Tuesday 22 March 2016

Lady Midnight: Cassandra Clare | Review & Discussion | Faith

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.

- Goodreads Synopsis

This Review WILL contain SPOILERS

In this review, I will be splitting it up into two parts. One section will be the SPOILER FREE section and the other will contain spoilers and will be more of a discussion than a review. So let's get on with this review.

Lady Midnight is the first book in a new series called The Dark Artifices by: Cassandra Clare. It follows young Emma Carstairs and some of her fellow shadowhunters on an incredible journey with love, adventure, mystery and betrayal. 

If you haven't heard of Cassandra Clare and her amazing books, Lady Midnight is the spin off/continuation from The Mortal Instruments. There is also a prequel series called The Infernal Devices. If you haven't read The Mortal Instruments, or The Infernal Devices it is best that you go and read those first before you read this one.

The writing in this book was fantastic. Every word that was written flowed together so nicely. I believe that this is one of Cassandra Clare's best books. The entire structure of this novel was so well done. You can tell how much care went into each chapter and into the story.

A factor that I loved about Lady Midnight was the mystery. I was very afraid that this book was going to be similar to her past series, but it definitely wasn't. I would say that the aspect of mystery really set this book apart from her past books. The mystery in this book is so gripping and will have you on the edge of your seat, it had me craving for more at the end of every chapter.

The plot line of Lady Midnight exceeded my expectations. I didn't really know where the story was going to go but once I did I was completely enthralled with this world. It had a little bit of everything, mystery, action, drama and romance and to me it blended together in a really smooth way.

I loved how this book stood on it's own. While it is part of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, it does not really have many similarities to The Infernal Devices or The Mortal Instruments. It is it's very own book. Even though this story is set in the same world and even though we are familiar with it, it still feels fresh and new. I really admire that.

In Lady Midnight, most of the characters are very strong and courageous. A factor that I loved about all of them is that they were vulnerable and they had weaknesses. In certain YA books today, we have these heroines but nothing can pull them down. In this book, you can see each persons weakness, what can destroy them inside. To me, that is so important because it shows more realism and it reflects how we are all human.

I find it so amazing how fast I learned to care for all of these characters. I feel like it has to do with Cassandra Clare's writing, because I feel that she really digs with all of the words that she chooses. 

In this next section, I'm going to be discussing more than I am reviewing...

Cassandra Clare writes some of the best prologues. Lady Midnight starts off with a boy named Kit. At first, I was very confused on why we started off with this character. We find out that Kit's father Johnny Rook is a seller at The Shadow Market. Later on in the story, we find out that Kit is the lost Herondale. This was mentioned in the collection of short stories called Shadowhunter Academy. I did not pick it up because I wanted to wait for the bind up to be released. I was still very shocked when this was revealed even though I didn't read Shadowhunter Academy. I feel like this reveal opens up so many new opportunities and possibilities. 

Something about Lady Midnight that I really, really loved was the Parabati bond between Julian and Emma. This has obviously been mentioned in Cassandra's past series, but we've never really reflected on it in depth. It was so fascinating how deep this bond was between Julian and Emma. However, as you know Julian and Emma's bond is very special because they are in love. I was always very confused on why parabati couldn't be together romantically, but of course it was explained in this book. I feel like I have to applaud Cassandra Clare, because all of her ideas that she comes up with are so mind blowing and just purely amazing.

The reason behind this is that there's a curse. Shadowhunters would gain warlock abilities from this curse, but it would make them go mad. In Lady Midnight, we see how this affects Emma and Julian but in a very strange way. Suddenly the runes that they draw on each other become stronger and they cause unexplainable things. I am super curious on how this is going to play out in the future books.

So far, I love Emma as the protagonist. I love her fire and her personality. It was very interesting to read from a character's perspective who was so aware about the shadow world and who was trained to be a Shadowhunter. I was afraid that she was going to be very similar to Clary or to Tessa, but she wasn't. She was her own different character and I loved that.

Another character is Julian, I fell in love with his character the very moment that we met him. His relationship with Emma was so great to read about. It was so sweet and heartbreaking at many points in this book.

Like many if not all of Cassandra Clare's books, the relationships are important and very clear. There were so many moments in the book where I was filled with happiness or sadness because of how deeply everyone cared for each other. 

A scene in this book that made tear up was the scene where Mark returned and was very in-denial about his family. The way it was written was so beautiful in my opinion. The way Cassandra described the emotions that everyone felt really got to me. 

Mark Blackthorn was not a character that I was expecting to see. Something that I loved about him is the fact that he is bisexual. We have seen so many gay characters in Cassandra Clare's books but it was great to see Mark. I love how diverse Cassandra Clare's books are/becoming, because I think that is very important. Mark quickly became one of my favourite characters, his actions had me laughing out loud at points. I don't know about you, but every single time we saw him in the book, I would just picture this stunning man with wind blowing his hair just because of the way he talked.

I think betrayal is very hard to write in books because you can make it very obvious, or not obvious at all. In Lady Midnight, we find about this character who is called The Guardian. Throughout most of the novel, this person is unknown. At the end, we find out that it is Malcom. I don't about you, but I did not see that coming. Cassandra Clare crafted this book in such an incredible way. She blinded us by making us like--wait no I loved Malcom. She blinded us by making us love Malcom as a character, but dropped all of these little hints that were telling you about his plan but we did not see that. I think having Malcom as the antagonist was really clever, because no one would suspect the warlock. I sure didn't.

I am really looking forward to seeing where this story goes because no matter what, I probably won't be able to predict what is going to happen.

Lady Midnight was a book that really gripped me. It has been long since a book has made me full out laugh, gasp and cry. The last book that made me react this much was probably Steelheart by: Brandon Sanderson. Every twist and turn that happened in this book, shocked me. To me, Cassandra Clare just jeeps getting better with every novel she has been writing. This book compared to City of Bones and Clockwork Angel just knocks it out of the door. It was so fantastic. 

Overall, I loved this book. As mentioned before, this is probably my favourite Cassandra Clare book so far. I can't wait to see where this stories ago and it was so amazing to be brought back into this world once more! I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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