Book Review: City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls 
 (The Mortal Instruments #5)
By:  Cassandra Clare
Published By:  Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date:  May 8, 2012
Page Count:  536
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer
Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy

I'm still shaking my head... WHERE does Cassandra Clare come UP with this stuff?!!  All this from a visit to a tattoo parlour?!!  Seriously?!!

I could never get tired of this amazing world that Cassandra Clare has created in her Mortal Instruments (and Infernal Devices) series, and City of Lost Souls, her latest TMI book, left me wanting more, more, more... and right now, right now, right NOW!! 

Upon cracking open this newest installment, I was admittedly nervous and excited to see where Cassandra Clare, the master story-teller that she is, was going to take us on.  At the end of City of Fallen Angels, we were left wondering what was to become of Jace and Sebastian as they 'became one'.  We had a whole year to mull that over... and we were still led down a road that I didn't foresee. 

I'll try not to be too specific for those who have yet to read this amazing installment, but I will admit that it was a difficult book to get through for the most part -- and that part being that Jace was not 'himself' for most of this book -- but despite that, it was still AMAZING and still had me sucked in and totally invested in this continuing and EPIC story. 

Sebastian is back... and with a vengeance.  But the roller coaster of impressions that Cassandra Clare took us on where he was concerned, I was not prepared for.  He did despicable things in City of Glass.  My initial reaction on his return in this book was of course, he was being set up to be the next villain and I had an instant hatred for him.  However, through his manipulations in trying to get Clary on his side, I was almost fooled myself.... ALMOST!   He is crazy like a fox and demented and twisted.  I couldn't imagine a worse villain than Valentine... but here he is.

One of the aspects of City of Lost Souls that really stood out for me was the character growth in both Clary and Simon.  Of course, going through what they have gone through since this story began, would change anyone... but they matured by leaps and bounds. 

Clary is almost unrecognizable now compared to who we met in City of Bones.  She is still Clary at her core... but she has become a brave and passionate heroine as this saga unfolds.  She is reckless at times -- thinks before she acts -- just like Jace (as he points out to her how alike they are in a wonderful conversation they have together), and she would do anything -- ANYTHING -- for the ones she loves.  But she's not perfect and has her weaknesses and that was illustrated perfectly in this story as well. 

Simon... oh how I adored him in this installment.  He is really coming into his own.  His sense of doing the right thing earns him a place on the hero's pedestal in my eyes.  We do understand that his primary motivation for just about everything he does is for his best friend Clary but what he takes on still requires a special person to handle it... and Simon is that person.  I also loved his blossoming relationship with Isabelle.  At times, it is awkward because, aside from Clary, he hasn't really had strong romantic feelings for anyone else and his inexperience shows in an adorable way.  Isabelle also shows her vulnerabilities despite how kick-ass she is usually portrayed.  I love how Cassandra adds dimension to all her characters.

Of course, I cannot NOT comment on Magnus.  Magnus continues to be his colourful and glittery self... and he truly seems to be one of the anchors in these books as his immortality allows him to span both series.  He is always there, often holding the key in solving the Shadowhunter's latest challenge.  As much as he sometimes jokes about getting paid for his services, you know he does it because he genuinely likes these people.  His relationship with Alec faces some challenges too and I have to say that I was quite disappointed in what Alec was even considering.

Also worth mentioning... Brother Zachariah.  We met him in City of Fallen Angels, and he continues to advise and help the Shadowhunters somewhat remotely.  But there is definitely something very familiar about him.  The author leaves little tidbits of his physical description that gives us clues as to his true identity (since the Silent Brothers used to be Shadowhunters)... and so I have my theories.  I cannot wait to find out which theory is correct as I doubt he is not an insignificant character.

And saving the best for last... JACE!  Not that this was his shining moment in this installment (I believe it is yet to come) but because this character has been through so much -- including two different forms of 'possession' over the last two books, that was hard for us Jace-lovers to get through -- but he's still our Jace in the end -- just a little bit more mature and wiser with every trial he endures.  His love for Clary (and vice-versa) and his heroic actions, is the stuff of legends.  I have no doubt that Jace, and Clary, will become legendary Shadowhunters who will be remembered for generations, if not forever. 

And of course, the sizzle between Clary and Jace is turned up a few more degrees in this book.  I'll leave it at that!

Seeing as we apparently have to wait TWO years for the final book... I can live with how City of Lost Souls ended.  No major cliffhanger but still enough loose ends to make the next two years an excrutiating wait!

