Friday, 25 May 2012

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

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication date: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
Age group: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover rating: 4/5
Content rating: 5/5
Buy: Amazon / The Book Depository
I think it goes without saying that since this is book 5, spoilers for the series will probably pop up below!

Description via Goodreads

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?
My thoughts:
My love for this series has been rekindled! While I did enjoy City of Fallen Angels, I still thought it was taking it too far and had hoped the series would end at book three. This, however, was brilliant and contained everything I loved about The Mortal Instruments in the first place! This one was an absolute rollercoaster of emotions and I'm sure any fans of the series will not be disappointed with the latest installment. I tried to read it as slowly as possible because I couldn't handle it being over for another while. Thankfully, there is over 500 pages so we do get a lot of action. 

City of Lost Souls has a very different feel to the rest of the books and it's something that I wasn't sure I would like. Jace in particular really takes a back seat during the book and I was devastated about this at first! Jace has always been my absolute favourite character and in this book, he is ''possessed'' basically and well, a real jerk. I didn't like him at all when he was this ''other Jace'' and I missed his sarcasm and snarky remarks! Fear not though, because we do get some of the ''real Jace'' just not as much as in previous books. But honestly, I ended up not caring a whole lot in the end because everything else made up for it. Don't get me wrong, I still adore him but his absence wasn't as awful as I thought it would be. 

With Jace gone for a lot of it, we get to know the other characters better. Characters I was never even that fond of before this one. Simon always annoyed me and I used to hate when the book would focus in on him but I loved him in this. I loved getting to know him and seeing a Simon who wasn't just pining after Clary the whole time. I was excited to see Simon and Isabella getting closer and was definitely rooting for them. And Alec and Magnus? Loved. We get a lot of exciting scenes with them together and I wanted even more! They were so fun to watch together but it's not all plain sailing either. 

Cassandra Clare's writing continues to grab me and I find it a pleasure to read. I always find her books impossible to set down and this was no exception. The plot in City of Lost Souls is so intense and at times even terrifying. There is so much going on and it can be a bit overwhelming, too. By the end, I just didn't know what to think. I was so happy about some things and devastated about other things. This was another winner and I am so excited about the sixth book. It's just sort of sickening that it won't be out until 2014! I'm going to have to put the series out of my mind because other wise I'll go crazy during the wait. 


  1. I'm very excited about this one! I'm not very fond of the cover though :3
    I don't know how I'm gonna deal with a lack of Jace :( but I'm sure as you said things will make up for it!
    Thanks for the review :)

  2. I LOVED CoLS! I have just so much respect for Cassandra Clare as a writer. But I can't believe we have to wait two years before we can get our hands on CoHF!

  3. I've always loved Simon and especially like the way his character developed in the last book. I'm looking forward to a lot more of him in this one. I can't wait.

    1. I love Simon too, but Magnus is my favorite!

  4. I'm so happy to hear that this series is back on track. Honestly, book 4 was a big disappointment for me and I struggles with it terribly, but I'm glad Clare took a step back with this one.
    Great review!

  5. I have heard such great things about this series, I have the first 3 sitting here ready to read but I just haven't gotten round to it yet. I just skimmed through your review as I don't want to spoil anything. But I'm glad you loved this one. :)

  6. Aww, I'm so behind in this series LOL. Jace is such a swoonworthy character. <3 With Jace gone in most part of the book, I have no idea how it can be an amazing read, but YAY! Seems like it turns out amazing! x)

    Lovely review, Nicola! <3 I'm glad that everyone seems to enjoy this book after many disappointments in book 4. :)

  7. I'm atually more interested now that I see Jace is not the lead in this one. I love all the characters and I found getting Simon's POV in the last one was really great. However, I wasn't a big fan of the last one though so I think I'm kind of getting tires of Cassandra beating a dead horse. It should have been kept at the original planned 3 books. I feel she's going to do like Charlaine Harris and take it way too far - not knowing that you should stop while you're ahead. Anyways, I'm still curious enough to read it :)

  8. Now you made me want to read this series!

  9. Oh I'm glad you LOVED it. I much preferred Simon in this one too. He just annoyed me when he was pining after Clary all the time. I'm definitely rooting for him and Isabelle too. And I hope Alec and Magnus work it out. Magnus is awesome! Great review :)

  10. I think I'm one of the few people who were completely happy with book 4, so I was super excited for book 5. Great review, Nicola! I loved this book too, but also agree that I missed the 'real' Jace and would have loved to see more of him. I still can't quite believe we have to wait until 2014 for the next book though...

    By the way, I LOVE the new blog design. It rocks! :)

  11. Uh oh..i haven't read these but I know just from reviews that if Jace is missing a lot of ladies aren't gonna be happy. I am glad you still liked it! Awesome review.

  12. I missed Jace so much in this book too -- that's one reason why I couldn't give this book 5 full stars like I wanted to! But I still absolutely LOVED everything else about it, and I liked how we got to know the other characters in the books like you did. I adored Isabelle even more in this book than before because I could really connect with her. But even after 400 pages of awesomeness, I still have no idea how I feel about Sebastian! x) (He was evil, but he was lonely-evil... and those are the kind of villains that are hardest to hate!)

    Really awesome review, Nicola! :) <3 But 2014 for the next book??? Oh my gosh, I think I just died a little inside!!

  13. I gave up on this series because book 4 really annoyed me and I agree wtih you that it should have ended at three. Still now your review intrigues me. I always liked Simon and Magnus Bane rocks. I just can't stand CC's habit of terrible cliffhangers and to have to wait until 2014...I may read this but wait awhile.

  14. I was the same way about Jace. I really thought at the beginning that it was going to be hard to read without so much of the Jace we love but I ended up loving it too! Great review!

  15. I have yet to get up to date with this series since I've only read the first two books but I swear one day it will happen. I think my thing with being slow to read this series is the fact that I'm just not in love with it the way everyone else is.

    I'm glad you loved this book though and I'm sure the wait for book six will feel like a long time!

    Thanks for the awesome review!

  16. I love the worlds Cassandra Clare creates. I have read all of her other books several times, but this one let me down. Very little is happening for the first 3/4 of the book. It's mostly the various couples making out with one another. A lot of "His body fit perfectly with hers while laying side by side..." and "He tugged at her curls..." and "...the familiar feel of his lips/hands/tongue/etc..." A lot of description into everyone's hair and bodies. She described Jace as golden literally every single time Jace was mentioned. Despite the lack of plot I ended up with more questions than answers, like why is Magnus so secretive about his past and his father? And why is Brother Zachariah so invested in their lives?

    On the bright side, once the "action" stops and the action begins it's pretty good albeit very brief. I also like the Alec/Magnus storyline, it kept me interested in the book. There was very little to love in City of Lost Souls but I'll forgive her because I've loved every other book and I've really come to care about what happens to these characters. I hope the next books are less making out and more story and that they answer my questions.


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