The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare Reviewed by Christie Tondu

The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is Book 5 in the Mortal Instruments series. For those who may have not read this series before, let me fill you in on a few things. Not only are werewolves, and vampires and faeries real, but there are other people in the world, ones that protect the human race from unseen evil: these are the shadowhunters.

Shadowhunters aren’t normal human beings, but a breed all their own: angel and human. The story goes that one day, a man by the name of Johnathan Shadowhunter wanted a race of people strong and mighty enough to slay the demons of the world. So he called on one of Heaven’s angels, who spilled his blood into a cup, called the Mortal cup, and whoever drank from the cup would become stronger, faster, and a worthy opponent for the demons of the world.

The Fifth book find us in a new era for the shadowhunters – they have fought a large war and have reached an agreement with those they call downworlders (werewolves, vampires, etc.), and allowed them into their Council, where laws are made and decided upon. They thought they defeated the bad guy (known predominantly as Sebastian, but also called Johnathan) only to find out that he was not only resurrected by his mother, a Greater Demon called Lillith, but also bound to a shadowhunter named Jace.

While The Council works to find Sebastian and stop him, at whatever cost, it is up to Clary (Jace’s girlfriend and main character) and her band of friends to find a way to separate Jace from Sebastian, and stop their evil plan from coming to pass. In an effort to find out what Sebastian has planned, and to try to remove Jace from the situation, Clary follows Jace into an untraceable apartment that slides between dimensions and travels the world, and is forced to be an unwilling party to Sebastian’s plan to burn down the world and start over. Meanwhile, Clary’s friends, who include two shadowhunters, a warlock, a vampire, and several werewolves, come up with a plan to separate the two boys and stop Sebastian’s plans – summon an angel from Heaven who could provide them with a weapon that could hurt one boy and not the other, thus severing their tie and hopefully ending Sebastian’s reign of terror.

Some may think that these books are playing up the new phenomenon of preternatural-themed books for Young Adults, featuring vampires, werewolves, and the like. But shadowhunters add a new dimension to these types of stories, for they are the true unsung heroes, defeating demons and other evils of the world so we humans (or what they call ‘mundanes’) can go about our happy little lives. The main book series became so popular that Clare started another series, set approximately a hundred years in the past, known as the Infernal Devices series that also featured shadowhunters, as well as enchanted clockwork creatures bringing in a bit of the popular steampunk genre as well. Clare is continuing to expand by starting a third shadowhunters series, which will be known as The Dark Artifices series, which is supposed to come out in 2015.

Christie Tondu is a recent University of Michigan graduate with a BA in Journalism. She loves to be silly, read, and write – She has two novels in the works and hopes to publish them before she is 40. You can read her personal blog at http://littlefootslife.blogspot.com/.