Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) – Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 8th 2012
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Book
Pages: 535
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Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series.

After the cliff-hanger ending of City of Fallen Angels, we find ourselves thrown in the midst of the Sebastian’s evil plan without really knowing what is going on, and why. Jace is missing, and all we know is that Jace is linked to Sebastian and to hurt Sebastian will hurt Jace. The Clave wants Sebastian dead - but they cannot find him. But even if they do, how can this be done without destroying Jace as well - and does The Clave care enough about Jace to ensure he survives?

Clary, Alec, Magnus, Isabelle and Simon find themselves fighting for Jace’s life - dealing with faeries, demons and other creatures never to be dealt with before - a lot of sacrifices are made to try to save Jace - but will they succeed? Meanwhile, Jace isn’t himself, and although his love for Clary remains, his bond to Sebastian is stronger. So Clary does the only thing she can think to do, and Clary decides to join Jace, in the hopes to save him. Clary finds that Jace is much more like Sebastian that she dared to imagine, but she constantly hopes that she can save the boy she loves. But will she survive herself?

During Clary’s time of trying to save Jace, we get to learn some of Sebastian’s plans, and also get see some other sides to him. There are moments of vulnerability and yearning, and then there are moments of bat-crap crazy - it is never a dull moment when Sebastian is concerned. He is a very interesting character.

The others are trying to find a way to detach Jace and Sebastian, and come up with some pretty inventive ideas - but will their plans work? Will they find a way to destroy one without the other?

Throughout this book we get to hear a LOT of Clary reminiscing about Jace. The flashbacks she has of him (even when he is there) do become a bit repetitive. Actually the become very repetitive. This may have annoyed me more because I found Clary extremely frustrating in this book. She was selfish and impulsive and made stupid decisions. One in fact was so ridiculously idiotic and selfish, I actually had to put the book down because she frustrated me so much.

Once again, I loved the references to The Infernal Devices… I love how these two are being interweaved, and this one thing that Clare continues to do extremely well. There were lots of references to the Herrondales and Tessa. I especially loved the comment about ducks! And I really enjoyed the lighter moments in this book; the sibling interactions between Alec and Izzy, the sarcasm and light-hearted humour of Magnus, and even Jace retained his ego-inflated sarcasm. And we even get to see the more vulnerable and softer side to Izzy - she has had it pretty tough, but she is certainly growing. And Brother Zachariah is clearly becoming a bigger part in the storyline, which I really like.

But there are two characters that I just really want to smack around the head - that being Clary and Alec. Although Clary is becoming stronger, she is starting to become a real Shadowhunter, sadly she is still making some pretty impulsive and idiotic decisions that could have disastrous consequences. And then there is Alec. I don’t normally have issues with Alec, but he was pretty stupid in this book… throughout the book I wanted to just shake him. I do love Alec, and although he has always been the sensible one, he proved that his heart can overrule his head. He lets someone plant ideas in his head, and sometimes thoughts can be turn into the most dangerous a weapon of all. Oh Alec….

Although I am a little over the whole Jace and Clary not being able to be together thing (5 books is a lot of angst), this book did have a stronger plot and faster pace than City of Fallen Angels, so therefore I did enjoy it more than its predecessor.

As the book draws to the close, the action really picks up. Sebastian’s plans are in full-swing, but so is the desire to save Jace. Some pretty horrific things happen, and a battle ensues. Hate, love, desire and betrayal are fuelling motives, and everyone is determined to succeed in their plan. People are hurt, people are desperate to save those who may or not be able to be saved, and people are thrown into a situation where sacrifices must be made. But will the ultimate sacrifice save or kill those you love the most?

The conclusion was certainly interesting - and I think ultimately this will be a huge part in the finale of this series - and probably not just a huge part, but THE huge part. I just hope that that card wasn’t played too early.



“Missing, one stunningly attractive teenage boy. Answers to ‘Jace’ or ‘Hot Stuff”

“Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.”

“Nerd love. It is a beautiful thing, while also being an object of mockery and hilarity for those of us who are more sophisticated.”

“He’d burn the whole world down til he could dig out you of the ashes.”

“You have a dark heart in you, Valentine’s daughter,”

“I don’t think she doesn’t believe she can die. I think, just like you always did, she believes there are things worth dying for.”

“Screw the Silent Brothers.”
“No thanks. There’s strong and silent, and then there’s just freaky.”


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