Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare

Rating: 4/5 stars

Dead bodies are being found all over Los Angeles with strange markings on them, four years after the end of the Dark War. Emma’s parents were found dead the same way, so she’s convinced that the deaths are related. She sets out to investigate the murders and, in the process of uncovering the truth, learns a lot about herself and makes new friends (and enemies). I thought Lady Midnight was a refreshing new Shadowhunter book.

I loved the prologue and it really got me excited to read the rest of the book. I learned about some things that have been going on in the shadow world since City of Heavenly Fire ended, plus I got a nice review of how the world worked.

I liked that Lady Midnight mentioned all the pertinent details we learned in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. After reading both books, I can say that I do not think reading Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is necessary before Lady Midnight. In Lady Midnight, Clare tells us the outcome of the stories, but in Tales, we get the journey of the stories. The only story that I really think gives necessary information at all is “The Fiery Trial,” which features Emma and Julian when they became parabatai, as well as Clary getting a parabatai.

Lady Midnight was my tenth Shadowhunter book, yet I didn’t feel like the story was one I’d read before in this world. It was a new story and it was relevant to these new characters. I love that the story does follow new characters on the other side of the country that are not related to the people in the Mortal Instruments. (I get that Jace is like the “coolest Shadowhunter ever” but not everything has to involve him.) It broadened the world of Shadowhunters for me and showed that not all problems are big enough for the whole world and the Clave to get involved in, yet the story was still big enough to be important to Emma and Julian and their crew.

Speaking of our new characters, I like Emma a lot more in this book than I did in City of Heavenly Fire. I’m glad that she speaks and acts more like an adult now. She’s grown up a lot in the past four years since the end of the Dark War, when she acted about 8 instead of 12. She was less irritating in this book, which I greatly appreciated.

I also liked Julian a lot. He is such a great “father” to his four younger siblings, and I appreciated seeing his struggles to be a good Shadowhunter while also caring for his family. The family dynamics were much different in this book than we have seen before in Clare’s books, which was a breath of fresh air. I also love that Julian came from such a big family. He had four siblings, two half-siblings, and Emma, who lives with him at the Institute. So often in books I see characters being an only child or having one or two siblings, but having six siblings is rare. I’m glad that each of his brothers and sisters had a part in this story, too, and weren’t just disposable side characters. I hope they continue to play a big role in the rest of the series.

The tension between Julian and Emma was so strong, and I have no idea what’s going to happen to them. As parabatai, they aren’t allowed to fall in love, but a law cannot actually stop someone from feeling something. I am so glad it was explained WHY parabatai are forbidden to love each other, and it all makes sense. Somehow I feel like they will find a way to get around this by uncovering a new spell or somehow breaking their parabatai bond or something to allow them to legally fall in love, but I will have to read the next two books to see. Although the ending of the last chapter (pre-epilogue) has me shocked and I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the next book. Obviously something horribly wrong.

And the epilogue—that left me very confused. The thing did not actually occur to allow the thing that happened in the epilogue to actually happen, so how did it happen? Hopefully, this will be clarified in Lord of Shadows.

Another thing that left me confused was the short story at the end of the book, “A Long Conversation.” What is Clary’s issue and why is she dreading what she has to do? I hope this is addressed in another short story at the end of Lord of Shadows.

Overall, I really enjoyed Lady Midnight. I thought it was a strong addition to the Shadowhunter world and featured a great new cast of characters with a unique new problem to solve. I liked the ending and where the story is headed in the next book, and I can’t wait to go read it.

Do I think you need to read the whole Mortal Instruments series prior to reading Lady Midnight? No, this story stands on its own and all the facets of the Shadowhunter universe are explained as if you had never read the other books, so everything should make sense to a new reader. But do I think reading the other books will enhance your reading experience of this book? Yes, greatly so. Events that happened to these characters at the end of City of Heavenly Fire are addressed and having read that book will help those parts of this book make more sense. Plus, reading Clare’s other books helps you to be able to catch all the Easter eggs she planted in this book, which is just so fun.

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