City of Lost Souls is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This review will not contain spoilers for City of Lost Souls, but it will have spoilers for the previous four books.
The disappearance of Jace has everyone worried, but when he shows back up in Clary’s room, she is horrified to discover that he is tied to Sebastian in more ways than she ever dreamed possible. Sebastian is a hunted man, but if anything happens to him, then Jace will suffer too. Clary takes it upon herself to find and save Jace, but if she fails, her life will not be the only thing she loses.
Meanwhile, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle team up to find a way to save the ones they love, even if it means breaking even more laws than they already have. What much is saving Jace worth? And even if they can find him, is there anything left to save?
This book took me way too long to get through. I don’t think it was anything about the book itself, but just the fact that I had read so many of Clare’s books back to back that I lost interest. I put it down when I was about halfway through it and didn’t come back to it for about two months. I had to reread a few chapters to remember what was going on, but once I did, I was sucked back into this world.
I think my biggest complaint with this book is that it felt very forced to me. So much has happened to Clary and Jace over the course of the last four books and this one is no exception. While everything that happened was “realistic” and followed the rules that were set out in this book, I couldn’t help but feel that something was off with the chain of events.
However, I did like seeing the team od Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle. They all worked well together and the dynamic of those relationships held my attention. I was frustrated and annoyed and excited all at once as I watched this group figure out what to do next. I also loved getting to know Sebastian. He got quite a bit of time in the limelight throughout this book and I enjoyed getting to know him. I have so many questions about which of his masks is his real face and what was a lie and what wasn’t that I am really hoping gets answered in the next book.
I will say that I think it is by far my favorite ending in this series so far. I won’t say what happened but I will say that I wanted to immediately pick up the next book and start reading. Obviously, I didn’t. I have to read Clockwork Princess and The Bane Chronicles before continuing, but I can guarantee I will be flying through those books so that I can finally find out how this all ends.
With each new book that I read from Clare, I can actually see her writing skills improve. If you read and remember my review for the first few books in this series, the hardest part of reading them was the level of the writing, but this book was well written and I have no complaints about her style or voice.
Overall, I think I will give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it but I wanted more from it. I do recommend this series or rather this world to anyone who enjoys Urban Fantasy though!