Saturday, May 31, 2014

City of Lost Souls Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm now in the process of reading The Mortal Instruments series. The first four books of the series are re-reads for me, while the 5th and 6th books will be first-time reads, so City of Lost Souls is the first book of the series that isn't a re-read for me. As usual, I'll give a non-spoilery summary and overall thoughts/rating before jumping into a spoilery discussion and my favorite quotes.

At the time when this post goes up, I'll either be still asleep or deeply engrossed in City of Heavenly Fire. As I said on previous posts, I 100% plan on having City of Heavenly Fire finished by the end of the month. That means that I'll be reading most of the day. I'm not sure if I'll have the discussion post up Sunday, but I kinda doubt it (because it'll probably take all day Saturday, and I'll be exhausted). The following days will be the series wrap-up and the monthly wrap-up, back to back.

Book Summary

[Reminder: don't read this section if you haven't read all 4 of the previous books. I have to talk about what's happened up to this point to discuss the plot of City of Lost Souls!]

It has been two weeks since the conclusion of City of Fallen Angels, and no one has seen or heard from Jace since he disappeared. When Clary finally sees Jace again, she realizes that Lilith's magic has effected him in a significant way, and joined him to Sebastian more closely than she could have ever realized. She sets out to try and save Jace from the hold that Sebastian has on him... but is there anything left of the real Jace to save?

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

In my last discussion, I talked about how City of Fallen Angels wasn't anywhere near my favorite Cassandra Clare novel, I thought it was still a good book and felt that it was important to separate personal like/dislike and appreciation. I feel that somewhat with City of Lost Souls as well. There were certain aspects of the book that I just didn't like, solely due to my own personal taste. These aspects were essential to the plot and made it a great quality book, but it upset me to see certain characters behaving the way they were.

City of Lost Souls was definitely back along the lines of the original trilogy as far as the intricate plots and tense, exciting scenes. There was, of course, relationship drama... but it wouldn't be a Cassie Clare book without relationship drama! It just wasn't excessive and didn't push the plot by the wayside for more than half of the book as was done in City of Fallen Angels.

One complaint I did have was with the pacing. Well, maybe not so much the pacing as just with the length of the final scene. The last bit of the book is building up to this exciting scene, and when I finally got to that scene, I checked to see how much of the book I had left (I was reading it on my kindle). I was surprised to see that it was the last chapter! I usually expect the one final scene to be at least a couple chapters. It just seemed very abrupt and short.

So, rating. At this point, I'm giving it 4.5 stars out of 5. Despite the fact that I didn't like some aspects of the book, I think that quality-wise it was definitely on par with the bar that the original trilogy set. 

Spoilery Discussion!

So, as I was discussing in the non-spoilery section, I was really bothered by Jace throughout the book. Yes, I know that he was possessed and that he couldn't control what he was doing, but I just didn't enjoy reading those bits and seeing him being... not him. Obviously, it's a very important plot point, and is instrumental in making it a good and powerful book, it just made me really sad to see him acting like that.

Also... Magnus and Alec broke up.... NO. I mean, Cassie Clare tends to give her fans really satisfying endings, so I'm sure they'll get back together at some point... right? RIGHT? I mean, Magnus Bane has gone from person to person, never really forming a real bond, but for the first time, he actually, truly, loves someone. It would be terrible of Cassandra Clare to leave an extremely loved character unhappy.

I thought that Clary definitely seemed a lot stronger in this one. She's clearly becoming a fierce fighter and is becoming a stronger character... I mean, she drove a sword through the one person she loves more than anything else. And she did it because she knew he'd rather be dead than continue living the way he was. I mean... whoa. I couldn't do that. That's for sure.

OK, so I don't have a ton more to say about the book, but I do have some theories about City of Heavenly Fire. So let's get into that, shall we?

City of Heavenly Fire: Crackpot Theories 
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read all of Cassandra Clare's books preceding City of Heavenly Fire, you shouldn't read this. It involves stuff from both the Infernal Devices and the Mortal Instruments!

I've seen a couple of my favorite booktubers talking about their crackpot theories for City of Heavenly Fire, and I liked a lot of the ideas they had, and they seemed to agree with a lot of the things I was thinking.

