Book Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) by Cassandra Clare

City of lost soulsTitle: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Summary: 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. -Goodreads


**Warning: Spoilers!  I talk about events from other books in TMI and TID a bit.  I also make a Harry Potter reference.  Watch out!**

Here we are!  City of Lost Soulswow.  I’ve officially read EIGHT Cassandra Clare books!  Cassandra Clare would probably be in fourth place from my Most Read Authors list.  Ann M. Martin comes in first, Lauren Myracle in second, J.K. Rowling in third, and Cassandra Clare in fourth.  R.L. Stine might be on that list, because I read a lot of Goosebumps when I was younger.

If you’ve read my City of Fallen Angels review, you’ll probably remember that I felt the book was smaller than the others, despite its 400+ pages.  Well, that’s certainly not the case with CoLS.  With a total of 535 pages, this book was a beast!

CoLS is written in third person, and in several–and I mean several–of the characters’ POVs.  I enjoyed reading from the new POVs that were introduced, like Alec’s POV, which I don’t remember in any of the other books.

(By the way, I saw the Shadowhunter Codex at the bookstore while I was getting Champion!  I’m so excited to get it!)

The book starts in Simon’s POV, when his mom is telling him that he’s a monster and he needs to leave before she kills him herself.  Now, I could sympathize with Simon, but there was a limit to my sympathy.  I don’t know, he seemed barely emotional about this.  I think that the character’s emotions push the reader to feel emotional.

Because when Clary called Simon a little bit after to tell him that Jace was gone, you could tell she was worked up, even with the small description.  But I could feel more emotional for her than I could for Simon.

Throughout the series, we’ve seen Isabelle’s character grow, but I think in this book particular, she was fantastic.  She was Clary’s rock in the beginning of the book.  I don’t remember which Lightwood Alec, Isabelle, and Max descended from.  I think it was Gideon (TID).

Oh, yeah!  Is it just me, or did everyone get over Max’s death very quickly?  I mean, it was mentioned a bit in the book, but still.

I loved how the Shadowhunters had family rings like the Morgenstern family ring or the Lightwood ring.  We also found out that Shadowhunter names are actually compound words, like light and wood or morgen and stern or fair and child, so I thought that was pretty interesting.

I also liked how we were being introduced to other Institutes, like the Moscow Institute and the Los Angeles Institute.  I think that opened up the Shadowhunter world for me even more.

So, we’ve yet to be introduced to Tessa.  I really did think that Tessa would be introduced in this series, especially because Jem was, y’know?  OH, but it was so sweet how Jem–sorry, Brother Zachariah–was set on helping to “preserve the Herondale line,” wasn’t it?!

I love Luke.  He’s, like, the perfect father-figure.  I didn’t like the actor who portrayed him in the movie–he just didn’t match my mental image of him at all.  But I’ll always slap on the face I think Luke is (rather than movie Luke) to the character.

Anyway, I was freaking out when he was dying.  I was so scared.  In the end, he was okay, but… Man, I was freaking out.

I was so sad for Jordan when he told Maia he loved her and then she just took off.  It was such an “aww” moment.  BUT!  Maia came back and now they’re together!

Simon was so awesome in this book, and I think we saw more of his personality coming out.  He was Clary’s second rock.

Favorite Lines:

“The Clave can be like that,” Isabelle said.  “I guess we shouldn’t have expected anything else.”

Basia coquum,” Simon said.  “Or whatever their motto is.”

“It’s ‘Descensus Averno facilis est.’  ‘The descent into hell is easy,'” said Alec.  “You just said “Kiss the Cook.”

“Dammit,” said Simon.  “I knew Jace was screwing with me.”


Alec sputtered.  “As the person being objectified, I.. object to that description of me.”


Simon rolled his eyes.  “It’s a good thing we know the person who’s dating Magnus,” he said.  “Otherwise, I get the feeling we’d all just lie around all the time wondering what the hell to do next.  Or try to raise the money to hire Magnus by selling lemonade.”

Alec looked merely irritated by this comment.  “The only way you could raise enough money to hire Magnus by selling lemonade is if you put meth in it.” 


