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Review: City of Lost Souls

(© goodreads)

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‚City of Lost Souls‘
by Cassandra Clare
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The Mortal Instruments # 5.

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Synopsis:
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?…
(Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I‘ve waited long for the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series and I’ve pre-ordered the book already months before the release date on the internet. Was it worth it? I would say YES!
Of course there were, like in every other book, a few points I didn’t like so much, because an author (almost) can’t catch the taste of the reader to 100 percent. However, the advantage with the books of Clare is that she is able to write incredibly great and her writing style is just to be read nicely and liquidly and well, what could I say except -> ‚the woman can write’ and already because of that I like to read her books with pleasure, even if I don’t go along completely with every twist in the plot of the book.

In the fifth part the story focuses more and turns around Jace and Clary again, instead on Simon, like in the fourth book. But nevertheless the other figures don’t get too short and Clare often changes the character’s POV to the next one in which also Simon, Izzy, Alec, Maia, etc. gets a chance to speak. If I’ve noted it correctly, almost all main characters are allowed this time to tell a part of the story, but unfortunately only Jace didn’t get in the row which I found sad and was a pity. Moreover, for me it was partially that there were too many changes in the perspectives and character, although it has just kept in check.

Furthermore I’ve liked in this book exceptionally well the dynamism between the couples like Jordan & Maia, Izzy & Simon, Alec & Magnus or also the sibling-relationship of Clary and Sebastian. In this book partnership, love and big feelings or also sex were capitalized, even more than in the other books before. Although I have no problem with that, I still think that it is doubtful that the age recommendation (for example on Amazon) is only 12-15 years. It seems to me that this is a little bit too young for the contents of the book. Or what do you think and which opinion do you have on this topic?

But nevertheless I found it fabulous how Clare has made it to introduce some of the new characters of the new series like for example Jules, which will be published after MI and ID.  But she was also able to let some hints of the other characters form the ID series flow into this book. Even if these were only little things or only short cross-references which a non-fan wouldn’t recognize at all, but I as a MI and ID fan loved it and it was so nice to read and has brought me often to the smile.

From here on is a SPOILER for those who haven’t read this book:

Clare has made fantastic job to present Sebastian and also to show the relation between him and Jace, but at the same time also between him and Clary. I must admit, shortly before the end before the big ‘closure’ came, Sebastian has persuaded even me and actually I’ve really liked him as a character. Certainly he was a little eccentric but by the explanation of his childhood / his past it was coherent and it has also persuaded me and I’ve also felt sorry for him. Hence, I would have liked to see that he was purified and that he would play for ‘Team Good’ how…, but unfortunately Clare has other intentions with him and therefore we still have him as our villain in the book *too bad*

What has irritated me very much at the end of the book was that Jace has now this heavenly fire in him and thereby he always has to pay attention whenever he touches somebody. I think this whole sex theme between Clary and Jace and ‚the first time’ of them is too much capitalized here and to be honest, it gets a litter annoying now after 5 books. With the other characters Clare also doesn’t make such a big theatre around it, but with these two main characters it already takes almost unnatural traits. This thing here reminds me very much of the book series ‘The Immortals’ by Alyson Noel and there it was dreadful and also here this fact disturbs me very much that they are now not able to touch each other properly. Why can’t they be happy together for at least one book and fight as a pair together against the bad ones? Is it so much more thrilling to read the book if they must work out their relationship besides the action fights? I don’t think so. But Clare does and she is already searching for problems between them since the first book over and over again and to find reasons why they can’t be together. Although I know that there will be a happy end after the sixth book (I count on it), nevertheless I find it unnecessary that Jace and Clary kept away from each other ‘come hell or high water’.

Cover:
Unfortunately I don’t like is as much as the other covers because I like it more if you can’t see the whole face. Especially here where the shown Jace doesn’t look like the described Jace in the books. 😉

All in all:
Another good book in this fabulous great series which I’ve devoured once again, although the books become thicker and thicker. I had a big reading pleasure, in spite of some small critic points.

Rating:
4 of 5 points

My Recommendation:
to BUY!

For Fans of:
YA, Urban Fantasy, Lovestory, Vampire & Werwolves
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Quotes:

Jace: „You may have the worst timing since Napoleon decided the dead of winter was the right moment to invade Russia.“

Magnus: „Speaking of hope, did you see that shot Alec got off with his bow? That’s my boyfriend.“

Jace: „I never cared,” he said. “I wanted you anyway. I always wanted you.“

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Succession:

# 1: Cassandra Clare – City of Bones
# 2: Cassandra Clare – City of Ashes
# 3: Cassandra Clare – City of Glass
# 4: Cassandra Clare – City of Fallen Angels
# 5: Cassandra Clare – City of Lost Souls »»
# 6: Cassandra Clare – City of Heavenly Fire

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(© goodreads)

About the author – Cassandra Clare:

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.
(Source: Goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: Under the Never Sky

English Cover

German Cover

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‚Under the Never Sky
by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky # 1.

