Home       About Me       Review Archive

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: May 8, 2012
Pages: 535
Source: Bought
Rating: 3.5 Stars

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?

In short: Though I am no longer as enamoured with this series as I once was, Cassandra Clare does a good job of getting me amped up for the conclusion of The Mortal Instruments in City of Lost Souls.
It saddens me that this series that I once loved has become a bit of a chore to read. I really enjoyed the original Mortal Instruments Trilogy and I thought City of Glass was a great and epic finale. My thoughts upon the announcement of the expansion of the trilogy to a further three books were conflicted: I do love these characters that Cassandra Clare has created and I was excited to see more from them, but I was also satisfied with the original ending as it stood and wasn't convinced the plot could be dragged out further in any particularly interesting way.

Upon reading the first two books of The Mortal Instruments v2.0, City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls, my thoughts remain similarly conflicted. I do still love spending time with these beloved characters, but it has taken me a while to become truly invested in this whole new story line. The beginning of City of Lost Souls dragged for me and I was worried that I wasn't ever going to find that gripping spark that The Mortal Instruments once had. Thankfully, the story does hit its stride eventually and ramps up to a thrilling final sequence, but I wish my excitement had been incited sooner.

I guess my main concern is that The Mortal Instruments v2.0 and specifically the final book, City of Heavenly Fire, will fail to live up to high standard set by the epic conclusion of the original trilogy. How disappointing would that be if the series ended with a less than stellar finale? It would be anticlimactic. That said, I do still have faith that Cassandra Clare will pull out all the stops for City of Heavenly Fire. She has yet to disappoint me with a finale and I liked the direction she went with the ending of City of Lost Souls, so I haven't lost hope on the series yet!

Previously, my review of City of Fallen Angels.

Other Reviews:
Avery's Book Nook
Burning Impossibly Bright
Mundie Moms

Author Links:


  1. I think I have decided not to finish The Mortal Instruments 2.0. I felt like CoFA was SO dramatic and Clary and Jace had to once again fight for their relationship. I was also really pleased with the original ending and I think I've decided that, that's good enough for me. I don't think I would have been as patient with this book as you were.

    I hope the last book isn't a disappointment.

  2. For some reason, I've never felt the need to read Clare's books even though they're so heavily praised.

    It's too bad you feel like reading this series is now a chore. I'm surprised you stuck with it; I know I would have given up, Aylee. I hope you love the last book though.

  3. Yep, I was really disappointed and bored with this book. I've never skimmed any of other books books in this series, but I do a lot of skimming in this one. It just seemed repetitive and really unnecessary. I hope the last book isn't bad like one.

  4. Personally speaking, the series felt like a chore to me with the original three books (mostly - I only got more or less hooked with book 3 and 4 for some odd reason...) then with this one, I more went right back to feeling like it was mostly a chore to read. In one sense, I'm glad I'm not the only one but in another sense I wish the hardcore fans of the original series like you had better luck with it's continuation. It sucks when beloved series' end up fizzling at the end...instead of getting better and better with every installment :( Admittedly, they all still managed to get me invested in them as they went on, so I'm glad the same can be said for you with CoLS. Like you, I'm hoping CoHF will go out with an epic bang, besting the ending for book 3...but I'm scared it might not. It would suck if it didn't so I'll hold out hope for happy endings! Excellent review as usual Aylee ^^

  5. I loved the first three books, but I also liked the last two as well, which I know a lot of people didn't. The storyline has started to lose its charm for me, but I still have an odd sort of unconditional love for the characters in these books. I'm glad you liked it overall though. Weirdly, I'm not waiting on pins and needles for the conclusion, but I know that I will read it. Hopefully it will deliver! Lovely review, Aylee.

  6. I haven't read any of Cassie's books yet. My sister is on the second of the original trilogy I believe. I think authors should leave series alone after a bit, because sometimes less really IS more.

  7. I'm sorry this hasn't lived up to the first few books, one of my friends who is a super fan of the series often says that she can hear the "caching!" sound each time the author publishes a new book because it really went south after the third book.

    But lets hope the last book isn't so bad.

  8. Like you, I'm worried that City of Heavenly Fire won't live up to my expectations. I loved the way the trilogy ended originally and I hope dragging out more books won't make the series worse overall. I loved the end of the Infernal Devices, so I know she can wrap up a series in a satisfying way. I hope she pulls it off! :-)

  9. I was not a happy camper when I heard this series was continuing. I was happy with the original ending, and I saw no need for the series to be extended. While I love all the characters, I felt like the last two books just dragged and weren't necessary. I hope the finale is much better. Great review, Aylee! :D

  10. Want to know something funny?? It's been so long since I read this one that I honestly forgot that I reviewed it....*Facepalm* :P Thanks for sharing my review by the way. ;) I did remember that I actually really loved CoLS though, but I do agree that it took a bit to get into. I think that was mostly because the first part of the book was a bit light on Jace....and he's the big appeal for me most of the time. :P haha

    I'm glad that it picked up for you though, and I do agree that I was definitely more satisfied when the series was just a trilogy! Here's hoping that City of Heavenly Fire is satisfying and lives up to the extremely high expectations that the first three books created. ;)

  11. Book 4 is probably my least favorite, but I felt that CoLS did a good hob of picking the pace back up again. Definitely interested in what happens in CoHF!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  12. I absolutely loved this book. It was exhilarating and one of the best books of the Mortal Instruments series, and probably my favorite book of all the books I've read. Great job Cassandra Clare :)
    Perforator Document Dating website

  13. After reading your review, I have been convinced to read the book right away.
    Thanks a lot!
    Austin SEO Don Allen click here