially with the characters being in their teens.
Onto Jace and Clary. Jace wasn't his usually big headed charming self...what do you expect when the man is not in control of his own body. Apart from this he is still loveable and just god damn sexy. Clary on the other hand kind of bothered me. She had the mentality of 'act first, think later' and she was kind of selfish but who am I to judge, wouldn't we all do what we can to save the one we love? The relationship between the two gets a little steamy but not what you think. Maia and Jordan on the other hand...woo hoo for Maia! is all I have to say. As mentioned earlier there are also some relationship developments for Magnus and Alec as well as Simon and Isabelle. I loved the scene between Simon and Isabelle where he let his inner vamp out...Just plain HOT!
For me, I feel this book has really won a lot of fans back to The Mortal Instruments series and mainly because of the awesome secondary characters. It doesn't give me butterflies like the first couple of books did and the way The Infernal Devices does but it certainly has improved since the last book. If you are a fan of the series you will definitely enjoy it and well done on Clare for bringing a bit more X factor into the series. It was exactly what we needed.(less)
I was approached by L.H Cosway to review her second novel A Strange Fire: A Florence Vaine novel. I was pretty excited when asked and since I recently...moreI was approached by L.H Cosway to review her second novel A Strange Fire: A Florence Vaine novel. I was pretty excited when asked and since I recently did a review on Tegan's Blood (Cosway's first novel) i automatically jumped at the chance. Tegan's Blood is an Urban Fantasy novel that focused around the life of Tegan and a few of the local vampires and witches. A Strange Fire, which follows Florence Vaine, is set in the same world as Tegan's Blood and Cosway mentioned that "Their paths will cross eventually" . I definitely see some similarities with the two novels. Both Florence and Tegan live or have lived in the fictional city of Tribane and i also see similarities in the both the characters of Tegan and Florence. Cosway has said that she likes to "portray underdogs" in her books. Florence and Tegan are victims that overcome the hardships in their lives. Although they have been through different traumatic experiences, both of them have been strong enough to heal and eventually leave the past behind.
This is probably where the similarities end. When we meet Florence or Flo for short, we find that she is special in her own way, she can see auras. Now this isn't something that other people know, she learnt at a very early age that her seeing auras is not normal. Flo is an introvert and on top of this she has a stammer or a stutter. Which is especially noticeable around people that she isn't comfortable around. This is a direct result of her relationship with her father, who is a drug addict and abusive, both physically and mentally towards Flo. Now after what seems like a miracle Flo's father decides that she will be moving in with her grandmother in Chesterport. Flo is hesitant at first, her father is the only family she has known. She never really got to know her grandmother while growing up so both appear to be nervous around each other. However unlike her relationship with her father, Flo starts to feels at ease around her gran and feels a warmth an affection she has never experienced before. Flo is then enrolled at school where she meets an interesting bunch of characters. She meets Caroline, who is the zany but kind best friend, runs into the popular( & not so kind) boys & girls and then meets the mysterious and troubled Frank who intrigues Flo the most. His fiery aura is nothing she has ever seen before and what also completely baffles her is that his 'brothers' have the same aura. If Flo thought that she would be able to coast through school & Chesterport under the radar, she thought wrong. Not only does she have to put up with the drama of high school & trying to figure what Frank & his family are, she also is having dreams/ flashbacks of a person who is being attacked by cannibalistic hooded figures and to top it off she is being stalked by a creepy spirit.
That is a lot to take in. I won't continue to delve to much into the book because i want you to read it for yourself.
Before reading this book, I had read a few others that were average at best. I just didn't get into the story & sort of lost interest in it before I got to the end. So when i started reading this I honestly didn't know what to expect. Boy was i pleasantly surprised, i found this to be heart-stoppingly good. It had everything you could want. It has romance, boy dramas, action, horror, heart-break and some super cool supernatural beings.
I enjoyed the characters through out the book. Flo is a great protagonist and i really enjoyed seeing her grow and become more confident as the story progressed. Her stutter didn't bother me one bit. If you have read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi then reading this will be a breeze, if you know what i mean. I love, love, loved Frank. I love it when a guy gets all protective over his girl and Frank has this whole bad boy and mysterious thing going for him. He is absolutely to die for....Did i mention that I loved Frank?! I loved the chemistry of Flo and Frank. Oh the tension! it drove me insane. The subtle touches of body parts, flirtatious eye contact and the hesitation from both drove me wild! Check out one of my favourite quotes:
"I haven't had the most pleasant of weeks. On Tuesday I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't speak to Frank any more at school. I'd messed things up with him altogether and I was to mentally exhausted to try and fix them. Too many mistakes had been made on both of our parts. One: I'd told him about how I can see auras. Two: He'd gone and told his brothers I'd slept with him when I hadn't. Three: I'd acted like a strait jacket case when I sensed my invisible stalker and run away from him. Four: Did I mention I'd told him i could see auras?"
I think Cosway did a great job at keeping the suspense and the readers interest. I was so intrigued to find out what Frank and his brothers were, that I just had to keep reading. I won't mention what we find out about them but I think its clever and original (well I think so, I haven't come across anything like it lately).
One thing I would like to pioint out about L.H Cosway. She isn't afraid to write about topics that affect society nowadays. Things such as suicide,abuse and especially abuse of children is really confronting stuff and I think its great that it is written into books because it is something that a lot of people face everyday and definitely needs more focus and attention from society. I honestly don't know if this was her intention but its fantastic and it really reminds me of my favourite author Patricia Briggs and how she writes about such confronting topics in her novels.
So finally, I can't express how much I enjoyed this book. Some people might think it's a bit slow in some parts but I think it sort of works for the book. It builds curiosity and intrigue and makes you want to keep reading. This isn't just your typical para-romance novel, it's got some real gory and scary stuff, which makes it terrifyingly good!(less)