Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Book: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly Books
Pages: 698
Release: March 8th 2016

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

How I have missed the Shadowhunter world!

Lady Midnight is set roughly 5 years after the conclusion of The Mortal Instruments, making this a sequel series. We jump from New York City to Los Angeles, with the new protagonists Emma and Julian taking the stage, who are dealing with extended aftermaths of the Dark War that Clary and Jace were involved with in the previous series. A series of murders are appearing, murders done in the same fashion Emma's parents were discovered in during the Dark War. And to complicate matters, Emma may or may not be in threat of breaking one of the most sacred Shadowhunter laws regarding parabatai...

Emma Carstairs: bold, defiant, snarky, everything I imagined her to be and more. She literally was the epitome of hard work: the best of the best, a title accomplished by her relentless training, with no shortcuts or tricks. Stronger, faster, deadlier than other Shadowhunters; the ultimate Shadowhunter. Though Emma did everything in the name of finding revenge for her parents' deaths, it quickly became evident that she more often than not did things to protect and shield the Blackthorn family, showing her selflessness. Her drive to minimize people involved did make her a bit impulsive at times, but her heart was always in the right place.

Julian, oh poor Julian. Right from the very beginning, I knew his story was going to be hard. And I was not wrong; rather, I completely underestimated just how heavy of a story it would be for him. After the Dark War, with Helen unfairly banished and Mark taken, Julian became responsible for taking care of his four younger siblings. The meant cooking for them, disciplining them, offering love and support, raising them to be the best they could possibly be, everything. His burden to bear was exceptionally heavy, his pain and fear always a constant worry. Yet he somehow managed, all while handling regular Shadowhunter duties. This guy is incredible, and it saddens my heart to know what he's continuously going through.

Speaking of Emma and Julian: I love them. I ship them. But as of right now, I don't really know how they can end up together/I don't see a plausible solution with the Clave. My only hope is that there's some kind of magic that hasn't been disclosed to us readers yet that will let them be together. Because if they don't end up together...well, my heart won't be surviving. Ever. I really hope there's something that can be done, because I'm hurting because they're hurting, and the fact that there's two of them hurting makes my heart hurt twice as much.

The other Blackthorns were a fun bunch to read about, but my favourite had to be Tiberius, or Ty. I love and admire the direction Clare is going towards, addressing not only LGBQT, but also various states of mentalism. Ty is unique; he doesn't quite operate the same way other people do, doesn't want to be a Shadowhunter who strictly spends his days slaying demon after demon. There's an autism aspect that is very clearly portrayed with Ty, though Clare never outright says it. But that doesn't mean he's not an invalid; he is highly intelligent and capable, just that he expresses it through different means. Ty provides invaluable help to the investigations, and shows that he is just as capable of anything a normal Shadowhunter can do, and has carved a place in my heart.

As expected of anything by Cassandra Clare, thought the plot seemed to be predictable, it was far from it. Characters appeared and disappeared in the story, some playing larger roles I never imagined, others quietly disappearing (though I suspect they'll return in the next book). We get a big reveal of one specific character at the very end, which I'm extremely curious to know how that will turn out. Add to the fact there are still so many hidden motives and secrets amongst characters, and characters we've only heard of but have yet to be seen (specifically Cameron and Jaime), characters I'm sure will further complicate the plot and result in plot twists. There's just so much that still has to be learned!

That ending. Or more specifically, that epilogue. I admit, I didn't see that coming, but now that I think about it, I probably should have. All I know is that I have a feeling things are going to spiral downhill very quickly for everyone in the next book. Plus there's the whole unresolved issue of the faerie courts, so the gang is guaranteed to be buffeted with issues on various fronts...

All in all, this book was excellent. I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this book better than the last three The Mortal Instruments books; there was just more personality and growth. Plus it's refreshing, reading about a cast of characters who are familiar yet new, and to see how they're going on. I can't wait for the next book, which comes out in May (it was supposed to come out in April...WHYYYYY???). So until then, I will steel my heart, because in true Cassandra Clare fashion, the ending of the second book will end with me wailing. Anyone want to sign up for post-therapy with me when the time comes?

Now, off I go to familiarize myself with the poem Annabel Lee...


  1. YAY!! I loved this book so much - to me, it's the best work she's written so far! I can't wait till Lord of Shadows comes out - only another couple of months to go...

    1. The wait is agonizing!!! I can't believe the release got pushed...that always happens with's Clare's books! Sigh. Way to make us suffer!

  2. Yes! I loved this book so much as well :) I didn't read any of the Shadowhunter series after COHF, so Lady Midnight was a great welcome back for me. The characters are so interesting in her books - I really want to read more! HOW LONG UNTIL THE NEXT BOOK? :(

    1. HOW MUCH LONGER??? I ask the same question! The ending wasn't devastatingly painful like some her other books, but still, MORE MORE MORE PLEASE!!!

  3. I’m still way behind with this - I read the first 200 pages then got sidetracked and never got back to it! ._.
    I am totally planning on re-reading all TMI/TID and adding in Lady Midnight in the mix THIS YEAR. I promise.
    BTW am I the only one who’s somewhat disappointed in the cover for book 2? It doest fit with the rest of the whole Shadowhunter-verse!

    1. I know what you mean! I did the same thing--I read the first 200 pages, then ended up not reading it for 2 months because of other stuff. Gah! I totally get what you mean about the cover of the book 2. It looks...different. Hmm...but oh well. It's what's inside the cover that counts, right?

  4. Yed yes yes to everything! I loved Emma and Julian - so much better than Clary and Jace (whom I only tolerated in TMI) and although I've honestly forgotten how it ended as I read it in March, but I do remember it was heart-wrenching! And I think Cassandra Clare is also making a series about Will and Tessa's children, i.e. the generation after them! So many stories in this world to look forward to!

    1. Yeah, I heard about that! The other series will be about Will and Tessa's kids and their generation. I believe there already was a bit of them in Tales of Shadowhunter Academy!

  5. THAT EPILOGUE KILLED ME! I definitely agree, there was a lot of growth in this book as opposed to her other ones (though I still love those), great review :)

    1. I KNOW RIGHT??? I literally just stared at the back cover for a solid five minutes!

  6. If anyone wants chapter by chapter summaries of this book (with spoilers) or a quick version of my summary visit I go into great detail be warned if you hate spoilers and are considering viewing this. Thanks in advance to anyone who bothers to visit this site.