Monday, 21 March 2016

Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

*Warning – may contain spoilers* (I have tried my hardest not to)

Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
First published: 2016
Cover: Paperback with blue page edges

Pages: 669 + 22-page short story

Blurb:    In a kingdom by the sea…
 In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. A 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. She lives for battle. Alongside her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries – the most powerful of supernatural creatures – teeter on the edge of war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries are found 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 by the faerie Courts. All they have to do is solve the murders within two weeks… and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from the 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?

History of my copy: I got this copy delivered to me on release day and I have been reading it since then. I hate how long it has taken me to read it! If I had it my way, I would’ve stayed up all night to finish it. However, amongst school, being ill, and having to catch up on work, it took me so long to read.

Plot: Lady Midnight follows the Los Angeles Institute five years (I think) after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. It’s a world where Julian Blackthorn is the father figure to all his siblings, and practically runs the Institute himself. The plot follows the Blackthorn’s, along with Emma Carstairs and Christina as they secretly investigate some murders that are awfully similar to Emma’s parent’s death.
         Without spoiling the plot for anyone, I’m just going to say this: The Guardian was totally not who I expected it to be!!! Plot twist!
         My only major problem with the plot was Julian and Emma’s relationship. I just feel like the romantic side was so forced. To be honest, I loved the brief bit of Mark and Emma that happened just at the end!
         Also, the short story at the end – Sizzy and Clace!!!!!!
         Another great thing about the plot was that it was kept separate from The Mortal Instruments. Sure, it would help to read them to get the background story, to know who Jace and Clary are, etc. but there is nothing preventing you from reading The Dark Artifices as a stand-alone series.

Setting: I do feel as if the setting could have been described a little more, as a few times I wasn’t really sure what the landscape was like. As I’ve never been to L.A., I couldn’t really picture it too well.

Characters: As always, Clare has brilliantly crafted her characters so that you fall in love with them, whilst noticing their flaws, and preparing to have your heart ripped out.
                I do feel as if the Blackthorn family is a little too large – a few times I had to pause to try and remember which child it was, how old they were, what they’re like, etc. Maybe in future books they will all begin to play a major part, which would explain why there are so many of them.
                I would also like a lot more background on Christina and Diego, and what happened in Mexico, but I imagine that shall be explored in future books. I also would’ve liked a little more back story to Malcolm Fade, the warlock.
                Furthermore, I totally cannot wait to see Kit’s character to develop as he accepts his new identity.
                One of my favourite things about the characters though was the occasional sprinkling of all those old characters we love! From Jem and Tessa through to Jace and Clary, then there is Simon and Isabelle’s engagement and Alec and Magnus and their adopted kids!! This book contains a good mix of old and new that both die-hard fans and new readers will struggle to resist.

To read or not to read: Read. Overall, this is another fantastic Shadowhunter novel by Cassandra Clare. When first announced, there was a bit of an outcry that she was over-using the Shadow World. However, with an idea so brilliantly unique and well-crafted, as long as the stories remain unique and interesting, she can write as many as she wants in my opinion! Definitely go and read, regardless of whether you have read The Infernal Devices and/or The Mortal Instruments or not. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. (And you will probably fall in love with Mark Blackthorn too).