Review: “City of Lost Souls” by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

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?
Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

5 stars

City of Fallen Angels was the first Cassandra Clare book I did not rate 5 stars. I honestly could not believe that–after the almost PERFECT ending of CoG–Clare was going to come back with three more books. I hated the entire storyline, I hated everything that happened and I wanted it to not exist. It wasn’t because the book was bad–hardly!–but because I just really didn’t want the gorgeous ending of CoG to be messed up. And it totally was.

So, with that in mind, we enter me trying to moxie up to read City of Lost Souls. I delayed for a LONG TIME. I’d caught some spoilers through the internet, which made me dread it worse. But I finally realized that I could not let any Clare book sit around for long, and because I’m a completely fangirl and needed to know what happened…I finally read it.

And I am glad I did.

There is a great thing about CoLS, and that is that it reads much differently than the first three books. As my memory serves, CoB, CoA and CoG were all primarily Jace/Clary POVs. In CoLS, however, it feels like EVERYBODY has a POV, which is utterly fantastic. Jace and Clary are still the center of the story, but they aren’t the only thing going on anymore. Sure, not every storyline was a hit with me, so why don’t we break them down?

Simon (and, to a lesser extent, Isabelle): Simon has A LOT to say in this book, and I loved it. He is one of the most fantastic characters in the series, and he’s really getting a fantastic slice of the limelight. His story tangent with his family was great. Plus, Simon/Izzy? SO ADORABLE. Izzy is really becoming more and more of a 3D person, and that’s coming from someone who passed her off as a cliché in the first couple of books.

Jordan/Maia: This is one of the storylines that really bored me. Maia never struck me as a favorite character to begin with, and Jordan and their relationship just feels overly melodramatic. It’s as if there has to be one cliché teen romance rolling around in here just because it’s a thing you do, and it’s these guys.

Alec/Magnus: I have so many feels about this couple. I adored how much of the limelight they got in this book, even if Alec was being an IDIOT. It was fantastic to really see them acting as a couple. EVEN IF ALEC WAS BEING AN IDIOT. Ahem. The end killed me, but I can’t help but totally agree with it.

Jace/Clary: I’ll admit, I’m an absolute sucker for these guys. I was really headdesking a lot about Jace, but Clary was especially coming into her own and it was mostly her POV, so I didn’t mind. Maybe Jace and Alec were parabati linking over the IDIOT! theme? Still, they really grew as a couple at the end, which I loved. Also I am a sucker for these guys. 😀

Overall, I really enjoyed this one more than I thought I would after CoFA. Once again, Clare had me writhing in my seat in laughter and in ALL OTHER FEELINGS. I’m still on the fence about if the series should have continued at all, but I will admit: If the series did have to go on, this is absolutely the way to do it. The story is evolving into being centered on a lot more characters than Jace and Clary and really giving those minor characters we love a chance to shine. TMI fans will not be disappointed.

The sixth and final (at least, it better be this time) book of the Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, is expected to be released March 19, 2014.

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10 thoughts on “Review: “City of Lost Souls” by Cassandra Clare

  1. Alec and Magnus are one of my all time favorites couples. Their arc killed me in this one, but still, I’m so in love with Magnus.

  2. Glad I read this review. I had the same problem with the CoFA. The trilogy ended amazingly, and then Clare turned around and threw *more* relationship drama at Jace and Clary…oh, and horrible scary action stuff too. I mean, it was a good book and all, but not really comparable to the first three. Now I actually will read CoLS.

    I had a similar problem with Clockwork Angel – the story just seemed too similar to the first series, and didn’t draw me in despite being well-written… do you have any recommendations on whether I should read Clockwork Prince?

    • You know, a lot of people have told me they prefer TID to TMI, not joking. I do think the storyline gets better in Clockwork Prince – especially since the character of Will gets much deeper. It’s also the ONLY series to have a love triangle I can stand.

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