Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Dark Artifices,#1

Publication: 8th March 2016, Simon and Schuster

Goodreads description:
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.

My spoiler free thoughts:
Lady Midnight tore my heart into a million pieces, stuck it back together and then broke it apart again and d'you know what? I loved every minute of the emotional rollarcoster that was the first book in Cassandra Clare's newest series.Fantastic start to what I know is going to be a great series.

Before reading Lady Midnight I would strongly recommend picking up The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and the novellas, Tales from Shadowhunter Academy unless you want to be spoiled. Cassandra Clare has created this huge universe were all the stories are intertwined and woven perfectly. It would be a shame to miss out. By reading the other series you will appreciate Lady Midnight even more.

Lady Midnight is intense and dark. There isn't as much comedic relief as Cassie's other books, but there are still some very funny lines. There was a perfect balance of being a plot and character driven story.

Cassie's writing has improved so much over the years. The writing in Lady Midnight is so much more sophisticated than her earlier books. I have really enjoyed seeing her writing improve over the years and can't wait to see how it changes over the course of the next few books.

Cassandra Clare has a flare for creating characters that will steal your heart and Lady Midnight did not disappoint in that department. We became familiar with the some of the characters in City of Heavenly Fire  and Tale from Shadowhunter Academy, but they're all grown up now in Lady Midnight. I think these characters are the most realistic of Cassie's to date. Each one has a distinct personality. And there is lots of diversity! I love 'em all to death, I can't pick a favourite!

Emma is smart, witty, loyal and badass. She's kind of reckless but I forgave her actions because sh
e is absoluty hilarious. I think she has some of the best lines in the book. I loved how driven she was. She's determined to get her revenge on the one who killed her parents. Her relationship with Julian and the Blackthorns really showed how much she was willing to do anything for those she loved and I really liked that about her character.

Julian is such a complex interesting character. He is both similar and different from Clare's other love interests Jace and Will. He is so loving and protective of those he loves, his family and Emma. He's dealing with a lot of responsibility as he is essentially acting as a father to 4 children (well 2,Ty and Livvy are getting older). He's kind of lost his identity as a brother and is seen as a parent figure. Jules keeps secrets but I could completely understand why and I enjoyed watching him struggle with if he should share his secrets or not.

I love all the Blackthorns: Mark, TY, Livvy, Dru and Tavvy. Livvy and Dru could have been fleshed out a bit more but I completely understand why we could spend more time with them because we have such a big cast of characters. I'm excited to get to know them more in the next book. Tavvy is so adorable. I loved reading about Ty. He's such an interesting character. I loved how he really liked detectives and wanted to be part of the investigation. Family is obviously a big theme in Lady Midnight. Cassie explores both sibling/sibling relationships and child/ parent relationships very well.

Friendship is also a big theme in Lady Midnight I especially loved reading the friendship between Cristina and Emma. I love how they complement each other so well. Cristina is very cool and collected compared to Emma with her fiery nature.

Then there is obviously Julian and Emma's friendship since they are parabatai.We got a good insight into the parabatai bond in this book which I really liked. We've been exposed to it before with Jace and Alec and then again with Will and Jem but Emma and Julian's bond surpasses the other pairings. We learn so much new things surrounding the bond and it's all so fascinating.

Just so you know, yes, characters we know and love from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices pop up! In present day, in flashback and in the Blackthorns conversations.

The plot of Lady Midnight is very engaging. I couldn't stop reading and didn't want to put the book down. I was never bored. The shadowhunters are carrying out an investigation to find out who's murdering people/fey in LA. So there was lot of clues and theorising going on. There's lots of action to keep the plot rolling. Emma and Julian are such a badass team, as well as all the other shadowhunters. There is lots of twists and turns too!

The ending was full of Oh My God! moments. I seriously need Lord of Shadows ASAP!!

I also read A Long Conversation which is the short story printed in first editions of the book. There's a reason it's printed at the back of the book. Spoilers guys! I know it's tempting but don't read it before Lady Midnight!

All in all Lady Midnight did not disappoint, it was amazing and I can't wait to see where Cassie brings the series in future books. I'm so excited for Lord of Shadows!

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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