Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
This Review should be Spoiler-Free as much as I can make it! As far as I know it’s spoiler free.
“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?”
I would be lying if I said that parts of this book did not eat me up, spit me back out, then stomp on the puddle of goo that used to be me. Ok, maybe that was a tad melodramatic, but the sentiment stands. I actually waited about 5 days to sit down and write this review because I wanted to make sure I was writing it with a clear head, and wouldn’t cloud it with emotion – basically I wanted to make sure that I was giving it 5/5 stars because it deserves it, and not because I had burned through the last 400 pages in one night and my tired brain assumed I loved it.
But it’s true – I can give this book a 5 star review. I wish that I had taken the time to actually notate on post-its all of my favorite moments and quotations, but in all honesty I was too wrapped up in simply enjoying the story.
The story starts out a tad slowly, which is in no way surprising since when introducing a new series you have a lot of background exposition that needs to happen. Saying that I loved the in this story Clare throws us into a world where every main character already knows that they are a Shadowhunter. There is no being “thrown into a new world that you know nothing about” to deal with, which is a nice change from her previous series (no slight against them…I love the Infernal Devices). You are tossed into a world following two parabatai, Emma and Julian, as Emma struggles with feelings of revenge and trying to find out who killed her parents in her childhood. Fast forward to present day and there are killings that she is sure to her core are connected back to her parents. Throw in some forbidden love, since parabatai are not supposed to have romantic love for each other, and you are good (that shouldn’t be a spoiler, it becomes pretty obvious within the first couple chapters).
Once the main points of the plot were set up this story really flew by. It went along at a good clip of action, then more base story, then action, then base story, allowing each piece to never feel stale or too drawn out. By the end I felt like I was on the edge of my reading chair simultaneously not wanting the book to end and needing to know how the book was going to end!
I loved the entire cast of characters, from the main cast to the supporting. Especially knowing that so many of the characters are still so shrouded in mystery even by the end of the book.
Emma & Julien have such an amazing bond, really opening up what the idea of parabatai should be. As much as we saw amazing parabatai bonds between Alec & Jace and Will & Jem, the relationship between Emma & Julian really stood out as something almost stronger. They really feel like they are two sides of a coin that make one perfect Shadowhunter.
Mark: He was definitely a great window into the world of the Fae. I loved hearing about his time with the Wild Hunt and all the characters he brought with him. His character felt so unpredictable about how he was going to react to things, that it really felt like I never knew what he was going to do. Plus, I loved his interactions in the world (it reminded me a lot of Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow!). I’m so looking forward to finding more about his character.
Ty & Livia: The twins are fun and full of shenanigans, but equally have such complex storylines. Livia is straightforward, knowing exactly what she wants and having no problem stating that fact. Ty is still so much of an unknown, I want to know what is going on inside his adorable mind and what his idea for his future is.
Drusilla and Octavian: I feel like we didn’t get to learn too much of these characters backstories. We did get just enough for me to know I love them and just want to give them hugs.
Christina: She is studying at the LA Institute during her “travel year” coming from an institute in Mexico. I loved her relationships with Emma and with Mark. With Emma it was nice to see her have a friend outside of the Blackthorn family, who she could really confide in without it seeming like it would get around to the whole family. With Mark she was great since she was the only one he didn’t have any history with. Which made it so he didn’t have to try and be an old version of himself with her, he could be exactly who he was now without feeling nervous. Plus, Christina is sassy, and I loved that.
There are so many other characters, but I mostly wanted to focus on the main Blackthorn and Co Clan.
Especially fun was getting glimpses into the characters from the previous installments. Not all of the glimpses were them actually showing up, but just being spoken of. It gave the feeling that everyone in these books are interconnected, which just adds to the layers of story building Clare does in her novels. It was just enough to get you excited about being connected to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, but not so much that this book was really able to feel like it was standing on it’s own two feet.
I loved this book so much and am now anxiously awaiting the next installment! As well as the first book in her other upcoming trilogy. I’m so happy to still be getting books in this universe – especially knowing I still have at least 5 left!
P.S. – Considering this is the first book in the trilogy and it is 720 pages….how long are books 2 and 3 going to be??? Is one of them going to break 1000????