‘City of Lost Souls’ Spoiler-Free Review: No Turning Back

After having read six previous Cassandra Clare novels one would think that they would be prepared for the emotional turmoil that surely awaits them. Turns out no one is ever emotionally ready for a Clare book no matter how prepared they believe they are.

In each of her previous six books, Clare has brought me to tears at least once each time. Well, folks, I’m happy to say that streak continued with ‘City of Lost Souls,’ on multiple occasions. I have no doubt that streak will continue with ‘Clockwork Princess’ next year.

I feel like there should be a warning on each and every one of Clare’s books: “WARNING: Emotional trauma ahead. Turn back now if you don’t want your heart shattered.”

I also feel like Clare’s books can be summed up by this quote from ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban': “You’re going to suffer, but you’re going to be happy about it.”

Clare is so good at transfixing her readers and taking them on a unique yet equally emotional journey in each book. And ‘City of Lost Souls’ was no different.

“You’re going to suffer…”

Fans are finally forced to deal with the nagging cliffhanger at the end of ‘City of Fallen Angels’ and come to realize that moment forever changed the series as we know it.

“…but you’re going to be happy about it.”

And that change catapulted this series to a whole new level.

One thing that has always defined Clare’s books are its characters and the relationships that exist between them. The element is at its finest in ‘City of Lost Souls.’ We watch as the relationships evolve admist and because of the plot (I’ll touch more on this in the spoilery review).

There were times when the characters were reminiscing about moments that happened in the first books and those moments made me long for the innocence of the beginning of the series.

There has always been danger involved in the series, but there was also a sense of naivety with the characters before the stakes were raised and the world they knew changed forever.

But it also made me appreciate the development and progression of the series and the evolution of the characters through five books. Each book gets darker and drags the reader deeper into the world to the point where they are that much more invested in the series.

One of the things I have come to look forward to since ‘Clockwork Angel’ is the crossover between ‘The Mortal Instruments’ and ‘The Infernal Devices.’ It’s one of the beauties of Clare’s Shadowhunter world is that everything comes full circle.

This was more prevalent than ever as we got glimpses not only back to ‘The Infernal Devices,’ but ahead to ‘The Dark Artifices.’ Fans met Julian and Helen Blackthorn in the first chapter previously and a certain ancestor of Jace’s was mentioned several times, not to mention Camille made another cameo. And let’s face it, Magnus makes everything better.

Perhaps the worst part of the book was realizing that ‘City of Heavenly Fire,’ the series finale, won’t be released until March 2014. That leaves us two years of theorizing, plotting and cursing the time gap before this series takes its curtain call.

I believe ‘City of Lost Souls’ is the best book of the series to date and showed us more of the dark side of the characters, their situations and the Shadowhunter world.

‘City of Lost Souls’ has left a lasting impression on me–and will no doubt do the same to millions of readers. We have been through heaven and hell with these characters, watched their evolution through five books, laughed, cried, screamed and frantically pulled at our hair while holding on for dear life to our boxes of Kleenex.

This book was a significant moment for the series. Every single book in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ has been compelling and memorable in its own way, but I believe ‘City of Lost Souls’ has brought fans to the pivotal moment when they realize that there is no turning back.

MY RATING: 5 out of 5 STARS

I’ll be posting my full spoilery review of ‘City of Lost Souls’ in a couple of weeks once most people have had the opportunity to read the book.

‘City of Lost Souls’ is available now.

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2 thoughts on “‘City of Lost Souls’ Spoiler-Free Review: No Turning Back

  1. I must agree Alyssa, you absolutely nailed it in this review!
    CoLS is, without a doubt, the best TMI book so far! Unlike CoFA whose ending left me (and everyone else) quite hollow and in sheer agony, this book left me oh, so satisfied, despite it’s heartbreaking moments. Just when I thought that Cassie writing couldn’t possibly get any better, she just completely blew my mind with how much bigger and richer the story had become in CoLS.
    Without turning this into my own review, all I can say is just “WOW!!!!”
    Don’t think I’m ready to deal with the two year wait for CoHF yet! :D

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