A Book Review: Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare

4 Stars

Blurb

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

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Pages: 668 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published on: 8th March, 2016

Series: The Dark Artifices (Book 1)

Find it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble

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Here’s a summary of my experience with Cassandra Clare’s books: I really love the shadowhunter universe and The Infernal Devices. I had mixed feelings about The Mortal Instruments (I still don’t really like Clary no offence, even after reading this book). Due to my previous experiences, I was not sure what to expect from Lady Midnight since this book happens after TMI, the series I liked less. If you had the same reservations as I did, brush them aside, and read Lady Midnight because it is a pretty worthwhile read.  

I can tell you right off the bat that Lady Midnight is way better than The Mortal Instrument series in terms of writing and characterisation. Clare has improved vastly as a writer. The writing in this book flowed much more nicely than it did in City of Bones, and the action was described in away that emanates suspense. I became much more captivated by and emotionally invested in this story than in her previous books (with the exception of TID, which still remains my favourite shadowhunter series  <3), because of Lady Midnight’s nicer writing.

The characters in this story were pretty diverse and very emotionally realistic. About fifty percent of the book is focused on inter-character relationships, love, and friendship. This focus really helped the emotions of the character to shine through. In this book, there were both subtle and blatant descriptions of a character’s actions or expressions that allowed me to see exactly how they were feeling. Basically, there was so much emotional baggage that I needed a tissue box in the end.

As I mentioned before, the characters are diverse, in terms of their personalities. Whereas in other shadowhunter stories, the personalities of some characters blended into each other a little bit, there was a stark contrast between characters from LM. Also, many of the characters had their own, unique habits, actions, and choice of words which helped to distinguish their personalities even more.

“He bumped into a pay phone and said, ‘Excuse me, miss,’ on our way in,” said Julian.

“It’s polite to apologize,” said Mark with the same small voice.

“Not to inanimate objects.”

It’s ok Mark, I do that too. ❤

As expected, Clare gives certain characters from previous series small parts in this book. Although I love these small appearances, I feel like these constant references to old characters sort of takes away the focus from the central, integral characters of this story. On top of that, the old characters are constantly praised, and almost revered as if they were gods (*ahem* Jace and Clary *ahem*), which again undermines some of the admiration and glory that the characters from Lady Midnight deserve because the praises make it seem as if the accomplishments of the old characters are much more significant than the accomplishments of LM‘s characters.

The plot of LM was pretty exciting. I was kept on the edge of my seat for most of the time, as I usually get excited when there is a need to decipher a piece of text (it adds to the mystery). However, I was a little disappointed by the identity of culprit. After reading the exciting build up, I was expecting a more dramatic wrap up of the story and a little bit more flair.

Julian and Emma had a really interesting relationship. I could tell that the bond was strong from the very start. They have this system where they draw letters on each other’s skins. Draw letters. All I can say is that this is a pretty bad form of communication. A, it’s not secret at all. Everyone can see you doing weird stuff on each other’s arms. B, can you even write these letters quickly? And if you do write them, how do you differentiate between words?! But it’s a nice concept, I suppose.
Much to my surprise, Julian actually became one of my favourite characters from LM. Him, Mark, and Cristina. Julian is actually a very good example of Clare’s improved characterisation. On the surface, Julian seems like a soft hearted person, someone who would probably never hurt a fly unless the fly decided to hurt his family. However, underneath that layer, Julian actually has a very ruthless heart, which is clearly revealed when Nightshade is framed.

“He said you were gentle,” said Kieran. “The most gentle person he knew.” He smiled, and there was a cold beauty to his face when he smiled, like the crystalline surface of frost. “You are not gentle. You have a ruthless heart.”

Good lord though, I dread the romance in the next book. Come on Emma. Why on EARTH would you do that?!?!?! And here I thought you were the one with more experience concerning love. Do you really think what you did will work?!?!
facepalm

If you are a fan of Clare’s previous series, I really recommend this book to you!

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