Story SynopsisThe 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?
I have to admit that going into this 5th book of the Mortal Instrument series, I didn't have high hopes. A devout fan of the first 3 books, I was enchanted by the Shadowhunters and their bittersweet world fighting demons and Cassandra Claire fast pace with equal amounts of action and romantic tension. Once the 4th book came along, I was already distanced; I actually think I put it down for a few months before finishing it. I was hoping to be refreshed by City of Lost Souls, and while it had some great conflict and story development, overall, I found it lacking intrigue.
Not to say it wasn’t fun, Claire gives new pieces to the parameters of the world, the evils of Sebastian and the various romantic plotlines of the story. Her writing continues to be engaging and wise, but the pacing at times seemed off, with some slow periods that would then speed into action that lacked a proper build up. I wonder if it’s the absence of “the real Jace” in this novel, which made me appreciate how a smart-ass bad-boy can take a story from good something special (fellow writers, take note).
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been loving the prequel series, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince so much, that City of Lost Souls felt a little watered down. And while the book feels loyal to its progressive, modern take all the way through, I admit the cheese factor of the ending made me want to rip open the book and throw in some hot sauce. But maybe that’s a good thing, maybe that means I care so much about the characters and their realization that I wanted more.
And I will get it - we all will. I know I will not hesitate myself to read the final book when it comes out despite my less-than-romance with the last two. If you are a fan of the series, I don’t doubt you will enjoy City of Lost Souls, if anything to keep you in the loop for how the epic series will close.
Review by: Elinor
3 out of 5 stars