The first thing you should know is that I am a permanent rabid Shadowhunter fangirl. EMPHASIS ON THE “RABID” BECAUSE BASICALLY THIS WORLD IS MY LOVE AND I SHALL ADORE EVERYTHING IN IT. Ergo, I was doomed to love Lady Midnight.
So basically I’m about to fangirl ridiculously. #SorryNotSorry But at least I’ll do it in list format so we can pretend my shriekings are sensibly organised.
L O V E S
- HOW INCREDIBLY AWESOME EVERYTHING IS.
Oh shush. I know that explains nothing, but duuuuude: What isn’t glorious here?!?! It has everything a Shadowhunter book should have (fighting demons; sass; complex world; magic; mayhem) — but this time we’re solving a very old murder mystery (the murder of Emma’s parents).
- Plus there’s cult stuff going down.
- Plus there’s tons of subplots about “forbidden love”.
- Plus Cassandra Clare’s writing just keeps getting better and BETTER.
- Plus this is like the 12th Shadowhunter book?! And yet it’s fresh and exciting and amazing?! WIZARDRY.
- I LOVED EMMA AND JULIAN…A LOT.
They’re parabatai (a phrase here which means “really really close warrior buddies who aren’t allowed to be in love”) but, hahhahahahhahaha…they so totally are in love. Cue angst and heartbreak. Emma narrates more than Julian, but I did prefer Julian just because he’s a very complex character and kind of devious. But he’s so SWEET and HONOURABLE you really don’t expect it. Whereas Emma is 100% “LET’S SMITE ALL THE THINGS” which is awesome, but she was very easy to understand. Emma was endlessly sassy though and this = I love.
“We are well known for our jests, japes, and ballads,” the faerie said, clearly offended. “Some of our ballads last for weeks.”
“I don’t have that kind of time,” Emma said. “I’m a Shadowhunter. Quip fast, die young.”
- ALSO IT FOCUSES ON BIG FAMILIES!
I was only complaining last week that not enough books have big families. And — BOOM — here is a fantasy Shadowhunter one. Julian has 4 younger siblings that he’s been raising since he was 12. They are like his kids. IT IS SO ADORABLE. Plus his half-fey older brother (Mark) was kidnapped and has now been returned but has ZERO clue how the human world works. Plus all the siblings are unique with distinct personalities. AND they were INVOLVED in the story. My heart.
- ALSO THIS IS THE FIRST FANTASY I’VE READ THAT HAS A WONDERFUL, ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF AUTISM.
One of Julian’s younger siblings (Ty) has Autism and it’s like the most accurate representation I’ve seen in a LONG time. It’s not stereotyped or cliche, there is more to Ty than his Autism, and he is loved and helped despite it. No one talks about curing him. No one talks about how his life would be better without it. Ty is awesome and capable and intelligent. I ACTUALLY CRY HAPPY TEARS NOW.
Julian had looked at his own inexact, messy work and Ty’s methodical rows, and thought: We both see the same world, but in a different way. Ty feels the same joy I do, the joy of creation. We feel all the same things, only the shape of our feelings are different.
Ty said nothing. His hands were still fluttering in their repetitive movements. There had been a time when Ty’s father had tried to train him to immobility, had held his sons’ hands tightly at his sides when he was upset and said, “Still, still”. It had panicked Ty into throwing up. Julian never did that. He just said everyone got butterflies when they were nervous; some people got them in their stomaches, and Ty showed them in his hands.
- ALSO SECONDARY CHARACTER LOVE! OF COURSE!
We cannot forget them.
- Cristina is from Mexico and she’s pretty dang awesome.
- Mark is the estranged Blackthorn brother who’s been kidnapped/tortured by fey for the last 5 years and he is completely tragic AND I LOVED HIM AND IS QUIET PSYCHOTIC SIDE.
- Malcolm, the resident warlock, continues to be entertaining.
- Uncle Arthur was pretty much insane. (And reminds me of those Uncle Arthur bedtime stories. Anyone else? No?)
- Church was there. The cat, I mean.
- DON’T FORGET THE CAMEOS!
So you can definitely read this book WITHOUT having read any other Shadowhunter books. (Isn’t that handy dandy?!) But I do recommend reading at least The Mortal Instruments first. The last book, City of Heavenly Fire, is where Emma/Julian are first introduced. BUT ANYWAY! There are cameos from:
- Clary and Jace — Clary is Emma’s hero plus they both make an appearance at the end.
- Jem and Tessa — because Jem is a Carstairs! Emma is a Carstaris! EVERYONE IS RELATED.
- Magnus and Alec — who have adopted two sons. #PerfectShipisPerfect
- Isabelle and Simon — there’s a mini short story at the end about their engagement party.
- I LAUGHED. I CRIED. I AM IN LOVE.
THAT IS ALL.
“You’re too skinny,” she said as brightly as she could. “Too much coffee, not enough pancakes.”
“I hope they put that on my tombstone.”
D I S L I K E S
(There are like only a teen tiny amount because the book was NEARLY perfection.)
- IT WAS FAR TOO LONG. Hmm…I firmly believe a book never needs to be 700-pages. Firstly — IT HURTS MY WRISTS. Secondly I loved being thoroughly immersed in the world but it did go on and on at times when…less is more, you know?
- THERE WAS A VILLAIN MONOLOGUE THAT WAS SO CLICHE. Maybe I’m being nitpicky…but honestly?! An insanely long villain monologue. WUT.
- THE STAKES WEREN’T AS HIGH AS I EXPECTED. Don’t get me wrong! The ending was panic inducing. But I kept being surprised because in previous series the characters were nearly dying when they were much younger.
Basically?!?? I’m so so happy right now and my soul is stuffed with Shadowhunter feels.
Who is that beaming like a Cheshire cat? OH THAT IS ME.
Lady Midnight stole my heart and made me laugh (OUT LOUD COPIOUSLY) and I am not ashamed to be thoroughly rabidly addicted to the Shadowhunter universe. I loved the new characters and how flawlessly Cassandra Clare balanced such a huge cast. I loved the mystery angle. The devious plot twists WERE DEVIOUS. I cannot wait for more.
(Speaking of which, in 2017 we not only get the The Dark Artifices #2: Lord of Shadows BUT! we also get Chain of Thorns! Which is set in 1903 and deals with the next generation after Tessa/Will/Jem. CUE SHRIEKING AND FLAILING. 2017 is going to be glorious.)
THANK YOU TO SIMON & SCHUSTER FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. LADY MIDNIGHT (THE DARK ARTIFICES #1) BY CASSANDRA CLARE WAS PUBLISHED MARCH, 2016.
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.