| Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)|
by Cassandra Clare
by Margaret K. McElderry Books
YA - Paranomal
For those of you who read TMI and don't remember, we actually first met two main protagonists, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, in The City of Heavenly Fire, as children. Now they're all grown-up and a lot has changed since then. Emma is one of the best Shadowhunters around, not to mention impulsive, headstrong and feisty as hell. In other words, I adored her. And her best friend and parabatai Julian is the perfect balance to all her energy. He's just as passionate but quietly, although no less fiercely. With his parents gone and his eldest siblings banished to different faerie Courts, he's been left in charge to take care of his 4 younger brothers and and sisters, along with Emma's help. There's a lot of focus on family, loyalty and friendship throughout the entire book and I loved it. There's also a lot of political intrigue because Shadowhunter Law has affected everything in their lives and world. For one thing, faeries are the number one enemy now (hence the reason why Julian's two half-siblings who are half-Fae are banished) and close to starting a war with the Shadowhunters. Then there are the rules like.. parabatai are forbidden to fall in love. This law is highlighted from the start and it doesn't take much guessing to understand why as we get to know Emma and Julian. (Unsurprisingly, I shipped them hard.)
But the main mystery of the book are serial murders of humans and faeries, who were killed in the same way Emma's parents were when she was a child. It's a crime she has never once stopped looking into. This is the long-awaited chance for Emma to get the truth and revenge. Not only that, the Faerie Courts want to know what's happening too and therefore allow Mark's brother Julian to return temporarily as they solve the murders. There's a lot happening as they uncover the secrets, wade their way through familial and romantic drama and more. But Cassandra Clare kept me hooked from page 1 and I actually ended up reading Lady Midnight in a day.
(Minor) reservationsIt's a minor thing but one that I can't help considering when I think about continuing the series. Clare clearly has a formula when it comes to her romances and for most of the book, I thought she was actually deviating from it for a change. Then I hit the last chapter and she does exactly what she always does. It was disappointing because it's so unnecessary, especially when there's enough drama to go around.
Do I recommend?Yes! I think long-time fans of Cassandra Clare will be very happy with her latest book. And for newbies? Technically you could start here but to fully understand the history and the references, you should really start from the beginning.