I’m really, really glad Cassandra Clare made the Mortal Instruments series longer than a trilogy. Somehow, the release of City of Lost Souls slipped by me and I completely missed it until I was at Barnes and Noble for a reading of Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen (the next review coming up on the blog, by the way). I’d just bought Jenny’s book and was making my way towards the back of the store when I saw the display for City of Lost Souls so then I had to get back in line to promptly buy it.

The fifth book in the series, this one picks up almost right where City of Fallen Angels ends. Jace is missing, disappearing with Sebastian, a spawn of greater demon Lilith. The Clave have all but given up on finding Jace, so it’s up to Clary and her friends to find him and stop Sebastian and his evil plans.Of course, nothing is ever that easy, and finding and saving Jace will require deals with Seelie Queens, complex magic, and sacrifice of all kinds.

But enough of the synopsis, because I don’t want to give away anything. Cassandra Clare is giving us another exciting installment in the Shadowhunter saga. I still maintain the Clary and Izzy are two of the best heroines in Young Adult books today- they take an active role in the action, the stand up for themselves, they go after what they want. Sometimes, they need to be rescued, but they don’t wait to be. They love fiercely and loyally. For those reasons alone, I love these books.

But Clare also gives great glimpses into the relationships of the characters. Jace and Clary’s journey to South Carolina (Clare fans will know what that means) seems inevitable now- but whether or not they make it you have to read for yourself. We get some more of Simon and the affect of his vampirism on his family- and a fantastic example of unconditional support and love there. Magnus and Alec- well, they have one of the more adult (as Magnus is hundreds of years old) and complex relationships in the series, and Clare has them facing some tough challenges in this novel.

When I read the Mortal Instruments books, I know I’m going to get some great action and a good story- but frankly, it’s getting to know the characters and watching them develop that keeps me coming back for more. When do we get book 6?