Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare


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.

(Note: I originally wrote this review February 23, 2014. )

This book has become such a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It’s not a great book. Heck, in the whole series the prose gets quite repetitive. Whenever Clare describes a character there is a formula about the angles of their face, what they are wearing, the color of their hair, their eyes, and what their eyelashes are doing. BUT it’s deliciously cheesy with teenage angst and I can’t help but admit I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of when I would love to watch soap operas in my childhood and teenage years. It was like Days of Our Live, Passions, and some CW supernatural drama all rolled into one. I just can’t get enough. LOL

I think I was supposed to read this after Clockwork Prince and before Clockwork Princess, which means the references to Infernal Devices made in Lost Souls were just supposed to be hints. But I already know how the dots connect.

Like all the good soap operas I have enjoyed in my life, here are a few things that bothered me: (Spoilers ahead.)

Jonathan (or Sebastian as he is often called) is a diabolical, bat-shit crazy, sister-fucker. For real. That psychopath almost raped his sister, Clary. Jocelyn should have drowned him at birth, or stabbed him when she had the chance. That being said, he makes a worthy villain to go up against because he’s not woobified or a lame excuse for an antagonist. I HOPE Clare doesn’t drop the ball and make his final destruction unsatisfying.

I think having Clary deal psychologically with the fact that her brother almost raped her might be giving this series too much credit.

This is a huge – I guess I’ll call it a blooper or inconsistency that bothers me. Alec says he felt Jace die, briefly when they were in Idris. That should have broken their parabatai bond. If Jace needs a new ceremony for Protection spells, why not a new one with his parabatai? Jace died, breaking their connection, and besides, I feel they never had a strong parabatai bond to begin with. More so after reading The Infernal Devices. Even Magnus proves my point on page 152 when he speaks of Will and Jem (though he never names them), “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person. Do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one who’s left-”

I was glad to see Jocelyn take more of a role in this book, rather than being the weeping mess she was in Fallen Angles. I liked when she yelled at Clary that her own actions were wrecking her life (because let’s face it, Clary made some terrible decisions in this book. Losing the faerie ring, taking faerie drugs, not letting the real Jace turn himself into the Clave. What a bad double agent.)

I liked when Jocelyn and Isabelle went to see the Iron Sisters. I also liked when she told the gang that raising a demon was the worse idea ever, because she was totally right about that one. This is the most I have seen a parent get involved in the events of the teenagers’ story. (Maryse had such a diminished role for not only a mother, but the leader of the NY Institute.)

Speaking of the Iron Sisters, I get a horrible feeling of foreshadowing for Isabelle. Not sure how I feel about her becoming one, should I be right about this foreshadowing. That might be the end of the the Lightwood bloodline. Unless Gideon and Sophie’s descendants are around somewhere.

Oh another blooper. Jocelyn told Clary in CoG that Shadowhunters marry young because they often die young. So when she thinks back why are we told Jocelyn’s parents were unhappy when she married Valentine at 19? Which, by the way is considered adult in their world.

No way is the ancient and cunning Camille dead, killed by some new born vampire. No way. I don’t care if Lilith created Maureen so maybe she is some super vampire. I call BS. Maureen is a liar. Camille is not dead. No body – not dead.

I am upset that Magnus broke up with Alec. Both were in the wrong for not being open and honest with each other, but I really do hope they reconcile in Heavenly Fire.

City of Heavenly Fire comes out in May, and I read some teasers that Tessa and Jem will appear in it! That is what I am looking forward to. Tessa and Jem.

3 out of 5 diabolical brothers.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

  1. I agree I love the series it’s amazing . From the very first love triangle . To Jace and Clary and from Magnus and Alec . I just love everything .

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