After the way that the last book ended, I have to say I was both looking forward to and dreading the release of City of Lost Souls.   If I didn't love my books so much, I would have thrown that last one (City of Fallen Angels) against the wall -- and I very nearly did -- with the cliffhanger ending we got.  But Cassandra Clare writes that well... she evokes sooooo much emotion out of us through her story telling that we find ourselves getting totally invested in her story, and perhaps more significantly, in her characters.  She is, without a doubt, one of my favourite authors.  She weaves such an intricate story -- not only involving her vast array of amazing characters -- but the fact that her stories span several books and two individual series with threads and nuggets left here and there to tie them altogether.  I just get sucked in and don't want to leave this world once I turn that last page of the latest installment.  Few authors leave me feeling that way... and Cassie is one of them. 


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.


  1. Whoa!! must pick up where I left off..

    Dee, from e-Volving Books

    1. The Mortal Instruments series continues to be all kinds of wonderful, Deepali! Enjoy!

  2. Oh wow! As soon as I get my TBR pile organized, these are moving up my list STAT!

  3. Oh Michelle... they definitely have to go to the top of the your pile!! ;)

  4. I love the Mortal Instruments series. Although, I do NOT love that Lily Collins has been cast to play Clary in the movie set to come out next year. First of all, her eyebrows are huge. Secondly, she was awful, just awful, in "Abduction." But I digress.

    I reread the first four books in preparation for the fifth installment. At the end of the fourth book (spoiler, obviously, but I doubt you would be considering buying the 5th book without reading the 4th) Jace discovers that the rune that Lilith carved had healed and he could then be controlled by Sebastian, who, dun dun dun, is back from the dead. Which, I wonder if Clare was foreshadowing in City of Ashes when Simon says, "Never believe the bad guy is dead until you see a body. That just leads to unhappiness and surprise ambushes." This fifth book certainly is full of unhappiness and surprise ambushes.

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Sverige!

      Very true... and good catch on that foreboding statement from CoA! That's what I mean about Cassandra's writing... all these little 'nuggets' come back to be significant later!

      I'm not disappointed in Lily playing Clary... but I AM disappointed in Jamie playing Jace. He's just far from how I picture Jace and I just haven't seen him in anything that's wow'd me. Although, having said that, I'm trying to keep an open mind and hope he WOWS me afterall in City of Bones, the movie!

  5. I'm ashamed to say I have only read the first book in this series. My gosh it was good, and I want to continue, especially after reading your review of this fifth book. Sounds like the excitement and action keeps building and building! I like that!

  6. I've listened to the audiobooks of this series and have really enjoyed them, for the most part. I agree it was hard to not have Jace be himself for most of this story.

  7. I honestly wish this series had stopped with the first 3. I like the prequel series, but this continuation just bugs me. The characters don't feel the same.

  8. I just started reading this series in preparation for the movie (I know, I know, I am way behind the curve), and blazed through all five in a few days. So excited for the movie and book #6!

  9. The Mortal Instruments is one of my all-time favourite series. I understand about continuations being a risky move, but I'm enjoying the extension as I did want more Jace and Clary when I got to the end of City of Glass. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Haven't begun this series, but I really like her ID series and everyone's raving about Simon:)

    Lovely review:)

  11. I've only read City of Bones so far and I really liked it. I can't wait to read more of CC's books.

  12. I love this series!!!
    but... I dont like the fifth book, this one...
    I dont know, but i seems as if the plot(sebastion and everything)popped out of nowhere and i felt like it didnt really connect with the previous books. The ending wasn't that good, to say the least, seriously though, the whole jace with fire in him and all... It didn't really make sence to me why she would end the book on something almost completely unrelated to the previous books. It seems as if cassandra clare was just trying to make random things happen so that she could sell another book. That she ran out of ideas. Maybe its just me though... Fantastic review though!

  13. I haven't read this one either...:( Honestly, I don't know what I did this year. this one has been on my TBR was soo long.I really like Clary's character.

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!Cassie creates such a (for me) believable world.

  15. Thanks all for checking out my review for City of Lost Souls! I have to admit I was nervous about Cassie picking up the story again after City of Glass...but I've really enjoyed (obviously) the road so far! I know a lot of fans were happy with how City of Glass ended...I wanted more!

  16. After the last book in the series, I decided that I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't read another one and have to wait for the next. So I haven't read this book yet, and I am going to try and keep it that way until the last of the books are out. And then I am going to sit down and have a Mortal Instruments marathon!

  17. The cliffhangers are killers in Cassie's books...without a doubt. But they are also totally irresistible to me...I simply cannot wait till they're all I suffer! lol! A TMI marathon sounds awesome!! Enjoy! But the last book doesn't come out till 2014! :(

  18. I have yet to finish this series but can't wait to read more. Thanks for the review!

  19. Sigh, it seems that Cassandra is the master of surprises! Jace was really awesome in this book.

    I can not freakin' wait for the last book. Thank God Clockwork Princess is out this year :D

  20. I haven't read any book in this series but if the last book is due on 2014 then I have plenty of time to start reading book 1. And I wouldn't have to wait a long time to read the next book. ;)

  21. Thanks everyone for your great comments! And I hope you enjoy this great read when you do get to it!


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