After Queen of Air and Darkness released, I figured it was high time I read Lady Midnight so I could see what all the fuss was about. Truthfully, the Shadowhunter books have been a hit or miss with me. The Mortal Instruments isn’t my favorite; I much prefer The Infernal Devices. So to say I was going into my reading of LM with hesitation would a bit of an understatement.
I really want to look this series, and after reading the first book, I can say it looks quite promising. 🙂
Title: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: March 8, 2016
Genre: Young adult, urban fantasy, romance
Length: 688 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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?”
You know, I really wanted to nitpick this book. It was long, yes, but I simply couldn’t find something that wasn’t important or shouldn’t have been included, or didn’t simply add to the world-building and the characters. I think someone who hasn’t read the previous Shadowhunter books could start reading Lady Midnight and be perfectly okay. And if you have read all the books before this one, then stepping into LM is a little like returning home, visiting all these characters you know and love as their stories shift and the focus changes.
For me, one of my favorite things an author can do is write a series in the same world that focuses on different characters yet ones we’ve met before. Clare has done that beautifully. She writes with maximum effect, and really knows how to pull at your heartstrings. Because this book has been around a couple of years, I know which characters are romantically involved but I didn’t quite understand how. Oh man, I wasn’t prepared for the heartache that is Emma and Julian! They’re both incredibly strong characters, and I really just want to wrap Julian in my arms and tell him that everything will be okay and that he’s done such a good job raising his brothers and sisters! To hear what Uncle Arthur has gone through and continues to suffer from really breaks my heart. In this book, readers really get that sense of superiority that Shadowhunters have and their lack of understanding in a variety of “mundane” things, and it really broke my heart that Julian has to cope with all of this. But I really did love getting to know everyone, and I feel like Clare did a good job giving each character enough on-page “screen” time. I feel just as connected with Cristina as I do with any of the Blackthorn siblings.
I also feel like there’s a lot of mystery surrounding various characters. First it was Cristina and the reason she left Mexico, and now (especially due to the ending) it’s Diana. She’s the Blackthorn tutor but there’s something she’s not telling us, but I can’t place my finger on it at all! I really hope she doesn’t turn out to be a horrible character.
And the ending! I certainly wasn’t expecting that! I have a feeling this will get darker as the series progresses, meaning it’s possible my heart will break, too, and I don’t know how I feel about that quite yet. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and I already checked out the audiobook of Lord of Shadows from my local library. 🙂