Published: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 720 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
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.
So, back in high school I discovered these really awesome books- guess what they were. Cassandra Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments snagged my imagination and didn’t let go- I thought the Shadowhunters were the coolest thing I had read about in years. I was so excited to see that Cassie was writing another series about Shadowhunters, this time based in sunny SoCal. Obviously I preordered it and got it the day it came out, followed by several days of reading whenever I had the chance. First of all, Lady Midnight has a stunning cover- it may be my favorite out of all the books thus far. Secondly, the story + the characters were pretty awesome.
Emma Carstairs is like the Jace Herondale of her generation- she’s a spectacular fighter, she’s determined and tough. She wants revenge on the person that murdered her parents 5 years ago. Julian Blackthorn, her parabatai, is an artist and he’s raising his four younger siblings because his parents are dead and his uncle is unwell. Christina, a visiting Shadowhunter is Emma’s new BFF and she’s a pretty tough cookie as well- she hides butterfly knives in her dresses (awesome). Mark is half fey, half Nephilim and 100% troubled. Each of these characters is incredibly strong, but only because they are broken and glued back together with a material stronger than the original. I loved the focus on the family and the care Julian shows for his siblings- it’s one of the most touching, beautiful things I’ve ever read.
The story itself was extremely well written and I’m absolutely in love with the idea of living by the California seaside and smelling salt and sage on the wind. Some locales are much romanticized and California is one of my favorites. I’ve always thought that Clare’s writing evokes emotion very easily and thoroughly- Lady Midnight is much the same. My feelings welled up and spilled over at some moments and I was on the edge of my seat, reading as quickly as I could to find out what happened next in others. I’m just really happy that this book lived up to my expectations- so good!
I highly recommend this book, as it’s an impressive beginning to what I think will be an excellent trilogy. Thought not strictly necessary, I would recommend having read both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series to maximize your appreciation for this novel. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book, currently titled Lord of Shadows, because the ending of Lady Midnight opened up some very interesting avenues. Overall, very good stuff- I may end up enjoying this more Than The Mortal Instruments, though I love Jace and Clary.