So easy in the City of Lost Souls

So, another installment of the Mortal Instruments series is over.  And I added the spoiler/refresher page.  Without the review though.  Because this review will probably be more like a stream of consciousness and less thought out than most of my reviews.  Why?  Because there were just so many things good, great, bad and awful that I just don’t know where to start or how to organize it.  So, I am taking the easy way out and am just going to brain dump.

The series, during the first three books, was a nice balance of character development, relationship development and plot.  Not a lot of superfluous… stuff.  Not a lot of extraneous scenes, irrelevant dialogue or wasted scenes and words.  Here, my plot summary could be done in just a very few sentences.  And that’s a shame.  Although I liked this installment better than the last.

I had three big issues with this book – be warned, this review is a spoiler filled review.  Don’t continue to read if you don’t want to know what happened!  

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…  This biggest disturbing fact:  if Jace wants everything Sebastian wants, and doesn’t want anything Sebastian doesn’t, and Sebastian has so very much control of Clary, then it seems to me that Sebastian wants Clary too.  And, for the record: uck! Sexual assault scene aside (since yes, I know that sexual assaults are about power and violence and not about sex), if Jace really does want Clary that bas, what does that say for what Sebastian wants?  Seems to me that he might just harbor some incestual feelings that I really don’t want to think about, but couldn’t help every time Clary reminded the reader that Jace was being controlled by Sebastian.  So again, uck!

Second was how little time with the Iron Sisters.  What a set up for such a brief little visit and such a let down.  There’s so little to what could have been some great meaty pages that I can’t say much more on the topic.

Third, there were a number of things that were just too easy.  How awfully convenient that the ex-Iron Sister that Jace killed happened to have a blade covered in angel blood to let Sebastian’s plan slip.  Just too easy.  How awfully convenient that Magnus could help Simon summon an angel and the angel would just so willingly give up the sword.  Just too easy.  How easy was it for Clary to have something would let her communicate with Simon in the fairie rings (ok, maybe here it should be just way too obvious that the Queen was setting Clary up).  Just too easy.  And how simple it turned out to find a cure for Luke’s stabbing.  And how nice to have Camille all bundled up by Maureen.  A fake immortal cup, raising Lillith again, creating dark shadowhunters…?  So easy.  Even though I know there is another book to come, I half expected this book to end with the killing of Sebastian and Clary and Jace’s happily ever after (and the other couples too), since everything else was so easy.

Ok, I lied.  There is a fourth problem.  It seems as if Clary and Jace “got together”.  Under the influence of fairie drugs.  We don’t think it happened at first, but then Sebastian reveals that he has scratches on his back that had to have come from Clary scratching Jace.  Really?  Gloss over this, make it un-rememberable and under the influence?  I am hoping that Sebastian was exaggerating or I mis-read.  Please, please, please tell me I am.  I so do not want to think that the YA romance had our couple coupling that way.

I liked the start of so many things.  There was the potential to teach us about the Iron Sisters, more history of the angels and the shadow hunter, the tease as to who Magnus really is…  Alec and Magnus, Izzy and Simon…  Clary’s range of emotions and her second guessing whether or not to trust her brother or not felt so genuine.

The author continues her ability to give me just enough words though to be able to see the movie that is the Mortal Instruments series in my head.  I love that I read a sentence or two and could pause, close my eyes, and totally see the world she’s built and the characters I (for the most part) love.  The set up for the next book is good – Sebastian on the loose and our gang needs to find him; Jace unable to really touch Clary because of the bit of heaven inside him (ok, a little cheesy but I can live with it as long as this is solved in the right way in the next book); Alec and Magnus… **cries** … must get back together; Simon and Izzy (Yippeeee!  Finally we might see them as a couple!); and maybe more of the Iron Sisters, I hope, and some of the fairies (I don’t hope as much).  So, while so mush was too easy, waiting for the next installment (2014?  really?) won’t be!

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