Book Review: The Mortal Instruments #5: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Fantasy

(The Mortal Instruments #5)

When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Book 4: City of Fallen Angels review

*****

I’ll repeat: Cassandra Clare should’ve stopped the series at City of Glass.

If I immerse myself enough in the Shadowhunter world and just be mindlessly entertained, I can forget how City of Lost Souls is still lacking. Unfortunately, I refuse to delude myself that City of Lost Souls did anything to advance the plot, story and character-building of The Mortal Instruments series. But I have to say that this is a sneeze better than City of Fallen Angels.

The POVs of Simon and Isabelle are more fun to read. The idea of the floating abode of Jace and Sebastian fascinated me. The character of Jace-who-is-not-Jace is really good. I still like him, but since it’s not really him, so I was cagey around him just like Clary.

Just when I thought I was liking Alec, he went and did something that is not cool. Magnus is still the magnetic character I enjoy, and his role here doesn’t change that. I’m not sure where Maia and Jordan have POVs; will be their characters be essential in the last book to merit their voices heard?

Plot? forget it. Let’s just read about Shadowhunters making out, getting any, not getting any, breaking up, parting with bitter goodbyes. It’s exasperating that it’s book 5 already and Jace and Clary are still dancing around that big elephant in the room called sex. Goodness, just be done with it already!

City of Lost Souls uplifted me up a little from my disappointment with City of Fallen Angels. But now that I think about it, reading about The Mortal Instruments series is getting tiresome. It will be a relief when this series draws to a close.

Yay, one more book to go. :/

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COVERed: Hush, Hush #3: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

oh, man.

i cannot believe i’m posting about the hush, hush series. Did i not bashed this trilogy in GR before???

but look. such an adorable cover. haunting. brooding. i liked it. O_O

can this final book (and i hope this is the last one) save the series?

Patch, if Becca Fitzpatrick can shed some light on your past life and the inner workings of your mind, i’ll be excited to read this.

Nora, if somehow, you end up dead, i’ll rejoice. YEY!

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Mortal Instruments #4: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Rating: StarStarStar

Synopsis:

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

***** ***** *****

I love you, Clary. More than I ever— God. More than i probably should. You know that, don’t you?

i like this book, but i’m not jumping up and down about it. (yeah i know, boo!)

It is difficult to write a review for a book in a series that i love so much. Difficult because even though i liked this one, i have a nagging thought that the author is only stretching it for the sake of, you know, stretching it. Business? Profit? I dunno.

So this is my experience while reading the book:

After securing my copy the crazy way, i was giddy when i laid my hands on it. I don’t want to read it immediately. I want to savor the feel of the cover, the smell of printed paper. That’s how i was. I held the book with such reverence.

I’ve read the sneak peek on the net so i just skimmed the first chapter… Ok, that was a lie. I still read it line per line 😐 i wanted to start slow. Don’t expect too much, i said. So that’s what i did.

By the time i reached the second chapter, i picked up my reading pace a little. Why? Ah hell, Jace is on, thank you very much! My heart is building up its pumping, slowly but steadily. Man, i’m just starting out this book and i loved it already! I even thought then, i’m gonna rate this book a five!

I kept turning the pages. I couldn’t read any faster. I was getting impatient! My heart accelerates every freakin’ time Jace has a scene. Thump! Thump! Thump! There was this scene between him and Clary soaked in the rain, and i was gripping the book so hard. C’mon c’mon C’MON! Finally, things between them are starting to heat up!

At that point, there was no mistake in my mind that this what i expected the fourth book will be!

.

.

.

Too bad, i judged it early.

halfway through the book, i realized where the story is going, and how it could end. CRAP. then and there, i lost my mojo to enjoy the book. WHY?

Well, the author plugged that this book will focus on Simon. It did, at first. But halfway through, it slowly spiraled into Jace. JACE? Again? I love him but, his story should’ve not overshadowed Simon’s. I mean, Simon’s the one in the book cover, right? 😦

Jace got the limelight in books 1-3. you might ask: if i love Jace, how come i am so pissed?!!

Because, BECAUSE while Jace is confident, conceited, and self-absorbed (all traits i looove about him), he is also doubtful, tortured, and unforgiving towards himself. And the latter negative vibes is greatly highlighted in this book. Jace is repeatedly doubtful (of Clary’s love for him), tortured (of memories of Valentine and his conflicting feelings between Valentine and his biological father), and unforgiving towards himself (things he might do to hurt Clary, Max’s death). It was annoying to the fact that Jace doesn’t appear to be as strong and dependable anymore as i thought he was before.

