Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal, Young Adult
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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…
Emma Carstairs is a Shadowhunter. She lives at the L.A. Institute with the Blackthorn family, and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. Determined to come to the bottom of her parents’ murders, Emma falls into a world of murder and mystery while investigating. Someone, or something, is killing people in the streets of L.A. and Emma and the Blackthorns get knee deep into the drama.
What makes the situation even more complicated is the return of Mark Blackthorn, who was taken by the faeries 5 years prior. Making a deal with the faeries, Emma and the Blackthorns agree to find the murderer who has taken the lives of some Fae, and in return, Mark will be able to choose whether or not to stay with his family, or head back to the Wild Hunt.
With the help of Christina, Emma’s friend, the Shadowhunters work (mostly) together to discover the secrets of the L.A. murders, and, ultimately, unearthing what really happened to Emma’s parents.
When Lady Midnight came out earlier this year, I was way too excited. Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter series (definitely a plural) are some of my favourite books. I just love them. However, after a flurry of other books that needed to be read, I have only just recently got around to picking this gem up. But I’m so glad I did.
While talk on the internet is a mix bag of both love and dislike of this book, there were also some complaints and grumblings about Clare putting out yet another series. But I think it’s incredible that this world she’s created is, indeed, one that can be continually added to. If Clare can keep writing stories like these within the Shadowhunter world for the rest of her life, and keep them this great, then I am with her 100% of the way.
I loved this book. Definitely up there with one of my favourites I think, for several reasons. I quite like Emma as a main character, and it was really cool to have the main character who was already a Shadowhunter. Clary Fay, in The Mortal Instruments, comes into the Shadowhunter world as a complete newby, and only afterwards becomes one of them (even though she was really supposed to be a part of their world for her whole life). Tessa Gray, in The Infernal Devices, lives with Shadowhunters but is actually a warlock. And now in the beginning of The Dark Artifices, Emma Carstairs is already a Shadowhunter, and has been within the Shadowhunter world her entire life. It’s great to have that new main character perspective.
Another thing I really loved about this book was that it was more than fighting demons and kicking butt – there was a series of murders, which means there was investigations, and a mystery element to the whole thing. You were trying to figure out who the murder was as you were reading it.
Can we just pause here for a short moment and talk about Julian Blackthorn? Jace [insert all his last names he’s ever had here] is moody and angsty, and Will Herondale is rude and arrogant, but we love them both anyway. But Julian Blackthorn is none of those things. He is a mature, grown-up at such a young age, right from the get-go. He wants the best for his family, and for Emma, and will do whatever it takes to keep them together, and keep them out of harm’s way. But you’d have to be when you fall into the parent role at age 12 to look after your thousand younger siblings.
Speaking of which, then only thing I don’t really like about this book (and consequently the books that will come after it) is the amount of siblings there are in the Blackthorn family. There are just so many characters all the time, and it’s a little hard to keep track. Want me to list them? Okay.
Helen Blackthorn, who is in exile on Wrangle Island. Mark Blackthorn, who is off with the Wild Hunt. Julian Blackthorn, in charge the next four children. Tiberius and Livia Blackthorn, twins. Drusilla Blackthorn comes next, followed by the youngest Blackthorn, Octavian. Each character has their own very unique personality, and Clare does do that very well, I just feel that there’s just one too many. While reading up on the Blackthorn family a little more, Shadowhunters Wiki tells me that there was originally yet another Blackthorn:
There was originally set to be eight Blackthorn children in Julian’s generation. A character named Ariadne Blackthorn, who was set to be the eighth and youngest Blackthorn, born in 2007 in the series and part of the original planned characters for The Dark Artifices, was written off during the writing of City of Heavenly Fire “because she wasn’t working with the plot structure,” and because there were already too many Blackthorns. Because of this, previous statements made by Helen in City of Lost Souls and Sebastian Morgenstern in A Dark Transformation, stating that there were eight Blackthorn children, have been redacted and corrected in later editions. – From Shadowhunters Wiki.
Imagine that. Yet another one. I’m glad there wasn’t. Well done, Clare.
Another character that I am interested in, however, is Kit Rook, who is in Lady Midnight a few times here and there. By the end of it, it’s definitely apparent he’ll be featuring (if not a main character) in the next in this series, Lord of Shadows (which is currently sitting at an April 2017 release). Very much looking forward to his character and what his role will be in Emma and Julian’s story.
Just one last thing also…I loved how the characters we love from the other series pop up in this book. Clary, Jace, Magnus, Tessa, Jem. They all show their faces. At the very end of the copy I have there’s a chapter on what’s happening with Clary and Jace and the New York Institute. I won’t tell you what it is, but I can say that it’s very exciting.
I realise this was very long, but there’s a lot to say about a book when you love it. Check out my review of the second in this series, Lord of Shadows.
Have you read Lady Midnight yet? Planning to?