So right off the bat, Cassandra Clare said that 6 named characters will die. So let's list off who I think that will be.

1) Sebastian. This one's obvious, right? C Squared (This should be Cassandra Clare's new nickname) has already said that every character gets closure. If Sebastian doesn't die, NONE of our main characters get closure.
2) Maureen. C Squared (liking this name more and more) has set her up to be somewhat of a villain at the end of City of Lost Souls. And villains need to die. Every character has closure. I don't know what other closure could be given to Maureen.
3) Rafael. He's going to come after Simon once he knows Simon doesn't have the mark of Cain anymore. He's already said that. The only way for this to end well for Simon is for Rafael to die.
4) Robert Lightwood. When I saw the crackpot theories videos, they mentioned a hint about a "Shadowhunter funeral," one of the few hints I didn't know about. I think this will be Robert Lightwood's. It could be Maryse, but I think we need her around to explain one of my other theories. Plus, C Squared is more likely to kill him off because he's just not as good of a person as Maryse.
5) Jordan. This is probably the most painful one for me. I know one of the couples is going to be separated. Supposedly a boyfriend dies. C Squared isn't going to kill off Jace, Simon, Magnus, or Alec. Come on, now. But it's plausible for her to kill off Jordan. I love Jordan, but most people wouldn't be too hurt for him to die. Honestly, I'd prefer if Maia died. But she made the inside cover. She isn't going anywhere.
6) Amatis. She's become one of Sebastian's followers, whether she wanted to or not. We've been told that there's no way to change them back. Therefore, I think that she is going to have to die.

I do have 3 other people I think could be plausible substitutes for the 6 above:
1) Camille. But wait, isn't she already dead? Well... according to Maureen, she is. But do we really believe that Camille, Camille, the most powerful vampire we see throughout both series, could be killed by a fledgling vampire? I think NOT. Honestly, I think she's going to be the one to kill Rafael. But I wouldn't be surprised if she was killed as well.
2) The Seelie Queen. OK, so we don't technically know her real name, besides "The Seelie Queen" but hear me out. She's already proven that she's thrown her lot in with Sebastian. She's going to be an actual villain in this book rather than just an annoyance. The only thing I think saves her butt is that she does whatever is most beneficial to her. When she sees Sebastian losing, she'll change alliances.
3) Magnus Bane. Again, hear me out. I like the theory that Katytastic threw out, saying that Magnus will die of old age in the epilogue. I'm pretty convinced that Magnus and Alec will get back together and that Magnus will give up his immortality to grow old with Alec. However, I'm not sure that the epilogue will stretch out far enough into the future for us to see that. The only reason we saw so far into the future of Tessa and Will and Jem was because Tessa and Jem lived for that long. I think the epilogue is going to be more similar to City of Glass. Everything wraps up, we find out what their immediate plans are, and everything is happy. Because I'm sure we'll hear more about all of our favorite characters in the Dark Artifices.

Speaking of the epilogue, I think it's going to be Jocelyn and Luke's wedding. I definitely think that their wedding will take place sometime during City of Heavenly Fire. We've waited this long for their wedding- Cassie isn't going to deny that to us. However, I don't think they would drop everything to get married in the midst of all this turmoil... Unless they went all Elizabeth Swann/ Will Turner on us. That would be epic. Doubtful, but epic. Because of that, I think they'll probably get married in the epilogue.

OK, relationships. we've been told that a couple will be separated forever. I think this will be Jordan and Maia. It's painful, but it's not going to completely destroy us. That's how Cassie likes it. We've also been told that a character will die saving another character. I think this is also referring to Jordan. I wouldn't be surprised if he died saving Maia. Past that, I think that all of our major couples will stay together.

Kat (of Katytastic) and Christine (of PolandBananasBooks) have come up with a theory about Isabelle... and I think I agree with them. At some point in City of Lost Souls, there was a blatant mention of Isabelle's dark eyes and how she wished that she had her parents' blue eyes. Now, I'm no science expert, and it's been years since I've taken Bio, BUT I do remember a bit about genetics. Kat and Christine both believed it was impossible for two blue-eyed people to have a dark-eyed child. I don't think it's impossible, but it IS unlikely. Brown eyes are a dominant gene, while blue eyes are recessive. If one or both parents carried the dominant gene, there's some possibility of two blue-eyed parents having a dark eyed child, because dark eyes are dominant.

