Book Review: ‘City of Lost Souls’, Book 5 in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments Series

*sigh* With every review I write for a new Cassandra Clare book, it really just becomes more of a rant. This time I’m talking about the latest book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Lost Souls. Originally, The Mortal Instruments was supposed to be a trilogy, and it was a trilogy that I enjoyed. While I thought the first two books were good, the third, City of Glass, really impressed me and made me appreciate the entire trilogy a lot more. So it kind annoyed me when I heard that Clare was continuing the series. Why mess with something that already had a great ending? I mean, if you want to play with the characters some more, that’s what fan fiction is for. (But hey, we already know Clare’s history with that.) After a friend had convinced me that the fourth book, City of Fallen Angels, was worth reading, I relented. She was right, even though it wasn’t as good as the previous book, CoFA held promise, which led me to read City of Lost Souls, in hopes that I would enjoy it too. Ha. Joke’s on me, right? City of Lost Souls was very disappointing. Not only is it slow, but it’s pretty evident that Clare has lost touch with her characters.

I’m going to do you a favor and warn you now: Don’t read the summary on the book jacket. I tend not to read them and just dive into the book. But in this case, I did it because I wanted a refresher on what has happened before I started. Big mistake. The summary gives too much away. If you want the story to be a little less boring than it was for me, avoid it. Don’t worry the summary I’m about to provide will hardly be as spoiler-ish. Anyway, City of Lost Souls takes place around two weeks after CoFA ends. Clary, Simon and company are trying to understand what has happened to Jace. When it becomes apparent that the Clave isn’t going to be much help, they take matters into their own hands, in particular Clary. All the while, all the characters are dealing with their own little dramas.

The first two thirds of CoLS are sloooow. It was a struggle to get through it. Some things were happening, but I simply didn’t care about them. Maybe because I’m starting to lose interest in this story, but if CoFA managed to capture it, why can’t its follow-up? If there’s one thing about the TMI series I know, I could always tell when Clare is “borrowing” from some other classic or epic. In CoLS, it’s evident that Clare is trying to take story out on her own. But before she shows us anything new, she makes us read about everyone’s love dramas and creates side stories that hardly seem relevant to the main plot. This is where it becomes evident that these characters aren’t the ones we learned to love in the previous books. She senselessly manipulates the characters and made them pretty annoying. This clearly becomes the case for Clary and Alec unfortunately.

The final third of CoLS makes it somewhat worth reading. The pace picks up and things actually begin to become interesting. Despite how much I disliked most of this book, I did like how it ended, at least for some of the characters. A couple others’ endings were results of Clare’s misguided attempts of causing unnecessary drama. These books are long enough already, why add more of what we don’t need?

City of Heavenly Fire is purportedly the next and final book in The Mortal Instruments. Even though I found most of City of Lost Souls insufferable, I will read the hopefully last book (because apparently I’m masochistic like that). If you’re still considering on continuing the TMI adventure with City of Lost Souls, let’s just say that you have now been warned.

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

City of Lost Souls is available to purchase in our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.

Book Info:



Exit mobile version