City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
At the end of City of Fallen Angels, Jace disappeared, linked with the villain Sebastian and possessed by him. The Clave has called off its search Jace’s friends fear that his connection with Sebastian makes him a target. They summon demons and angels to break the bond, and Clary pursues Jace with the help of a fairy ring. The action moves quickly, as the group splits off to complete different parts of the plan, and then regroups to work on plan B or C.
The side characters are a strength of this series. Isabelle, Simon, Alec, Magnus, Maia and Jordan all have compelling love story subplots and even some steamy scenes of their own. That was a good thing, since in previous books Jace and Clary sometimes grated on me. However, in this book they didn’t, probably largely because being possessed kept Jace from displaying his most annoying characteristics and excused the lack of communication that created the narrative tension. The scene where he was temporarily free from his possession was the most powerful in the novel.
The ending sets up the final volume in the Mortal Instruments series to be pretty awesome. Jace and Clary are reunited and beginning to plot Sebastian’s demise, their romance hindered by some physical limitations that will surely disappear just in time to celebrate their final victory. Some other narrative loose ends that will have to be resolved: the Praetor Lupus calling in Maia’s favor, Simon’s new vulnerability to his vampire enemies, and the machinations of the fairy queen. Clare has built an intriguing magical world, populated it with flawed, brave people, and given them a nasty villain to fight. I’m glad it’s going to be getting the cable TV series treatment. Pass the popcorn, please.