Aly (Fantasy4eva)'s Reviews > City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
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May 04, 2012

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bookshelves: its-complicated, own, fast-paced-and-engrossing
Read in May, 2012

“I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, an angry, dark undercurrent to his voice. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left —?”

(this quote is probably my favourite. it really, really tuged at me for some reason. and he's right though. because you can't really appreciate parabatai through alec and jace. they are not even close. look at will and jem. now them two are deserving of the title.) also long review. always seems to happen to me when it comes to this series :/

every time i think i have my thoughts wound together i seem to fidget around and change my mind. is this book as good as COFA? is it worse, is it better. i do think it's heaps better than the previous book. because let's be honest here, that book was just one big disaster. this time around things are actually happening, well kind of.

sebastion will have you scratching your head throughout. yes! he is a crazy shit. and the next minute you want to sit him down and tell him to stop looking at his sister like he wants incestuous sexy time. because that is weird and hey - i thought we were over all that? but then he'll be vulnerable for a moment and you kind of want to understand him - the way you did with valentine, but like his father, again, he'll do something so stupid and messed up that you'll think that you were a fool to even think about giving him a chance. it's hard to figure him out because he is all over the bloody place! but unlike his father - he felt less rounded - sebastion is lacking something. And I think I get that feeling because i don't get his cause, his reasoning for what he wants to do - i don't believe in it. at this given moment he seems more like a desperate crutch the author is holding on with all her might to give the story some kind of antagonist, to give it some mystery to keep us going. and i guess it's working. because if it wasn't for him and magnus, i seriously might have just given up on this series right now.

yes, this series is ridiculously fast paced and engrossing. so much so that even when jack all was happening and I KNEW that i was being pulled around in circles and would have to wait until a 100 pages or so until i got to WHAT WAS ACTUALLY SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, i stuck with it because it was fast paced and somehow in this fucked up way managed to keep my attention. so yes, her ability for great pacing really saves her this time. although, i don't know what to make of it. the plot is very lacking. not as much as COFA, but there is nowhere near enough to keep me satisfied.

There are some things that bothered me a little more than they once did. the huge contrasts and the constant exaggeration of all the descriptions. jace is light and sebastion is darkness. jace's room is neat and sebastion’s cluttered. alec is careless about his looks so, ALL OF HIS CLOTHES HAVE HOLES IN THEM. OK, i get that he's not bothered about his appearance, but that doesn't mean that every top he wears needs to have holes in them. we call that trying too hard. i don't need to know the golden mane that is jace's hair, his perfect body, the flecks of gold in his eyes. just no! i don't need to be reminded of all this. the whole black wings = bad, the white wings = good. this constant comparison and emphasis between the two. It is just so tiring. I know jace is good looking. stop telling me of his incredible beauty and body and of clary’s tiny hands and frailness and vulnerability. Truly, I get it! I do I do I do.

clary and jace? i think there was a moment when i found myself maybe seeing them as the couple i used to like. maybe? when she was so determined to be there for him. but again she made stupid, selfish mistakes and it reached to a point - at the end of the book - that i realised there was no point fighting it. i just didn't care for them anymore. more so -clary. (jace is his old self at times so maybe there is hope for him yet). simon and isabelle hold something promising, but although isabelle has really intrigued me since the last book - including this one, i'm not sure if i care for them as a a couple. i like her much more though. i definitely think there's a lot that can be explored when it comes to her. Simon?.... ermm yeah. He has never interested me and sadly still fails to do so.

alec and magnus. i know quite a few people who have stuck with this series - despite the disappointment that was COFA - just for these two. and for those of you i understand. but i didn't even care at this point. and maybe this is a sign that i am seriously losing an attachment to certain aspects of a series that i still feel i am fond of. i can't be absolutely sure, though. again, i have never cared much for alec. he is much too whiny for my tastes. but i have found his and magnus’ romance to have somewhat more depth than the others. his fear of growing old as magnus stays the same, for example – is a fair enough fear. but i am completely with magnus on this one. i admire that man for not being dim-witted like clary and just brushing shit aside time and time again. he knows where the line is, and he's had enough life experiences to know when shit has gone too far. i actually found myself nodding right alongside him.

clary's mother? the only reason i am even mentioning her is because i don't think i have really seen anyone talk much of her. my opinion of this woman is pretty straight up. i dislike her greatly. i am not OK with how she talks about sebastion. i am not OK how she talks down to others and acts like she is right in every single thing. i think she's hugely selfish and a lot of her personality rubs off on clary (and not in a good way). i can see why Isabelle isn't too fond of the woman. and i don't know how to buy this. 'oh my god sebastion is evil and we are good and we must kill him to save the world!'. i know it's fantasy but maybe this is why contemporary just speaks to me more because i don't know if saying this is even valid in this genre. but i don't like the black and white of it all. he doesn't seem realistic to me. i know there are a tiny bit shades of grey from when sebastion lets us in enough to know he is lonely, but sometimes it's not enough. as horrible as he may be, i'm not comfortable with everyone treating him like such a monster. i mean haven't they all killed? would clary or simon or jace or isabelle kill for people they loved. people on the 'good' side?’ for example; that demon she kills at the shop. she could have gotten what she wanted while he was down but she chose not to. she killed him and she even enjoyed it. it thrilled her. so really. what does that make her? i know it's not an excuse and sounds crazy. But what my point is that instead of going on this mission to hunt him down and kill him, i would much rather that they made an effort to try and change him.

because clary and jace and simon were brought up to see the goodness in people and love others - he wasn't given that luxury. he was whipped and hurt, deliberately and carefully moulded into a person his father wanted him to be. he was brought up to hate and take whatever he wanted. and at one point - when it was too late - he must have realised just how far he had gone. the thing is, he didn't choose that life, he didn't choose to become what his father made him. and although he is old enough now -how can he choose when being the way he is is all he knows? he simply can't. he needs help. but all the others can see is a monster. and it unsettles me.

on to a more positive note.
one of the things that piqued my interest in this book was when magnus would mention the past. but i feel like we didn't get enough of him in this book. i mean, it was terribly disappointing when we didn't get a chapter from his POV near the end. i was really hoping for it. but guys, although i seem to be seeing loose ends plot-wise all over the place - magnus is a character who remains strong as ever. he has not changed, and nor has his charm, mystique and depth that allows us in every once in a while. he’s hinted at the past often and at secrets that I really want to know. and i know this because every time he mentioned will and the gang, my ears would perk up and I would get so anxious. mostly it just leaves me really sad because hearing of them in the past tense is so heart- breaking. i NEED to know what became of them. only he has the answers, though.
Boooooooo

(notice how it mentions that he’s bitter when he speaks of clary. And he is clearly weary of jace. Maybe it’s because he’s seen this happen with will and jem. And by the sounds of it it ended quite bad. it must be so tough for him to see history basically repeating itself and being able to do nothing about it. And it must have been terrible with will and tessa and jem because it seems like he still hasn’t recovered from how things ended with them. That worries me :/ also. He totally had the hots for will. I KNEW IT!

and hey. was i the only one who thought a particular woman had a very shit death? like what!! after all her I HAVE GREAT POWER ramblings and we don't even get to see if she put up a good fight? although she's not exactly the best person of the year, she is enough in the series to at least deserve better than that. it's ridiculous how it's completely glossed over. and it was that little shit who killed her. whaaa? and i'm supposed to buy this?
how about no.
it actually really annoyed me as you can see. talk about screwing a character over. how shit is that! )

i want to mention this theory everyone seems to have about Brother Zachariah (view spoiler) and it's freaking me out! that thought never came to me once whilst i was reading the book but now after seeing a few examples i'm really having to think this over. what do you guys think about this?

so you see
magnus is one of the heavy factors that keeps me coming back for more. he has me really hoping that this series is able to shine back to its former self.

and this is the reason why:

"He isn't happy," said Magnus, as if she hadn't spoken. "Of course he isn't," Isabelle snapped, Jace." "Jace," said Magnus, and his hands made fists at his sides. Isabelle stared at him. She had always thought that he didn't mind Jace; liked him, even, once the question of Alec's affections had been settled.
Out loud, she said, "I thought you and Jace were friends."
"It's not that," said Magnus. "There are some people - people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we're all drawn to what's beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it's only by love and sacrifice so great that it destroys the giver".

“There is nothing weak about Alec,” said Isabelle.
“No,” said Magnus. “To love as you choose, that takes strength. The thing is, I wanted you here for him. There are things I can’t do for him, can’t give him . . .” For a moment Magnus looked oddly vulnerable. “You have known Jace as long as he has. You can give him understanding I can’t. And he loves you.”
“Of course he loves me. I’m his sister.”
“Blood isn’t love,” said Magnus, and his voice was bitter. “Just ask Clary.”

“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.”

