Cassandra Clare · Mortal Instruments · Young Adult

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



This one was hard to get into but finished quickly with a fantastic ending. The character relationships were interesting and more developed with the exception of Clary and Jace who are becoming kind of annoying. The downfall of this novel, like all the others, is the terrible writing. It was almost bad enough to force me to stop reading even though I really love the story, the world, and the characters and wanted to know how it all ends. If you are enjoying the series so far then give this one a go, I’m sure you will enjoy it more than I did, especially if you don’t care about the writing.


I have to admit that this book took me forever to get through, at least the first half. The second half moved a lot more quickly, and the story became much more interesting, although I wish there was something more to it. It just isn’t complex enough for me. I just couldn’t get into this one as much as some of the others, and a lot of it I think has to do with the writing and some of the characters, but I will discuss that later.

So Jace is under the control of Sebastian in this novel, and the group tries to find out where they are and how to separate Jace from Sebastian without killing him because if you kill Sebastian then Jace dies and vise versa. This was the focus of the entire book, and I am almost certain at least 100 or more pages could have been taken out (explained under writing).

I was surprised and pleased to not find this to be predictable. I had no idea how it was going to end! The ending was pretty fantastic!


We learn a bit more about the world in this one, which I was interesting. All the demon summonings, as well as summoning Raziel was awesome!

Sebastian and Jace, along with Clary travel quite a few places around Europe which was a nice change. I really enjoyed this part of the book.


I still do not like Clary nor do I really like Jace. They are sweet together at times, but their relationship isn’t interesting. It is just filled with doubts and more doubts, always second-guessing whether one likes the other. It’s annoying.

Alec and Magnus at least have an interesting relationship and they have much more of a presence in this book. I feel sorry for them actually because they both realize that Magnus will be around forever, but Alec won’t. Also, what happens between them at the end is soooo terrible. 😦 Alec just needs to get over Magnus’s immortality and start trusting and talking to him more.

I LOVE Simon. My favorite character by far! His relationship with Izzy is developing more and he is becoming more comfortable around her. I know he is still stuck on Clary, but she isn’t good enough for him and he just needs to move on. Izzy is such an awesome, strong female character and I think it would be great to see her and Simon together more in the next book.

Sebastian is such an interesting villain. You can tell that he wants to be with someone and that is mainly why he is controlling Jace I believe. He needs companionship. He seems to believe what he is doing is right and I’m not sure whether I am for or against him yet. But he is also such a horrible person! He was so nice to Clary though that for a while I thought he might be changing his ways.


This is where this series really falls flat, and it is no different with this book. I’m getting much better at distinguishing between good writers and terrible writers and I can honestly say that Cassandra Clare is not a good writer. She is a good storyteller, but she just can’t write.

She used such a large number of metaphors and similes that it just became irritating and distracted from the story. I seriously don’t need to know that stairs are so worn they are as smooth as the side of a ship. Why describe the stairs at all? Ugh.

Also, she repeats things constantly. How many times has she described the skin, eyes, and hair of like every character, especially Jace and Sebastian? It’s like an obsession. I got it the first few times. I don’t need to be reminded every time Clary looks at one of them.

Some of the dialogue is cheesy and forced as well. I can’t stand some of the conversations nor can I stand hearing about Clary’s feelings towards Jace and Sebastian anymore. I know she loves Jace and hates Sebastian, so it doesn’t need to be repeated all the time.

I believe if someone else wrote these exact books they would have been much more concise and well written, thereby creating an even more enjoyable story.


Like all the others I do not like it at all. It looks similar to something that would be on the cover of a romance novel. The only good thing about it is that the title and author are clearly stated and it even mentions the number that it is in the series, which a lot of books do not. Having to determine what book something is in a series is annoying, so I’m glad it is mentioned on this one.

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