This review contains spoilers for the previous 4 books.
Ok so after the horrendous cliffhanger of the previous book this one picks up right after that but then immediately skips forward 2 weeks. I found this opening a bit jarring to say the least but I rolled with it.
Everything in this book has gone a bit mad really. Jace is being controlled by Sebastian, Alec is acting really weird and insecure about not being immortal, Clary has YOLO’d it and gone after Jace, and they’ve decided that to separate Jace from Sebastian they need to summon either an angel or a demon.
The narrative in this instalment jumps every chapter between Clary’s point of view and one of the rest of the squad left in New York, which got a little boring after a while and I would’ve rather Clare changed it up a bit. I did like it not all being to do with Clary though, we get to see the relationships between Simon, Magnus, Alec and Isabelle without Clary or Jace there to demand the attention.
At one point I said to myself that it really should’ve been named City of Hormones because pretty much everyone is shagging. Bloody teenagers can’t control themselves. I did have a wee giggle to myself at one point because Magnus said Camille was jealous of his relationship with Alec because she didn’t have an 18 year old with a stamina rune.
One thing that was really important in City of Lost Souls is Alec’s description of what it’s like to be a gay shadowhunter. And it holds true for being gay in our current society as well. “It’s not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It’s a million little paper cuts every day.” As someone who isn’t straight I can’t tell you how much this spoke to me. In this day and age people know that it’s not acceptable to be homophobic but that doesn’t stop them from being ignorant without realising, and whilst most of the time a person doesn’t mean it, it still hurts.
I basically found this book a bit farfetched but still found it entertaining and didn’t expect most of what happened in it. I didn’t think the writing was as good as the 4th book but it was a really good setup for what will happen in the 6th book and I can’t wait to find out how Sebastian gets beat.