I wished the author could’ve given Jace a break. You know, like maybe he gets to enjoy first his newfound relationship with Clary, after finding out they are not related in book 3. THAT IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE BOOK 3 ENDED!

But no, the author decided to put Jace once more in the middle of it all. And where did that leave Simon? 😦

Oh well, i did enjoy parts of it.

Now for the GOOD times:

The story line was fluid. Consequences of Clary’s actions in book three was unravelling. New characters were introduced that are essential in building the story of secondary characters. Besides the fact that the author is too hard on Jace, this is an engaging read. The twists and turns woven by the author are solid, believable, and i must admit, mind blowing.

Clary:
she grew up. I loved that she is more mature than before, she speaks up (esp against Jace and her mom) and stands up for what she wants.

No. You can’t just keep grabbing at me every time you see me. It’s not a substitute for actually talking.

***

J: The ritual is taken from the Song of Solomon. ‘Set me a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death.’
C: Ours is stronger than that.

***

I could’ve asked for anything, and i asked for you. And i would do it again. I love you, Jace Wayland-Herondale-Lightwood whatever you want to call yourself. I don’t care. I love you and i will always love you, PRETENDING IT COULD BE ANY OTHER WAY IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME.

yeah. i can’t pretend either. haha!

Although there’s this scene at the end when i want to punch her and screamed at her STUPID! IDIOT! MORON! She still doesn’t listen to Jace. Still doesn’t trust that he can take care of himself. Also, the author could’ve put Clary into more action scenes (and she actually winning them). This is book 4 already! She should be able to defend herself for goodness sake.

Jace:
Still hot as ever! And confident. The best shadowhunter this world has seen, says a Greater Demon. Damn right he is!

I love him when he’s being conceited. And being funny.

“Aren’t they supposed to be hiring someone else to train me full-time anyway?”
“Yes,” he said, getting up and pulling her to her feet along with him,“ and I’m worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you’ll wind up making out with him, too.”
“ Don’t be sexist. They could find me a female instructor.”
“In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch.”

***

“You’re just worried they’ll hire a male instructor and he’ll be hotter than you.”
Jace’s eyebrows went up. “Hotter than me?”
“It could happen,” Clary said, “You know, theoretically.”
“Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other, forever and tragically parted, but I’m not worried about that either. Some things,” Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, “are just too unlikely to dwell upon.”

Haha!

But i super love him when he’s being honest. And sweet. And vulnerable.

Sometimes i dream you’re gone. I keep wondering when you’ll figure out how much better you could do without me.

Aaawww. The author really has a way with words.

Isabelle: one badass chick! I worship her now.

‘That new lead singer they have is hot. Is he single? I’d like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony—‘

*lol*

***

But I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don’t you know? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.

Simon: i’m still unsure if Simon stood out from all the characters. He seems weak even now when bears the mark of Cain. He’s still funny though. And so little scenes from his love life! But i think it has potential. I’m looking forward to that.

“No. That’s Clary; shes’s my best friend.” Simon pocketed his phone. “And she has a boyfriend. Like, really, really, really has a boyfriend. The nuclear bomb of boyfriends. Trust me on this one.”

Ultimate high:

The make-out sessions of Clary and Jace, of course! I went craaazy with the rain scene! Gosh, get a room! No, wait. I wanna see this, so just stay in the alley! I swear i was palpitating while reading that. Hot hot hot!

Fave scenes:

1 When Clary and Jace were out in the park. This is Jace at his best throughout this book. honest, open, sweet.

2 When Clary and Jace are making out in one of the Institute rooms – no it didn’t lead to sex (although i was tearing my hair out while thinking that is where they are going). It did lead to something else, alright! and I didn’t expect that. It was like cold water pouring down my head after the steamy scene i just read. uh, HARSH!

3 When Simon faced off with the greater demon. This is the only time that i saw Simon as the character the author wanted him to be. And i’m so glad he had the opportunity to kill the greater demon or else there’s no more book 5 and 6 coz they’ll all be dead.

The verdict:

Despite my disappointments, it is a good read (if you haven’t read the first 3 books). But i’m getting the feeling that the author is setting Clary and Jace up as starcrossed lovers. And i’m so NOT a big fan of that.

