Bad enough that Lilith orchestrated Sebastian’s return but she also bound Jace to him. They’ve disappeared and the Clave is looking for both of them. However, killing one kills the other so the solution isn’t easy. Meanwhile, Simon is dealing with his own family issues following his mother’s reaction in learning he’s now a vampire. He’s also being courted by both Raphael and Camille, each having an agenda. Magnus and Alec are trying to find their way and Isabelle struggles with her feelings for Simon and the perceived threat to her independence.
I have really mixed feelings about this story so I let it simmer for a day. I loved every time the story shifted to Simon and it really worked that it opened with him. His journey is raw and honest as he wears his emotions outwardly and he never even pretends to know the answers. His honesty and naïveté is refreshing, even when he does boneheaded things as it’s borne out of his well developed characterization. Same for Alec and Magnus given the former’s immaturity in relationships and newfound sexuality and the latter’s immortality. Even the phenomenon involving Jace and Sebastian was fascinating as it offered a contrasting view of both.
Where I tired was with Clary and her interactions with the two Jace’s and Sebastian. Even I could tell which was in charge at any moment. Sebastian’s behavior towards Clary was offputting and I don’t know what it added to the overall story arc. One narrator was used for the book and she made absolutely no character distinctions. She also happens to be the one who sounds like a 13-year old so imagine every character sounding this young. It definitely affected my absorption of the story. Every time the point of view transitioned, I had to listen carefully to determine who was narrating, often having to rewind.
Bottom line, I mostly enjoyed the story but not the overall reading experience. It was ~17 hours long so listening to a flawed narrator, IMO, made this less satisfying. I’m ready for the series finale!
- Release Date: May 8, 2012
- Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
- Narrator: Molly C. Quinn
- Audio Length: 16 hours, 59 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio