City of Lost Souls

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

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave’s magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can’t stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s magic has wrought – Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.

Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can’t help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing 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? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

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

The Story:

If you’re reading this review of the FIFTH (count ’em) book in the Mortal Instruments series, I’m going to assume you’ve read the other four and that I don’t have to bring you up to speed, so I digress.

Jace and Mr. Evilpants himself, Sebastian, are connected in some kooky, dark magic-infested way.  They’re like twin souls, with Sebastian manipulating Jace, molding him into some weird best-buddy. And Jace, clearly under a strange spell, agrees to everything because he thinks Sebastian is the bees knees. Poor Sebastian; he’s just misunderstood, you guys!

While Jace and Sebastian have up and disappeared, Clary and the Lightwoods are totally out of their tree, desperately trying to find the new BFFS and save Jace from Sebastian and from the Clave since they now believe that Jace is aligned with Sebastian.  Of course, all their attempts are in vain because those two crazy kids are next to impossible to find. When Jace shows up, desperate to see Clary and bring her to The Dark Side, an even scarier truth is revealed. The bond Jace and Sebastian have cannot be severed by any normal method.  To harm one of the boys would directly impact the other. Rats!

Clary, in her awesomely stubborn way, comes up with an extremely crackpot, dangerous way to save her lovely, lovely man. I mean, he doesn’t think he needs saving, but Clary decides to do it and the only person she lets in on her plan is Simon, the best friend who puts all other besties to shame.

As with all Mortal Instruments books, there are other important storylines: Magnus and Alec, Isabelle and Simon (be still my heart! These two are so cute!) and some wolfy business, but the most important story is the one that focuses directly on Sebastian because his evil plans will ultimately affect everyone.

My Take:

Overall , I still really love these characters. I love the incredible world Clare has imagined.  And she’s so gifted at the teasers (there are some great Infernal Devices references that I’d love to assume I understand, although I’m certain I’m way off). And there are other positives. I’ve loved watching Simon grow into this strong, amazing, butt-kicking character who, at his heart, is still an utter nerd.  And there’s always an underlying love I have for Clary and Jace and this intense, lovely relationship they have.

But honestly this book was missing some of the charm of the other books.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  There was nothing inherently wrong with the story (although some of the Stepford Jace parts were a little slow), but it dragged a bit for me.  It wasn’t until the last third of the book, when something very specific happens with Jace, that the pace picked up. Then it was on like Donkey Kong—but in a book that’s 534 pages that’s quite a few chapters to get through before feeling truly engrossed.  I feel like such a traitor saying this, but I think when the final book comes out I’ll be ready to say goodbye to this series.

But don’t quote me on that. I still love Jace.

Crush Intensity: 3.75/5  There were a few parts I really loved. There were some great ID references.  And there was lots of other stuff that just didn’t do it for me this time around, but the end reeled me back in.
Memorable Quote:

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

I’m sure you can guess who said that.

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2 thoughts on “City of Lost Souls

  1. Oh hoorays you read this! You’re right though, about it missing something. I felt like there were almost too many story lines going on, so we didn’t get to be as wrapped up in Jace and Clary and the Shadowhunters like with the first couple books. Still a huge fan of the series, but I’m ready for them to wrap it up.

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