Wednesday, September 4, 2013

City of Losing Interest a Little

Clary and Jace aren't exactly a normal couple. In fact, they have probably had the most traumatic and bizarre relationship as any couple in history. From assuming they were brother and sister, still being attracted to one another, being attacked, death, etc., they are a bizarre couple from the word go. And in The City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, their relationship doesn't get any easier.

Clary thought it was over. Sebastian, her real brother (and also known as Jonathan Morgenstern), was defeated, Lilith was killed (or as killed as the oldest demon in history can be), and Jace was safe. She couldn't have been more wrong. When she returns to the roof, both Jace and Sebastian, who was supposed to be dead, are gone with no trace. They can't even be located magically. After an exhaustive search, the Clave can't afford to keep everyone looking for Jace. They are ready to close the search, but Clary refuses to give up. She will do anything to find him, even go to the Seelie queen. When she tries to steal the payment for the Queen from the Institute, she sees Jace, with Sebastian. As thick as thieves, the boys who were once mortal enemies seem to be the closest of friends. Clary had thought any manner of things could have happened to Jace, but she never imagined he would turn to the dark side. 

When Jace and Sebastian show up at Luke's apartment to get Clary to join them, it is clear to her that something had to have happened to Jace to change him. When they attack Luke and stab him with a demon metal knife, she knows she has to do something. But when it becomes clear that anything that happens to Sebastian also happens to Jace, their connection becomes even more frightening. One can't be killed without killing the other. Clary knows the Clave will consider Jace collateral damage in an effort to get rid of Sebastian, so she decides to do the only thing she can do- make them think she is going to join them in order to find a weakness in their connection. But what if there is no weakness?

You know when you follow a TV show for a long time and you start to think about how many times the main couple has broken up and made up, or how many guys the main girl has dated, or how many times the main characters have almost died, and it seems laughable? Like when you think about how many kids died in Buffy the Vampire Slayer over her years at Sunnydale High, but no one ever thought it was fishy? That is starting to happen to this series for me. I mean, really, how many times can Clary and Jace be in mortal peril or have their relationship completely destroyed, only to pick up the pieces and start again? Now, I have to say, I enjoyed the story, as always. But I am starting to go weary of Clary and Jace. In fact, I wanted to skip through their half of the book, but I just couldn't do it for plot's sake. 

Instead, the true gems for me are in the supporting characters. The relationship between Alec and Magnus is simply fabulous (well, honestly, Magnus is simply fabulous and by influence, so is Alec!). I love having a serious gay couple in young adult literature where they aren't romanticized or too perfect, but rather experience the same insecurities any couple faces, gay or straight. This is a great for all young adults to have experience with. In addition, Simon and Isabelle are a great couple. As complete opposites both supernaturally and humanly, they are full of twists, turns, and surprises. I honestly felt these characters were more interesting than the same old Clary and Jace nonsense, and would have been happy to just have their stories in this book. But alas, there are bigger things at work, and we must have Clary and Jace together again for the big, final, epic battle that is surely to come in the final book of the series. (Wait. Didn't it end already?!)

No comments:

Post a Comment