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


“There’s a legend,” he said, leaning forward with his hands cupped around a mug of hot cider, “that the kind had the eyes of the clock maker put out after this clock was finished, so he could never build anything as beautiful again.”  When I read this, I swear, my fangirl radar was on crazy mode.  Why?  There’s a series, The Kronos Chronicles by Marie Rutkoski, and the first book is based upon this legend.  Go check out this series, I highly recommend it!  (They were in Prague when Sebastian was explaining this legend.)

I couldn’t stop laughing when Isabelle read a text from Simon’s sister, Rebecca, and she was all, “Rebecca.  Who’s Rebecca?”  And Simon was all, “My sister.”  Hahaha!

Maia and Jordan were pretty distant in the beginning, but then they got together and all was well!

WHAT THE HECK WAS WITH JACE?!  DUDE!  He was… gah!  I was so upset.  I really missed the real Jace’s presence in this book.  Cassandra Clare did a fantastic job with distinguishing the two Jaces.  I mean, Jace made his jokes and all, but he didn’t have me rolling on the floor laughing.  You could clearly see that fake Jace wasn’t real Jace.

But I was really happy when fake Jace turned into real Jace for a while.

Alec was always picking fights with Magnus throughout the book about his previous relationships, and it was getting really annoying.  And then Camille told Alec that it was possible to take away Magnus’ immortality.  I was like, “NOOOOO!”  But Alec was awesome when he fought her.  The thing that made him not so awesome?  The fact that he even CONSIDERED taking Magnus’ immortality just so they could live and age with each other and blah, blah, blah.  Nope.  Not cool, bud.  That’s why you’re boyfriendless now.

Camille began to give Alec relationship advice… Oh, goodness grief.  I was thinking that she was going to turn him against everyone.

Go check out pages 140-141.  Simon had me laughing so hard.  He’s one of my favorite characters.

Once upon a time there was a silly little girl whose hobby was to come up with suicidal plans and put them into action.  Her name was Clarissa Fray.  By the Angel… this girl must have a death wish, or something.  I mean, I get that she’s trying to save Jace and all, but seriously!  She confided in Simon about this idea, gave him a ring that allowed them to communicate telepathically with each other, and then ran off with her homicidal brother and boyfriend who was like a clone to that homicidal broski.  Come on.  Come on!

I was beginning to think that Sebastian actually cared for Clary, and then… Gods, that epic fight scene with them when he was trying to kiss her?  I was BUZZING.  I was so freaked.  He really is crazy.  And obviously liked the whole incest thing.

The relationship between Jonathan Morgenstern and Jonathan Herondale was like that of Harry Potter and Tom Riddle: Neither can live while the other survives. 

Praetor Scott was, uh, pretty scary.  He’s pretty strict with his wolves.  Anyway, Maia was trying to persuade him to cure Luke and she said that because Luke is on the Council, the Praetor would “always have a Council voice in their favor.”  And then Praetor Scott was all, “I hope you understand that when you make promises in other people’s names, it falls upon your head to make sure they follow through.”  Which makes me think there’s going to be some drama with Luke and Praetor Scott.

We got a very brief insight on Magnus’ parents.  I’ve never actually imagined Magnus as a child… Hmm…

When Simon came clean about Clary’s idea to find Jace, Clary was long gone and Jocelyn was mad.

“Simon, I expect reports from you every twenty-four hours that my daughter is all right.  If I don’t hear from you every night, I’m going to the Clave.”

Now, if I was Clary’s mom, I would’ve ripped that Faerie ring off of his finger and tried to contact Clary.  But what does stubborn ol’ Jocelyn do?  She storms out of the house dramatically.

And then, Clary lost her ring that enabled her to communicate with Simon.  Smooth.  I was thinking, “Should’ve thought of that before going to a nightclub and getting high.”

The gay spider line was hilarious!  (Pp. 389-390)

And Simon’s goodbyes were funny, too, when he was going to summon the angel.  Haha… Funny!

In the end, I’m rating this book 4.75/5 stars.  I really enjoyed it and I think it’s Cassandra Clare’s most intense book as of yet.  This is the highest rating I’ve given for a book in TMI, but this is my least favorite.  Of course, my favorite is City of Bones, but still.  Awesome book, this was!

I know this was a really long review and I don’t blame you if you just skimmed through it.  But if you did read through to this, awesome!  Even if you didn’t, it’s still awesome!  I hope you enjoyed this review, and I cannot wait for the epic series finale, which I believe is due to come out next year: City of Heavenly Fire.


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