City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

"I don't think she doesn't believe she can die. I think, just like you always did, she believes there are things worth dying for."
The Mortal Instruments:
1) City of Bones 🌟🌟🌟
2) City of Ashes 🌟🌟🌟🌟
3) City of Glass 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
4) City of Fallen Angels 🌟🌟🌟 

Summary (From Goodreads)

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

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.


My Thoughts

I found this book very enjoyable and super intense. The last part of the book especially, I was feverishly flipping the pages until I reached the end. There were some parts of City of Lost Souls that I could have gone without, but I'll dive into that later. For now, I'll discuss my overall feelings of the book. I can really say now that Cassandra Clare has certainly improved in her writing since City of Bones. She has a way of drawing you in and locking you in tight, so you can't help but be interested in how the Shadowhunters will solve their latest dilemma. These guys can't catch a break! Somehow they always get themselves out of the problem by a thread, but it is truly something else. They are pretty indestructible

I thought City of Lost Souls was 10x better than City of Fallen Angels. Whereas there is still the classic relationship drama in this book, there was some recognizable plot movement, which I appreciated. It is interesting to see where Cassandra Clare is taking this series. Many people believe that The Mortal Instruments series should have ended after City of Glass, and I can partially agree with that. I absolutely loved City of Glass, and after City of Fallen Angels, I kind of lost hope with the last three books, but City of Lost Souls surprised me. I am extremely intrigued to see how City of Heavenly Fire will end this series, because I really do not know what to expect. Wow, a lot of Cities in that paragraph. 

Cassandra Clare throws everything at you in this book: love, sacrifice, betrayal, and action. She leads you down every twist and turn with ease and keeps you utterly fascinated. City of Fallen Angels may have redeemed my faith in The Mortal Instruments series, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the final book. 

(Stop reading here if you haven't read COLS - spoilers below)

What Worked:

  • The last 100 pages or so of the book
    • The final part of the book was filled with so much action and intensity, I just couldn't put the book down. Somehow, Team Good always wins and they seem to escape the worst of it, without too much harm. I think the most heartbreaking part was Amatis turning demonic and then being killed. That was the last person I expected when they pulled off the hood that was covering her face.
    • Cassandra definitely can write intense action scenes, and she delivered with this one. I can't wait to see what will happen with this war that everyone was talking about. I can see it being very action-packed and exhilarating. 
  • Isabelle/Simon
    • Isabelle and Simon became my favorite characters with this book, which made me ship them together even more. I think they have so much chemistry together (like that scene where Isabelle enjoys Simon drinking her blood? Woah) and I just love that their relationship wasn't automatic, but is growing gradually, which makes it so much more authentic. 
    • They seem like the most relatable characters to me, despite being a Shadowhunter and a vampire and how they kill demons. They aren't extremely reckless, and their choices make more sense to me. I feel like they make decisions based on a lot of thought, and don't just do things because it's what they want to do (like Clary does). They have so much loyalty and dedication to the people that they love and they make sacrifices because of that. I just love them so much and I hope they get together in City of Heavenly Fire!!
  • Learning more about Sebastian 
    • I kind of liked the idea that Sebastian and Jace had been connected through their blood, because we were able to learn more about Sebastian. 
    • I know that he is evil and has a very dark mind, but during the scenes with Clary, we could see somewhat behind that side and go deeper. Sometimes, he showed that he was capable of being a human. I think it is interesting because Sebastian just seems to be a character who is lonely and wishes for companionship, but he just has the wrong impression of what is right and he can't see beyond that. 
    • I think it is sad because the only reason he is so evil is because he was raised by Valentine and learned it from him. So, basically it's not his fault. He was just brainwashed and manipulated by Valentine to be demonic. I liked that we were able to see that he does have a human side, although it is muddled by the demon inside him.
  • Cassandra Clare's Writing
    • As I said before, I think that Cassandra's writing has greatly improved since the start of the series, and has become more enjoyable to read.
    • I think she does an incredible job of making readers see the depths behind characters, especially the evil ones. It comes to a point where you almost understand why the evil characters act the way they do, whether it be because of past betrayals or a blur in the understanding of what is right and wrong. I think it is fascinating. 

What Didn't Work:

