Goodreads Summary: 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 Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Thoughts: Now unfortunately I MAJORLY spoiled myself for this book before I read it, but that did not spoil my enjoyment (I’m one of the few people who’s not really miffed by spoilers). I still really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t my favorite Shadowhunters book, but it’s definitely a promising start.
We’re finally introduced to new characters who we’ve been itching to know for years and they do not disappoint! Everyone in the large and colorful cast is so loveable and there’s a character for everyone and anyone to relate to (personally, my fave was Cristina, who I totally relate to)! I’m totally in love with Emma and Julian and the Blackthorns!
Relationships played a massive role in this book (the bonds of family and the bonds of parabatai) and Clare wrote all of them well and in quite a compelling manner. All of the relationships are preexisting, so you unravel them slowly as you get to know the characters.
Related, there’s the family aspect of Lady Midnight. At it’s heart, this is a story about family and what you would do for them. It is about Emma, who has lost her family, and Julian, who is fighting to keep his. It is this thread that makes Lady Midnight so heartfelt, I think, and it was one of my favorite things about the story.
I truly enjoyed the diversity Clare infused into this new series. We have a POC (Cristina), a bisexual character (Mark), and an autistic character (Tiberius). It was a nice way to keep with the times of love and acceptance and to show how the shadwhunter world has changed (and how it hasn’t). It was a nice touch.
It would be easy to spend this entire time fangirling and saying I love this book. Nevertheless, I am a reviewer, and therefore must look at this book with a critical eye, whether or not I like it.
I maintain that my major complaint about this book is that the world and the characters were almost too familiar. Which is understandable, given that this is a continuation in the same world as The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. But even still, I wish there had been a little more originality and that the world felt more…fresh. Even the characters felt like shadows of previous characters. It was easy to see Jace in Emma and Clary in Julian and I wish they had been given more of their own personalities instead.
Another thing that people might gripe about is Clare’s prolific use of YA tropes. Forbidden love, miscommunication as a plot device, and “we have to pretend we’re dating” are all used in the end. Not to mention the massive love-octagon-thing that’s obviously coming in the next book.
The story line is pretty simple and I wish a bit more of complexity had been added. It felt big while reading it, but in reality the plot boiled down to a simple, single point.
I guess as an older reader, who’s read a lot more YA, I’m able to recognize a lot more of the series’ flaws now. But that didn’t hinder my enjoyment once bit. I still love the world and the characters and the story. I’m still a shadowhuter fan at heart.
All in all, this was a pretty solid new installment in The Shadowhunter Chronicles. It wrapped up nicely, but with just enough mystery to keep me wondering what Clare plans on throwing at us next.