I also love the story of Cain the author conjured, and the passages from the bible are so refreshing! The book of Genesis has never been this trivial. 😉

I’m not so keen on book 5. I think i can wait a year for it.

You love each other – anyone can see that, looking at you – that kind of love that can burn down the world or raise it up in glory.

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.:maria:.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

Synopsis:

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

*****

This book blew me away! I need to write this down right before my elation evaporates.

I had high expectations (I never should’ve read the good reviews before reading) and halfway through the book I can’t see what the fuss is all about. Boy, was i ever wrong to judge it before finishing the chapters! In the end, i was dumbfounded. In a very good way. Coming from the angel-themed YA fiction along with Hush, Hush and Fallen series, there is no doubt that it is the at the top of the bunch. No, let me rephrase it. It is the only book there that has substance.

Clara:

here is a heroine that i love! (But can her name be any more unsophisticated?) Responsible, does not back down from a fight, does her own thing, does not allow any guy to treat her like crap. She was realistic, although i hate it when she goes gaga over Christian. I get it that he’s her purpose as a part angel. But the constant ogling that bordered to obsession is annoying. But i forgive her at the end of the book. There it was revealed why Christian is so magnetic, even to someone like her. At the end of the book, she was faced with a dilemma: follow the rules or follow her heart? Her decision has dire consequences. Don’t worry honey, i would’ve done the same if it were me. 😉

Christian:

i take him at face value. The author glorifies him throughout the book. Dark brown hair (or is it black?). Green eyes. Sexy-brooding. He is “hotness personified” as the author explicitly puts it. But i didn’t see character in him. That’s why I couldn’t see how this guy can be the love interest of Clara.

Tucker:

you can now call me an official Tucker groupie :):):) i love this guy! Rude, conceited, jerk. Not to mention blond hair and blue eyes. And charming. I look forward to the scenes where is he is bantering and bickering with Clara. You would want to know who will win every time. 🙂

Ultimate high experience:

I have to admit that the turn of the story came when Tucker and Clara began spending time together. There are some funny moments, i couldn’t help laughing out loud! And there are romantic moments too, that just makes me grin like an idiot or scream like a banshee. It was electrifying!

Fave Scene:

i have two. The first one is the scene at Tucker’s barn (or was it at the stable?) after the bear repellent thing. He was so confident. I am so Team Tucker already! And the second one is the time when Clara summoned her glory because of her mom. What is the reason behind her glory? Her revelation was a shock to her. Yeah, that’s my girl!

The Ending:

I never saw it coming! Everything was turned upside down. I need to know what happens next! It was such a cliffhanger.

The Verdict:

READ IT READ IT READ IT! It is on a very different level compared to Hush, Hush and Fallen series. Unearthly buried them in the cold, sticky mud! I am so attached to Tucker that if Clara doesn’t end up with him in the end, there’s gonna be hell to pay. You hear that, Cynthia Hand? So please, please don’t let me down.

.:maria:.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Fallen #2: Torment by Lauren Kate

Rating: Star

Synopsis:

Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts – immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something – something dangerous. What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

*****

Do I love him? Yes. But when the final battle comes, I’ll have to kill him. That’s just our reality. We both know exactly where we stand.

So very dissapointing 😦 this could’ve been good but the author just goes around in circles without a concrete plot. if you read the first book, then you’ll know there are a lot of unanswered questions left in the end. after reading book two, not only did the author NOT answer those questions from book one, but she piled another load on top of it. that is too much mystery, man! too much that there is no more left for me to go.

lucy – gosh, what an iritating spoiled brat. always pining for Daniel. always asking for the impossible. i never felt she grew up on this sequel. and she SHOULD grow up since the ending in book one left her to tatters.

daniel – getting tired of him being mysterious and evasive to lucy’s questions and yet insists he had her best interests at heart. he does not trust lucy at all to handle some of the truths about them.

miles – i love him! he is the only character worth reading.

fave scene – lucy and the messengers. wicked.

ending – bleh. i was just glad i finished the book for the sake of finishing it.

the verdict: i hate to say it… but i will read book three. i want to know how it will end. will the author redeem herself on the last book? i hope so because if not, there’s a lot of book bashing that i’m gonna do to her series.

if you read or currently reading book one, Fallen, enjoy it. but stop there.

Would he find her? Without question. Would he save her? Always.

.:maria:.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”