City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare – Review

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Published: May 8th, 2012
Pages: 535

I can’t believe that I’m almost finished with The Mortal Instruments series. I have one book left to go and I’m super excited for it. But first, we gotta talk about City of Lost Souls. I have thoughts and opinions, that I just need to share.

If you have not read The Mortal Instruments series, please don’t read this review. This is book 5 in the series and I don’t want to accidentally spoil you if you have not started the series. Please continue if you’ve read City of Fallen Angels or beyond!


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

Read Full Synopsis here.


I was kind of disappointed after reading City of Fallen Angels. The first half was super slow and kind of meh. I also didn’t like the fact that our big bad, Lilith, was defeated so easily. I was afraid that this book would be as unbalanced as the previous one. However, on my quest to read to finish The Mortal Instruments series before BookCon I figured I should actually get to this book. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed reading it.

One thing that I thought Cassandra Clare did exceptionally well in this book was balancing her ensemble cast and their story lines. It’s something she’s always pretty good at, but I thought this book she especially shined. Unlike City of Fallen Angels, I thought that all of the story lines were interesting (or at least fun to read) even during the less actiony parts. Overall, I felt way more invested in the characters with one exception.

That exception being Jace, who I am having difficulty relating to and understanding as the series goes on. Last book he was sort of possessed by Lilith, and now he’s in Sebastian’s clutches. He has not been himself in a while and I think this is part of the reason why I’m having trouble with his character. This might just be a me thing though.

I also thought the pacing was much better in this book. Thank god for that too, because it was 100 pages more than the last one! Thankfully I was able to get through it much quicker. I think her character development helped, along with the fact that she raised the stakes for our characters. So much so that, I’m a little afraid of what’s going to happen in the final book. Also Sebastian was such an interesting antagonist and I kept reading just to figure out his deal. He was also much more successful than Lilith.

While I overall did enjoy the character arcs, I was so frustrated with some of their decisions. Clary and Alec, I’m looking at you! At times I found myself crying out in frustration at how stupid they were being. That being said, I was happy that Clare did not let these characters off easy with their stupid decisions and that they had to face the consequences of their actions.

The only other issue I had was that the book felt a little bit like set-up for the grand finale. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for that, but I wish part of the story felt a little more self-contained. Then again, this is the 5th book in the series. How self-contained can you be?

Overall, I did have fun reading it. Definitely not my favorite book in this series, but still fun. Clare has a way of making great endings that just leave you wanting more. So I’m looking forward to not only seeing what happens next, but also interested to see how she concludes this epic series. I’m also super pumped to see more Infernal Devices (Clare’s other series) references and tie ins. Seriously, I live for the overlap because I loved The Infernal Devices trilogy so much. Every time Will is mentioned, I yell “WILL,” because I’m a loser.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

What did you think of City of Lost Souls? Were you as frustrated with some of the characters as I was? Did you love it or hate it? Let’s discuss in the comments below. 

2 thoughts on “City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare – Review

  1. I have to get back into finishing off this series (and start on the recent new releases) from CassClare! She always manages to create a whirlwind of a plot with some great twists. I’ve heard some whispered spoilers about Simon, and I’m keen to jump into the books and find out for myself exactly what happens. Thanks for sharing your review – it took me back to the days when I first started reading TMI… *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • She does do that very well! I, thankfully, have managed to avoid the spoilers pretty well. I know there’s something with Simon but that’s it. The main reason I am finishing off the series is to get to the recent releases. Glad this took you back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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