Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Number of Pages: 668
Summary: In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?
I’m not going to lie. I love Clare’s works and anything to do with shadowhunters. I’m so committed I even watch the show, which is not an accurate representation. A story for another time. I waited forever to read this, so I had higher expectations as time passed I suppose. After all, reading the Infernal Devices was such a thrill (LOVED Will and Jem), I definitely wouldn’t mind another love triangle by her. Spoiler: There wasn’t a love triangle for Emma. That aside, I still wanted this extremely satisfying read from waiting for such a long time.
Anyways, time to start this review. I was disappointed. Does writing and ideas degrade for authors as time passes? I don’t think so. Clare has always set the bar high. I couldn’t even pinpoint what I did not like about this until a few weeks after reading it. The characters were not developed and bland, with the exception of Mark (adorable). The plot felt like it went on and on. There was no chemistry between anybody, and lastly, there wasn’t much about the shadowhunter world.
I loved Clary and Jace in their world. The institution with lethal weapons, fighting and magic. This extremely exciting place we’re introduced to. Ok, so they had a war, now there’s peace in this book. However, there was no big war in the Infernal Devices, and it still took us on this incredible ride. Maybe the setting was bland. L.A doesn’t scream foreign, something new for us to explore. The characters don’t even go to Idris or even do anything shadowhunter like in the institute, like training. There was what? 1 or 2 scenes of training there? Ironically, everything about Lady Midnight is mundane. For all I know, I’m reading a YA weak mystery novel. There’s no contextual base that flourished like the other series. It might not be fair to compare this work to the past ones, but it’s hard not to.
The characters were so unlike Clare. They seemed so two dimensional that I didn’t care. I wouldn’t have cried if Emma died or if Julian did. I wouldn’t have cared if she and Julian did not end up together. There was no chemistry between them, no matter how hard the book tried to push them.
“’Jules’, she said impulsively, ‘Can I stay?’ It was their code, the short version of the longer request; stay and make me forget my nightmares. stay and sleep next to me. Stay and chase the bad dreams away, the memories of blood, of dead parents, of endarkened warriors with eyes like dead black coals, it was a request they’d both made, more than once.”
The writing style paints a lovely image, but there is no connection between them. It’s hard to explain, but I felt as if, they both needed each other there, but never needed to love each other? The lack of development for them would have affected this problem with chemistry.
As for the siblings, there were so many of them that they were glossed over. We get to learn about them, but not that much. In fact, half the time, I had to remind myself who Drusilla Blackthorn was. There is also Cristina, the best friend who I couldn’t connect with. She didn’t feel real to me. The huge exception is Mark. The brother from the Wild Hunt that returns. Innocent and dark and the biggest sweetheart.
“‘Why are you wearing a T-shirt under your other T-shirt?’ Livvy asked.
‘In case one of them is stolen,” Marked said, as it were entirely normal.'”
Mark’s humor lightens the story. I found myself constantly laughing at how he is trying to figure out the world. It’s just simply refreshing. Romance wise, there is a bi-sexual love triangle for Mark and it brings a diverse tie to the novel. Not surprising for Clare who always has a diverse set of characters for us to read. 🙂
The plot in the story was predictable and I could see what was happening. I could guess the culprit and what the unseen backstories were. The story line around unsolved murders leading to Emma’s parents, was such a disappointing answer to all these questions I had. I saw the way the path was leading, but I did appreciate the ties to Annabel Lee.
It has always been a bonus for me when a novel makes ties to something that exists in real life. It’s intriguing and makes me do research on the topic. The eerie poem about a lost love by Poe, being linked to a mystery in the shadowhunter world was genius.
Although I c0mplain about all these let downs, there was one part I loved. All those tie ins and flashbacks to Clary. The ties with Tessa and Jem back in the story. The one sort of plot twist near the end that I liked. The inner fangirl in me could not help it!
“‘You’ve got a lot of responsibility now,’ Jace said to Julian. ‘You’ll have to make sure Emma winds up with a guy who deserves her.’
Julian was strangely white-faced. Maybe he was feeling the effects of the ceremony, Emma thought. It had been strong magic; she still felt it sizzling through her blood like champagne bubbles. But Jules looked as if he’d been slapped.
‘What about me?” Emma said, quickly. “Don’t I have to make sure Jules winds up with someone who deserves him?’
‘Absolutely. I did it for Alec, Alec did it for me — well, actually, he hated Clary at first, but he came around.’
‘I bet you didn’t like Magnus much, either,’ said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face.
‘Maybe not,’ said Jace, ‘but I never would have said so.’
‘Because it would have hurt Alec’s feelings?’ Emma asked.
‘No,’ said Jace, ‘because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.'”
I will never get sick of Jace humor, or Magus and Alec. The connections made between all of her stories have always impressed me. For example, the necklace passed down from Camille to Isabelle. These memories would be the reason I raise my rating.
Overall, not what I expected. Disappointed by a lot, but I will not lie. I will read anything Clare writes and I stand by those words. If you’re a fan of the series, read this just to get those flashbacks. Maybe you’ll even like Lady Midnight. Just don’t go into it expecting the satisfaction of Jem, Will, Tessa, Clary, Simon or Jace. I do hold Clare up to higher standards and these series to higher levels, but it’s because I know that she’s such a talented writer. I hope the rest of the Dark Artifices does not disappoint and the characters develop more.
2.5-3/5 Cups of Tea (Probably 3 for old time’s sake)
I recommend a dark and mysterious tea. The Dark Chocolate Delight from David’s Tea is awesome!