" He flipped the book open to the front page, where the title was printed in ornate script. Across from it was a long dedication, the ink faded now and barely legible, though Clary could make out the signature: With hope at last, William Herondale.” (i totally freaked out here. first: OMG IT'S WILL. and then. WILL PLEASE BE OK :/ )

“Even the trip through the Portal had not disarranged Magnus's hair spikes. He tugged on one proudly. "Check it out", he said to Isabelle.
"Magic?"
"Hair gel. $3.99 at Ricky's.”

“How was the Seelie Queen?"
"Same as usual."
"Raging bitch, then?"
"Pretty much.”

"dammit, woman, you read my mind," he said. "Is there no filthy wordplay you can't foresee?"

"You loved Clary enough to wreck your whole life for her," said Magnus with a bitterness that was not characteristic of him. "See where that got you."
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Reading Progress

05/12/2012 page 152
28.0% "things are dragging on for way too long. can we get on with the story already?"
05/12/2012 page 152
28.0% "you know, as much as i have been conflicted about this series since COFA, it's when Mangus let's us in a little, when he speaks of the past that my ears perk up. and I think, maybe this series still has hope."
05/12/2012 page 239
45.0% "it is so readable, but i am still waiting for shit to go down. come on book!!"
05/13/2012 page 393
73.0% "omg! a book with a message from will! shit, did I see him read it in the series? can't remember. and what does he mean by the message and why is it in that house! some weird shizz going on here.

I don't know why i get so anxious and excited when him or characters from the prequel series are mentioned. Maybe I have more of a soft spot for it than I thought?" 3 comments
05/13/2012 page 395
74.0% ""Once he asked me what i thought had turned me gay." Simon felt Isabelle tense next to him. "Turned you gay?" She sounded incredulous. "Alec, you didn't tell me that."
"I hope you told him you were bitten by a gay spider." said Simon.

Oh the funnies! hehehe (one of the odd times Simon made me laugh. also love how supportive Isabelle is!)"

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Fatima Please don't tell me you like Sebastian? And I don't think I'm going to read this one till September.


Aly (Fantasy4eva) like him? he's freaking crazy!

i'm curious to see whats going on with him tho.

and wth. why till September?


message 3: by Fatima (last edited May 08, 2012 08:33AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Fatima Oh, good! I thought for one crazy moment you were one of Sebastian's crazy fangirls who happen to like him :/

Because I read TMI only in October, so all of my books are the small paperback versions. And I don't want to ruin it by getting CoLS which is the big paperback version. The small paperback comes out in September so I'll just wait till then. I'm not even that bothered about waiting so it's ok. I'll just wait to read your review or something :)


message 4: by Ariana (new) - added it

Ariana If it is good i'll skip the 4th and get this one. If not, well i thought the series ended pretty well on the 3rd book :p
enjoy it!


Aly (Fantasy4eva) hahaha. i feel for S in some way. but fangirl. hell to the no.

it's better than the COFA, ari. problem is that stuff is happening but it takes SO many pages for that stuff to finally start happening. i think the author is basically running out of ideas. honestly, can't say it's anywhere near as good as the first three :/


Isamlq I am not alone!!! That bit (view spoiler)


Aly (Fantasy4eva) yes! he mentions that he loved two people in his past life right. and it's all these things that just seemed to hint towards it. unless the author is purposely misleading us :D

but if it was true. omg that would be horrible!
(view spoiler)


message 8: by Isamlq (last edited May 15, 2012 08:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Isamlq (view spoiler)


Devyani that part where you've written about Clary's mom ...... *whistles from a crazy drunk perv .*
talk about a review . and i do agree , we do have similar notions about the books we like and hate ;)

and that link you've posted sure helped a lot . but my scary half-cracked theory still stands :P
brilliant review Aly :D


Aly (Fantasy4eva) thanks girls!

i was looking at the quotes and

"With hope at last, William Herondale."

still really unsettles me. i don't know how to explain it but it just makes me feel so uneasy. it makes me think, gosh, how bad could have things gotten for him to write those words. i think , in a way, i might have started liking Will and the gang more than Jace and his gang.

not sure when it happened, but it feels pretty clear to me by the way i get excited whenever their names are mentioned :)


priya Omg I so agree with you on Sebastian when i heard michaels sword could either turn him good or kill him I got so happy I was like Simon you better stab sebestian he better turn good when clary stabbed jace I was like STUPID CLARY WTF YOUR SO STUPID STAB SEBASTIAN!!!!! AND SIMON WHY THE HELL DID YOU GIVE CLARY THE SWORD YOU HAD WAY MORE OF A CHANCE FOR STABBING SEBASTIAN DUDE YOU HAVE VAMPIRE MOJO USE YOUR SUPER SPEED AND STRENGTH SOMETIME!!!!


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