Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Title: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Simon & Schuster

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.
Review by Nara

So before I begin this review, let me say this. While this is technically the first book in a series, I would strongly recommend that anyone who hasn't read ALL of the other books in the Shadowhunters Chronicles (including the Shadowhunter Academy novellas) should go and read the ones you haven't yet read, because this book spoils each and every one of those books in some way. The only one you don't have to have read is The Bane Chronicles, but you should read that anyway because it's about Magnus and he is fabulous.

Anyway, moving on, I think on the scale of Cassie Clare books, I'm putting this somewhere above The Mortal Instruments and below The Infernal Devices. There were so many connections to the previous books which I loved, and so many new characters who were interesting and likeable and so many different subplots which intertwined beautifully (which is really Cassie Clare's signature move).

Protagonist Emma was so fiery, similar in some ways to Clary from TMI. She had a good sense of what she felt was right and wrong, and she isn't afraid to do things to uphold what she thinks is right. Mainly Lady Midnight focuses on her maybe-romance with her parabatai Julian (considering parabatai falling in love is against the law) and her struggle to discover the truth behind her parents' murder. Julian had some very unexpected aspects to his personality which I hadn't picked up on in City of Heavenly Fire. He's quite a bit more devious than I would've thought, and I'm kind of not sure that I agree with some of the things he does. I suppose we'll see how that develops in further books.

Some of the more minor characters were just as interesting as the main duo. Cristina is a Shadowhunter visiting from Mexico, and who is guarding her own secrets from the past. Mark, Julian's brother, has just been returned from being captured by faeries for the past five years, and has been greatly changed. Julian's other siblings each have their own subplots which I'm sure will be expanded in future books, as that's the Cassie Clare way.

Certain things happen and certain points of the book which are COMPLETELY unexpected and which I'm sure Clare left a couple of clues throughout about. I'm just going to leave this very open in case, but there's this one huge twist that made me just about drop the book in shock, mainly because I kind of should have seen it coming (considering some of the things that have been shown in previous books).

AND WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THAT ENDING. Completely sucker punching us all with that heartbreak and devastation. Cassandra Clare and her bloody cliffhangers, they will kill me one day.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5