Review: City of Lost Souls

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: McElderry Books (imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Pages: 534
Release Date: May 8, 2012

Goodreads Summary:

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.


City of Lost Souls took a while to digest. All night I could feel it in my gut like deadweight. All the subplots and characters and relationships and the fact that so much was going on made this book hard to break down.

But, finally, I woke up this morning and it all made sense. So, seeing as the book has been split into separate filing cabinets in my brain, I'm going to replicate that onto this review:

The Good:

I felt that Lost Souls was more compulsively readable than the other installments in the series. With all of the other books, I frequently found myself banging my head against the wall/skimming/debating microwaving an owl. With this installment, I found myself wanting to keep reading. Lost Souls had a lot more substance than the other books, which were stuffed with boring, meaningless conversation. Even though the book is a whopping 536 pages (Clare's second longest book yet, Glass being the longest), it never lets go of you.

I also appreciate how Clare didn't end the book with a tremendous, soul-shocking cliffhanger that makes you want to steal Clare's laptop to get a glimpse of the final book in the series. The end does make you want to read the next one, just not in a way that'll make you dread the long, long wait until March '14. Yes, that's twenty-two months of waiting. I don't know how I'm going to wait that long.

Another thing I love about The Mortal Instruments is how there are so many characters that you can fall in love with. My favorite couple in the books is Isabelle and Simon. They're my two favorite characters in the book, and they're totally meant for each other. <3 Clare writes their relationship very well. Even though Simon is a vampire, he feels like one of the most human characters in the book. He feels more than any of the other characters, and he isn't blind-sided by love. Izzy is his perfect match. I can't wait for their relationship to develop in the last book. 

Another relationship I love is Alec/Magnus. I love gay characters in YA, because I'm all for LGBTQ-type stuff, and Clare writes them really well. Alec is another of those really fleshed-out characters Clare wrote. And Magnus . . . *sigh* Who doesn't love glitter and sequins and scarves? Magnus is definitely the most fun character in the novels. He makes the books fun to read. Clare writes sarcasm and wit really well. I would find some awesome quotes, but I don't feel like it, honestly.

Overall, Lost Souls is a vast improvement over Fallen Angels, except for one major thing...

The Bad:

*Clary Fray. Oh my GOODNESS, woman. You need to realize that there are more things in the world than Jace Lightwood/Herondale/Morgenstern. One scene in the book had me wanting to shove her head into an oven. She spent the first few chapters wangsting about Jace's absence and Jace this and Jace that and SHUT UP! I have a sledgehammer and I'm not afraid to use it.

* SPOILERS (highlight the text to read it): ALEC AND MAGNUS BROKE UP! D: Their relationship was one of my favorites. Hopefully, Alec can win him back in 2014 when the next book comes out. (Yeah, can you tell I'm still totally pissed about that date?)

Those are the only two things I took extreme issue with in the book. Overall, it's an engaging read with some slight annoyances but an overall tightly-crafted plot and explosive climax.

Three and a Half Owls


Ellen Faith said...

Ah, this review is like mine but said a lot nicer and with less italics and exlamation points. Haha.

But I agree. This book was better than COFA, but still not that great. (At least in my opinion. I gave it 3.5 stars, too. I would have given it 4, but the first half of the book had me banging my head against the wall from bordem).

Amy said...

I completely agree as well this book was better than COFA however I gave it a little more brownie points. I met Cassie Clare the other week and she's really nice!
Check my blog out if you have time


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