Synopsis:
Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – known as The Death Shop – are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild – a savage – and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile – everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
Unfortunately I’ve only borrowed this book by a friend of mine and I left it a long time aside, because I simply had too many other books to read and now I’m glad, that finally I’ve read it and I ask myself why I’ve waited so long for it. The reason was likely also that I didn’t want to read a dystopia again, but for me this book wasn’t like all the other dystopias, where a system rules and the protagonist must notice it, before he/ she stands against it, but here the main character was exiled at the beginning and then she was transferred to a completely other world which is more likely to the fantasy-genre than to the dystopian, what was very various and refreshing.
It was again definitive a book which I love and didn’t want to put aside any more and where I’ve checked constantly the side number to see how long I can still read, for the only reason, because I didn’t want it to end.

As usual in a dystopia, there was at first a lot of information and open questions, before the world was completely explained and we got to know where the story plays and what it is about. The idea of the author that the world lies in ruins because of this‚ Aether Storms‘ and that the people have built so-called ‘Domes’ to shelter them, was original for me and also the twits which have arisen. Also I liked the confrontation of this futuristic world in the artificially built biosphere and by contrast the world outdoors, in the outer wasteland or so-called ‘death zone’ in which were ‚millions possibilities to die‘.

In this unreal world Aria is exiled, after she falsely gets blamed to put up a fire in which three youngsters get killed. The destiny wants that she meets Perry, who was born in this outside world and is called an ‘outsider’ or ‘barbarian’ by the ‚dweller’, like Aria is one. They enter an alliance to help each other although Aria has a dreadful fear against this ‚savage‘, whose name is Perry and he also isn’t thrilled by her at all.

I think the history is really great, original and I could imagine everything very well, by the pictorial and nice description by Rossi. If I didn’t already love the characters and the plot so much, than her writing style would have been a highlight, but because I also find the rest first-class, the writing style of Rossi is just an additional brilliant ‘dot on the i’. Rossi’s language is fluid, good to read and nicely formulated without to overload it and in my opinion the perfect mixture for a great reading pleasure.

I could take the characters very fast in my heart, especially because of the inner strength of Aria and her power of endurance, although she actually has lost basically everything. However she doesn’t cry or whine, but she clenches her teeth and keeps going … step after the other. For me this is really refreshing for a female main character and you can also notice with every page, how much the author loves her character. What leads to the fact that one likes her as fast, but also let Aria grows too fast and become strong in a short time and thereby she also seems a little unrealistically perfect.

Her male counterpart Perry isn’t less interesting, like attractive and a character in which one can lose oneself. Therefore I’ve liked it very much that the author has written alternately from Arias or from Perry’s point of view to get to know also his thoughts and feelings. A highlight was the friendship and later the love story of them both, particularly because the author gave them time to let everything develop slowly and that appeared very authentic and I really liked it extremely much.

Though it is a YA book, it also happened in it more than just the typical ‘holding-hands‘ scenario, although it is only indicated by the author and it doesn’t disturb me, even if the book is already rated for the age of 14. Nowadays the youth is much more premature anyway than when we were at that age and hence it doesn’t disturb me, even if others see that different.
Therefore it’s appropriate for youngsters and for adults as well. And I also liked that there was an accurate end but which leaves a few things open for the next part, but not in such a way that one is tormented if one must wait for some time till the next book will be release. *great*

German Cover:
Really great from the picture till to the ornaments, only unfortunately the girl could have had dark hair, instead of blonde – then it would have been perfect.

All in all:
This dystopia has more to offer then others and is also proper for fantasy-fans and for adults, as well as for youngsters. Moreover it’s a beautiful and varied story with strong characters.

Rating:
5 of 5 points

My Recommendation:
definitely to BUY!!!

For Fans of:
Dystopia, Fantasy, YA, Lovestory
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Quotes:

Aria: “She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she’d ever taken. And never had she loved life more.”
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Perry: “She’d fallen into a deep silence once, when the sun appeared, and it was then he’d wondered most what she was thinking.”
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Aria: “In the sounds of the night Aria heard footsteps, far off and faint, but she recognized them instantly.
She shot into the darkness, letting her ears guide her. She followed the crunch of his feet on stones and small twigs, coming faster, louder, as his walk became a jog, then a run. She chased the sounds until all she heard was his heartbeat and then his breath and his voice, right by her ear, telling her, in tones as warm as fire, exactly the words she wanted to hear.”

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Succession:

# 1: Veronica Rossi – Under the Never Sky »»
# 2: Veronica Rossi – Through the Ever Night
# 3: Veronica Rossi – ?

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(© goodreads)

About the author – Veronica Rossi:

VERONICA ROSSI was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up, she lived in several countries and cities around the world, finally settling in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. When not writing or painting, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that’s a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is her first novel.

Foreign rights have sold in over twenty-five territories to date and film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros.

(Source: http://www.veronicarossi.com/NeverSky/HOME.html)

Visit her Website »»

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