HOWEVER, let's stop talking genes, and let's start talking Cassie Clare. Kat and Christine went through their books, and couldn't find an instance where Max's eye color was mentioned. His eyes are mentioned, but never their color. We know everyone else's eye color, even some of the unimportant ones. And yet, we are never told Max's, despite the fact that his eyes are mentioned several times. I find that to be a highly unlikely coincidence. And Cassie Clare does love a good plot twist. So, Kat and Christine had an idea... What if Isabelle isn't the daughter of both Maryse and Robert? The first thought was that she was the offspring from one of his affairs. BUT she looks A LOT like Maryse and that's been mentioned several times. Then, the conclusion that I came to (approximately 30 seconds before watching the part of Kat's video where she mentioned that this was also their conclusion) is that... maybe Isabelle is the child of Maryse and VALENTINE. Valentine has dark eyes. Maryse thought she was extremely close with him. Every Shadowhunter in the circle hung on his every word. Also, Valentine was experimenting on children/pregnant women at that time. I wouldn't put it past him to get someone pregnant to experiment on their child. Which also means... could Isabelle also have some sort of different blood in her? Jace and Clary have angel blood, Sebastian has demon blood... warlock? vampire? faerie? werewolf? There are so many possibilities!

Anyway, this is all theory. There's a good chance that this is getting blown out of proportion and that Isabelle is actually full Lightwood. BUT it also seems like an unlikely coincidence.

Finally, my last theory about City of Heavenly Fire has to do with one of the things about the book that I'm most looking forward to... the overlap between TMI and ID. The most popular theory, and the one I believe, is that Jace's heavenly fire is what burns the demon blood from Jem and allows him to leave the brotherhood and become a shadowhunter again. We know that the epilogue of Clockwork Princess happens sometime during City of Heavenly Fire, but WHEN? Honestly, I hope that it's early on. After touching Jace and learning what's going on with him, I think that Brother Zachariah probably realizes that this could help him. If he acts on this quickly enough, we can have our Jem back early on and we can get Tessa into the story quickly. That part is more of a hope than a theory, but I'm sure we'll get them in the story eventually. I'm still of the mindset that the brunette Magnus Bane was speaking to at the end of City of Glass was Tessa. Maybe that'll be mentioned when Clary first sees her.

That's all the theory I really have for the book... I'm ready to just dive right into it!

Favorite Quotes

Page 71: Alec looked merely irritated by this comment. "The only way you could raise enough money to hire Magnus by selling lemonade is if you put meth in it."

Page 79: "A silent brother was present, someone sworn to secrecy, and a female warlock who took the place of the Iron sister."
Jem and Tessa. It has to be Jem and Tessa. RIGHT?

Page 94: "I was hoping they'd put up flyers like they do for lost cats," he said. "Missing, one stunningly attractive teenage boy. Answers to 'Jace,' of 'Hot Stuff.'"

Page 108: "Saint Magnus's Home for Wayward Shadowhunters," he said in a deep voice. "Welcome." He threw an arm wide. "Spare bedrooms are that way. Wipe your boots on the mat."

Page 140: Simon patten the seat beside him as if someone were sitting there. "Let me introduce you to my good friend No."........."'No' is a magical word," he told her. "Here's how it goes. You say, 'Simon, I have an insane, suicidal plan. Would you like to help me carry it out?' And I say, 'Why, no.'"

Page 198: "I hate ducks. Don't know why. I just always have."

Page 467: "I was going to start off 'Friends, Romans, evildoers...' but I didn't think they'd see the humor."

Page 478: "Speaking of hope, did you see that shot Alec got off with his bow? That's my boyfriend." He beamed and wiggled his fingers; blue sparks shot from hem. He shone all over. Only Magnus, Simon thought resignedly, could have access to sequined battle armor.

Page 505: "No, Jace's is sort of the antiaircraft artillery tank of male egos," Simon admitted.

Page 531: "Unless you want that whole baby-I'm-on-fire-when-we kiss thing to become freakishly literal."

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! Like I said earlier, the next few posts will be up ASAP!

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all tomorrow!

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