This is a review for the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series. Although there will be no spoilers about City of Lost Souls there may be spoilers about the first four books in this series.
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: 8th May 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
"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?"
Reading the latest The Mortal Instruments book is always like catching up with old friends. This has to be one of my favourite series and like all fans I was anticipating this books release something fierce. I know there were a lot of mixed opinions over City of Fallen Angels but I personally really enjoyed the extension on the series and like where Cassandra Clare was taking these books. The stakes are even higher now with Sebastian, to me, being an even more dangerous and twisted villain than his father Valentine with his evil plans that will affect the world as we know it, not just for Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I feel like Clare really upped her game in these last two books and I have really enjoyed where she’s taken this new plot.
That being said I did feel like City of Lost Souls had a few faults and for that reason it wasn’t my favourite of the series. I feel like I go through my ups and downs with Clary, in some books I really like her, and in others she just gets on my nerves. Sadly this was one of those books that she really annoyed me. She made some dumb, selfish, mistakes and I felt like screaming at her “How could you be so stupid!?” but by the end of the book she goes back to being the brave and strong Clary that I love so she redeemed herself a little but jeez it took her long enough! And she puts a lot of lives at risk in the meantime whilst she’s busy being a stupid girl, not cool. I also have to say straight off the bat that I love Alec, I really do, but seriously what is his beef with Magnus having loved other people before him? I mean, I get that Magnus has been alive forever and so has been in love with more people than your average person and how that makes Alec feel like just another notch on his bedpost, but regardless to how long Magnus has existed, we all have our baggage and a past so I really didn’t get his jealousy at all and would get annoyed with how he would treat Magnus, once again, not cool.
Those dislikes out of the way I loved everything else about this book. I enjoyed finding out what this new bond between Jace and Sebastian entails and the full extent of Sebastian’s evil plans. I really loved Cassie Clare’s writing and the alternating narrative between all of the characters is something I really love about these books as there are so many characters to love, and the switching perspective keeps things fresh with something constantly going down for one of the characters so there’s never a dull moment.
I feel like I’ve come to know these characters so well and I love to live inside this world through them that I’m sad that the series will finally be ending in the next book. Like in City of Fallen Angels I really liked how the prequel series, The Infernal Devices, is tied into the story and love reading the nods to that series as I’ve personally come to love The Infernal Devices even more than The Mortal Instruments.
I don’t think that fans of this series will be disappointed with City of Lost Souls. Despite it not being one of my favourites of the series on the grand scale of things it was still an epic read. Relationships fall together and fall apart, sacrifices are made for the greater good, and best of all (In my opinion) we get to know Sebastian better as a character; he’s certainly a villain I love to hate! This book doesn’t have a huge cliff-hanger but it definitely has an ending that has me interested to see where Cassie Clare takes us next. Overall, although not my favourite book in the series, it was still a fantastic read that builds up things nicely for what promises to be the grandest of grand finales.
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