  • Clary being Clary
    • Clary once again proved in this book that she could not care less about how her actions affect the people she loves. She does whatever she wants, and says it is because of love. I mean, to each their own, but she is insane. 
    • The part I hated the most was when Jace was going to turn himself in with the second Mortal Cup, and SHE WAKES UP SEBASTIAN TO STOP HIM. Like, how selfish can you be? You could have brought him to your friends or the Institute instead of the Silent Brothers or SOMETHING, not wake up your evil brother so he makes Jace his partner again. I literally thought that was the stupidest decision that I had ever seen from Clary, or even a character in general. It boggled my mind, I just don't understand how she comes to these decisions.
  • Maia/Jordan
    • This relationship just did not work for me. The only scenes with Maia and Jordan were makeout/sex scenes and that just doesn't add anything to the book, except more pages. 
    • Honestly, they are two irrelevant characters in the book, and putting them into a relationship makes it worse. I don't see their place in the novel and their scenes were pretty annoying to read. 
  • The whole thing with Alec and Camille
    • This plot line was very confusing to me because I just felt like it was a way to keep Camille in the novel. I didn't understand why Alec was visiting her, like I do, but I don't. I know he was contemplating the spell that makes Marcus mortal, but he ends up not wanting to do it and he still goes back to her. I was just confused honestly. They had a pointless fight scene and then he tries to visit her again at the end and he learns she was killed by a twelve-year-old girl? That part is very surprising too, since she was a powerful vampire who had been alive for centuries....
    • Also, that reminds me of the plot line for Raphael, which doesn't make sense to me either. It all feels really pointless to me and I get all confused about which vampire hates the other and who they are trying to kill. 
  • Lots of subplots 
    • Let's face it, this novel has tons of subplots, and some that I have already mentioned. At first, I thought I enjoyed them because we could get a look inside each character's day, but even then, I knew it would start to get confusing. And, it did. 
    • I would have liked the subplots better if they were all connected and resolved. But, they just added more questions. Between the vampire plot lines that I discussed before, the Iron Sisters, and the Praetor subplot, they all become confusing as they are added to the more significant ones.
    • I began to forget what had happened with the character in the last time that I read about them, because there were too many subplots to keep track of. 

Characters

  • Clary
    • I already gave Clary her own bullet about how she is so annoying and selfish, so I don't think I need to talk more about that, since it kind of renders me speechless.
    • I don't know if Cassandra wrote her character with the intention of making her a brat or if she thinks that Clary's behavior is normal, but I just don't understand it. Whatever, I won't keep talking about her. 
  • Jace
    • Honestly, I feel bad for Jace because it seems like all of the awful things only happen to him. Valentine tortures him and then kills him, a demon inhabits his mind and possesses him, he loses his will to Sebastian and does whatever he says, and then he is stabbed and now filled with "heavenly fire." What more can happen to him? He is a seriously tortured individual throughout this series. 
    • Clary and Jace's relationship has honestly gotten old. I think they are too much in love, and it puts all of their friends and family into danger. They are just blinded by their love for each other, without realizing how much it hurts the other people that they love. 
"'I stabbed you. With a massive sword. You caught on fire.' His lips twitched, almost imperceptibly. 'Okay, so maybe our problems aren't like other couples'.'"  
  • Sebastian
    • He is certainly a character full of depth. I talked about Sebastian already as well, but I think Cassandra did an exceptional job in developing him. He is significantly evil, but you can tell that he does have some good inside of him, despite how little it might be.
  • Simon
    • He redeemed himself in this book, after City of Fallen Angels. He became one of my favorite characters again! I like that he wasn't focused on himself and showed how much he cared about his friends. He makes a lot of sacrifices for his friends and puts himself into danger, for things that aren't really in his best interests. I think that's what makes him stand out from Clary. Clary puts herself in danger for Jace, which serves her interests, but Simon doesn't really need to put himself in danger for Jace, but does it because he cares about Clary and Isabelle. That's why I love him.
  • Isabelle
    • Isabelle is my other favorite character in this series now. She shows how devoted she is to her friends and family, and doesn't stop at anything to help them. She does not do what would make her happiest (like being in a relationship with Simon), but fights through difficult situations, so she can help the ones she loves. I really appreciate how selfless a character she is. 
  • Alec
    • Alec has some serious trust issues that he needs to get over. That's all I can say. 
  • Magnus
    • I am really hoping that we learn who is Magnus' father in City of Heavenly Fire. There was so much talk of him in this book, which is crazy because they really never spoke of him in the first four books. However, it is so mysterious that I am dying to know what about him makes it such a secret. 
"'Of course he loves me. I'm his sister.' 'Blood isn't love,' said Magnus, and his voice was bitter."
  • Maia/Jordan
    • I'll put them in one bullet, because that's basically what they are in the book. I talked about them already too, but I just view them as irrelevant to the plot. I think they are helpful in battle, but they don't really do much for the overall story. I could see them as being a couple sentences in a paragraph like, "Maia and Jordan arrived to help in battle. They are a very lovely werewolf couple," and that would be enough. Their scenes were just boring and pointless for me. 
  • Jocelyn/Luke
    • I'm putting them in one bullet as well. They didn't really do much in this story either. Granted, Luke almost died, so he was too weak to fight in the battle at the end, but they didn't add very much either. 
    • Jocelyn needs to get her parenting in check though. At first, she was apparently the strictest mother in the world, and now, she just lets her daughter do whatever she wants? How did she lose all of her control in the course of one book? I'm not sure, but I think she needs to gain some back soon.

There you have it! Those were all of my feelings about City of Lost Souls. I really enjoyed it, and I can't see what Cassandra Clare has in store for City of Heavenly Fire. From what I have read so far, I think it is going to be INTENSE, and I think I am ready for it!! 

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Kristen

Book enthusiast and avid reader of all things.

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