Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices (Book 1)
By Cassandra Clare
“In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a scared 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. She lives for battle. Alongside her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries – the most powerful of supernatural creatures – teeter on the edge of war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries are found 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 by the faerie Courts. All they have to do is solve the murders within two weeks… and before the murder 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 read ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series a few years ago, and then read Bane Chronicles and re-read the last two books of ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series at the end of last year. So I knew that Lady Midnight was coming, but I had forgotten about it until I went into Waterstones and saw it there on the shelf, when it had not been there a week or so before. I started reading it a couple of days later, once I finished Voyage of the Basilisk. However, once I found out that In the Labyrinth of Drakes was out early, I put Lady Midnight down and read that first. Once I finished In the Labyrinth of Drakes, I picked Lady Midnight back up exactly where I left off and carried on going, I was more engrossed this time, more involved and wanted to keep reading the entire time, but work and sleep got in the way.
Lady Midnight is set five years after the events of ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series. Everyone is getting back to somewhat of normalcy after the Dark War, however for Emma and the Blackthorns their lives were turned upside down and they have had to change completely. Emma now has no parents, the Blackthorns are now her family, The Blackthorns have now been orphaned after their Father was killed in the War, their older brother (Mark) was stolen by the faeries and given to the Wild Hunt, and their older sister was exiled to a remote island in the Arctic due to the Cold Peace. Bodies start showing up in LA with the same markings that Emma’s parents were covered in five years before, faeries ask for their help in finding the murderer (as faeries have also been killed) in return for Mark to stay with them for the duration of the investigation and then he will have a choice of whether to stay or return to Faerie. Of course, everything is not plain sailing, and in the intervening years Mark has changed, as they have also grown up without him. You do not need to have read ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series, it may help as things are discussed that happened in it, but what you need to know is explained for you. It just gives you an extra insight.
I had quite a few favourite bits, I loved the relationships that were shown throughout the book between the family, Emma and Christina, and the action scenes were fabulous. I liked the fact that you got to know a bit more about characters in ‘The Mortal Instruments’ series, as you do not often get to know what happens to characters after their books finish, whether they have a happy ending or not. Lady Midnight made me tense, scared and feel adrenaline at all the right places, it even made me almost cry quite a few times.
It kept me guessing all the way to the end of what was going to happen, with who the murderer was, what was going to happen with Jules and Emma, would Christina get over Perfect Diego? Lady Midnight did not grip me from the beginning, I am quite glad that I had the chance to put it down and pick it up again, otherwise I do not think I would have enjoyed quite so much. It did grip me from about page 115 (Chapter 5), that’s just after I picked it back up.
All the characters drew me straight back into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders, I love the children (Ty, Livvy, Dru and Tavvy). I think that my favourite character was probably Emma, I liked her before in City of Heavenly Fire, but she grew on me. Julian (Jules) was a close second, with Mark following up in third. However, the ending of the book has left me not knowing how I feel about any of them.
Lady Midnight ends on a cliffhanger ready for Lord of Shadows (due out in 2017), but as I said previously my emotions and feelings towards the characters are completely jumbled, I just hope that it can be resolved in the next book, which I now cannot wait for.
It is written in third person, that flicks between different characters as the main character being followed, sometimes it jumps mid-chapter, sometimes a few paragraphs are one character and then the next few are another, can be a bit confusing.
I may be a grammar nazi, but I did find several places in the book where I felt that a slight rearranging of the words would have made it flow slightly better. Also, in the blurb it says that they have two weeks to solve the murders, but in the book itself they are told they have three weeks.
Lady Midnight is a book that is great for people who like half-angels, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, faeries and demons. It does contain fight and romantic scenes so not youngsters, but even though is a young adult fiction book I think adults and teenagers will enjoy it. 4 out of 5.