Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Book Review: Lady Midnight

About the novel

Title: Lady Midnight
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romance, Magic, Angels
Published: March 8th 2016
Read: March 2016
My Rating: 

My Copy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Cover: Paperback
Purchase Location: Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

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 Review

Wow! Just wow! I plunged into this book without any precautions and didn’t expect to get so emotionally attached to this new riveting story by Cassandra. As I’ve become kind of obsessed again with the Shadowhunting world (especially since I got hooked on the TV series) I just had to read this book right as I got my own copy (I even overlooked the fact that my physical copy was damaged). I even tried something that I’ve never done with books that I read by myself and not for school. I got out my post-its collection and decided which colours would be used for what (green for ‘lol’-moments, pink for romance, blue for quotes, yellow for the appearances of beloved characters from TMI & TID and orange for special parabatai moments, which I’ll explain further later). Amazingly the most used colour was green.

Cassandra has a talent to interrupt the most enthralling, beautiful and intimate moments before they reach their climax (for example the actual kiss). This is so unnerving, but the wait is worth it because then the relationships have more time to evolve, develop and gain importance. Lady Midnight will capture your attention from the first page until the very end. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and you don’t know where you even want to start shipping. There are so many lovely characters that it’s really hard keeping track of all of them (thankfully, I remembered all their names and was never confused because Cassandra made it clear from the beginning which age groups they belonged to).

As the other books in the Shadowhunting world this book changes the point of view regularly. It isn’t confusing though because you always figure out whose pov it is right away. It keeps the storyline moving and it’s really fast-paced so you never ever get bored. There’s always something happening. Time and again you discover some mid-chapters which are throwbacks to times of the Dark War or old memories of our beloved characters. These shine a light on past events which are important for the present action or had a big impact on how they evolved. I absolutely love these throwbacks, especially when some all-time favourite characters of mine re-appear.

If you’re into dramatic romance and love-triangles (love-squares even) then this book is definitely one for you. At the end of the book nothing is the way you thought it would be and it just leaves so many more questions open for the sequel to answer.

Spoiler Alert! Proceed with caution.

As I’ve read all the other books by Cassandra Clare (except for Tales from the Shadowhunting Academy because I’m waiting for the physical copy to get out this November) I really loved all the references Cassandra made to Clary and the TMI gang. Magnus’ appearances just made me so happy and you can’t even imagine how I felt like when I found out that Simon was a Shadowhunter now and Clary’s parabatai or that he was engaged to Izzy. I flipped out at the news of Malec’s baby called Max, how cute is that? My feelings made a somersault when Jem and Tessa returned. I really hope that they’ll appear more in the next book (which comes out April 2017 by the way). Although I was a little disappointed at Alec’s short appearance (I would have loved to hear more about him) I’m totally okay with it. Because this is a new trilogy and it’s about a new Shadowhunter’s family which I absolutely adore.

I found out in this book that Idris practically is my neighbour-land. I do not know if this had been mentioned before in the TMI series, but if it was I do not remember it. I was so happy to discover this and now I’ll never cross the border to Germany or France again without looking for any signs of Shadowhunters (Yes, I do know that it’s a fictional land, but you never cease to look for Hogwarts in Scotland either, right?).

So the special parabatai moments I was talking about a little earlier meant those between Emma and Julian. From the chapter in which Emma healed Julian's injury of demon poison I knew something was up with that and that it would have a big influence later on both of them. I guessed it had something to do with parabatais gaining power when they fell in love and I was not wrong. I just didn't imagine that we would discover this piece of information in the first book already. I'm really curious where this will all lead to and it kills me that I'll have to wait another year for the next book to come out.

To end my review I'd like to show you this quote that deeply moved me because it reminded me of so many deaths in the shadowhunting world which is heart-breaking.
John Carstairs smiled sadly. “As long as there is love and memory, there is no true death,” he said.

What if you haven't read any previous books by Cassandra Clare?

If you haven’t read any book by Cassandra Clare yet, but think Lady Midnight could be something you liked, then I suggest you give it a try. There’s nothing from the Shadowhunters’ world that you wouldn’t understand because Cassandra has a way of explaining everything very nicely and you’ll totally understand it without having read anything in this world before. However if you started and haven’t finished The Mortal Instruments yet, or intend to do so I recommend you read those books first (you’ll get through them fast, don’t be intimidated by the amount of books!) because there are a lot of references that you either won’t understand yet, or you’ll get spoiled about Clary’s (protagonist of TMI) gang’s future which might spoil TMI for you. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to read The Infernal Devices before reading Lady Midnight, but this isn’t at all necessary. You can catch up on that later to understand who Jem Carstairs actually is and why he has such an important role to us fans.

Other Reviews in the Shadowhunting Series

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) & The Bane Chronicles

I read this book as part of the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2016 & #hidingReadAThon by the lovely Annika @ Hiding in Books Blog

I'd like to know

Are you a fan of the shadowhunting world or a specific series by Cassandra Clare? Have you read all of her books or did you get bored at some point and couldn't continue? What's your general opinion on series that keep on going and going and don't ever seem to stop? Have you read any other series that seem like that? (Only Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and House of Night by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast come to my mind)