I finished Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare this past weekend and boy oh boy! I don’t even know where to start…so I guess I’ll start with the feels – because there were so many feels. SO many. It was exciting, riveting, sexy, heartbreaking, and if you follow my Bookstagram account, you’ll know that I. Could. Barely. Put. This. Book. Down. Did I love it? Yes. Did I hate it? Sometimes. Can I wait for the next one? Not likely, but I don’t really have much choice in the matter. Have I been obsessively combing through pages and pages of online sneak peaks, fan art, and teaser snippets since finishing the book? Wha- **sputters** Me? Pfft, no!…………Yes…Yes, I have.
As Darth Vader would say, “the book hangover is strong with this one”.
Young Adult Fantasy = intrigue, suspense, action, kickass fight scenes, romance, forbidden love and sexy times, and MAGIC!
Anyone who loves YA! – there’s no age-limit, folks! And, of course, all you Shadowhunters and Downworlders out there 😀
Lady Midnight is Book 1 of The Dark Artifices series, Cassandra Clare’s third installment (out of five anticipated) in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. As far as we know, TDA is currently expected to be a trilogy (Thank goodness! Because I don’t know if I could handle waiting for five more books in order to have everything resolved. Because that would translate into five more years. At least!) Then again, I heard rumors that The Mortal Instruments was supposed to be three or four books rather than six….so….yeah.
LM takes place five years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire (the last book in TMI). It follows Emma Carstairs, her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, and the rest of the Blackthorn family, all of whom were introduced in TMI when they were kiddos. Kick-ass Shadowhunter kiddos, but still kiddos. (In case you don’t already know, Shadowhunters are half-angel warriors who fight demons and protect mundanes, a.k.a. regular humans, from the dangers of Demons and Downworlders and from the knowledge that these beings exist in the first place). Now, Emma – the best Shadowhunter since Jace Herondale – is continuing her search for answers in the murders of her mother and father. She catches a break when bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way as her parents. Their help is requested by the fey – a faction of Downworlders they’re forbidden to associate with in any way, shape, or form. Driven by her desire for revenge and an unexpected bargaining chip the Blackthorns can’t turn down, Emma and Julian lead their family in a dangerous quest for a killer while they try to hide their association with the fey as well as a blooming totally inevitable dangerous new relationship. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
The events of this story take place mainly in sunny Los Angeles. There was an awful lot of name-dropping in this book. It was a bit too much in my opinion, but at the same time I was overcome by the desire to road-trip down to L.A. and find all the locations mentioned in the book. Needless to say, I didn’t. Anyway, I liked the change of scenery. Lots of beach, lots of sand, lots of sun. An interesting juxtaposition to all the demon-fighting, blood, and gore.
As mentioned above, the main characters are the Blackthorns and Emma, but we are also introduced to another Shadowhunter, Cristina Rosales from Mexico City, who comes to live with them at the Los Angeles Institute. Let me just say that I loved the family dynamic in this book. And I’m including Emma and Cristina in that dynamic, because 1) Emma was always considered part of the Blackthorn family even though she has no blood relation to them and 2) Cristina was very quickly welcomed into the fold as a result of her best-friend relationship with Emma. Each character brought something special to the group and they were stronger for their unity as well as their diversity. Go Team Go!
We also see some surprise guests! (They Who Must Not Be Named)
What I Liked
The story is told from various perspectives, which I LOVED because it allowed us to learn a lot about the characters and their backstories from not just the way they perceive themselves, but also how the other characters perceive them. This also added to the heartbreak, because we as readers could easily see how certain characters felt about one another, but there were so many misunderstandings and misleading assumptions that flustered and hurt the characters. Pretty much all the characters, actually.
I also liked all the subplot hints that were dropped. There’s obviously quite a lot of stuff going on that we’ll no doubt get to the bottom of in the upcoming books. Consider these foundations laid.
And last, but certainly not least, there are the sexy times. I admit that I sometimes caught myself reading with my mouth hanging wide open. ‘Nuff said…Okay, okay, twist my arm – I’ll say more. It wasn’t just the sexy times. It was the love and the romance that really completed this book.
“When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them.”
What I Liked a Little Less
I didn’t care too much for all the flashbacks. I appreciated that they gave us more backstory, but I think it impeded the flow of the book and I’m not sure they were entirely necessary. I felt that I could’ve followed the happenings just fine without them.
Another thing that kinda irked me was the mistakes. Repetitive in nature. At first I thought it was just me. I mean, I was excited to read this book and continue to feed my Shadowhunter addiction, so I was reading at a somewhat rapid-fire pace. So naturally, when I came across something that made me go “wait…didn’t Emma just ‘stand up’ in the last paragraph?”, I assumed I misread it because I was reading so quickly. And because I was so eager to find out what happened next, I didn’t feel particularly inclined to go back and dissect the writing. However, after I experienced this déjà vu several more times – “yes, I know for certain that you just said her hand was on his chest and she could feel his heat through his shirt…aaaand now you’re saying it again” – I realized that it wasn’t me after all. I even enlisted my husband to take a look just to ensure that I wasn’t going crazy. So yeah, that was a bit bothersome, but whatever.
Also! This one’s completely my fault, but I was really bummed that there was no hidden awesome image on the inside of the book jacket 😦 I kept seeing this amazing artist rendition online of all the characters, expecting to find said-image when I treated myself to a looksee upon finishing the book. No such luck. Apparently it’s only in the Costco version? I’ve sure learned my lesson.
Overall, I’d give Lady Midnight 4/5 stars. I really really really enjoyed all the characters – getting to know them was my favorite part of reading the book. I wanted to finish the story so I could know what happened, but I was also constantly reluctant to be done with it because I knew the hangover would be terrible. And it is. The only things that held this score back were the aforementioned points and they were all pretty minor in the big scheme of things so none of those should excuse anyone from reading this book. So read it now or put it on your TBR list 🙂
If you’ve already read LM and would like to see my uncensored spoilery thoughts, jet on over to the Spoilery Reviews section of my blog. Or, ya know, just click here.