Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Rating: 2/5 ★★☆☆☆
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.
I FINALLY DID IT!
I started this audio-book on February and have just finished. Almost 20 hours of a plot I didn’t particularly enjoy with a main character I didn’t like (yay). For my spoiler free thoughts:
This book is by far too long, also predictable to a degree that I found myself rolling my eyes through 10 of the 20 hours of audio-book. The characters personalities were inconsistent and their relationships were at the same time obvious and twisted. I did enjoy some parts, mostly the cameos from the TMI characters but I can see the potential in this series. I think the author should pick a plot and follow it, this had too many fronts open and managed none of them properly. Also, I’m not a fan of love triangles but I can get behind them when well done, this thing had a love hexagon and none of those possible relationships felt healthy and there was no wondering who would end up with who since the feelings were clear. The drama was unnecessary and dragging most of the time.
I did like the ending and the possibilities it opened but, about this book? I was wholly unimpressed.
Disclaimer:: I debated whether or not to do this review since it was such a disappointing book for me but I know a lot of people love it. In the end I just wanted to write all my feelings and you have the rating right at the top so you know what to expect. I’m glad people are able to enjoy the book and I understand that tastes are different, this is just the way I felt while reading and is, by no means, written as a way to drag the book or others who may like it.
Every character matters but these are the ones I felt most strongly about
I reaaaaaaaally disliked her. She is so selfish in everything she does, never stops to think about other people or how her actions may affect those around her. And I get that she is a teenager but so is Julian and they have (supposedly) been in charge of four children on their own and she behaves like a spoiled kid herself. She is also a very inconsistent character, her feelings seem to change with the tides, in theory she was obsessed with revenge but we don’t see all that much of a drive about her. She cares for the Blackthorn, at least we are told so but all over the book I only saw her standing back and watching how Jules took care of everything all the time, never stepping in herself, and then she goes moaning about how she isn’t a blackthorn like them but biiitch, put in the work and you’d be so.
Speaking of. Either this kid is a genius or the Clave is more incompetent than we all imagined, but I’ll speak of this later. He was the eldest brother/father and that fucked him up in the head. There isn’t much to add because that’s how far CC took him.
I liked her. She was quite simple but a good character nonetheless. I think I liked her because her personality was true and she didn’t have some sort of “twist” that we see coming from miles
Julian. I also enjoyed how her and Diego interacted and, you know, talked about what their feelings were and what happened after the fight unlike some people
I can’t wait to see more of him. The premise of a character that is so perfect that everyone around him is at the same time annoyed and slightly aroused is really good and I hope CC treats him well on the following books. That said, he was a dick by not stopping Jaime from saying shit, no matter how pointless it was and I’m happy Cristina got away for some time.
This character is in the autism spectrum and I really liked the way he was represented, especially how Julian found ways to help him stim even though shadowhunters have no idea how to treat someone neuro-divergent. He is super smart and loves his family in his own way, he also has high aspirations for himself. I hope we get to develop his character more on the following books.
The poor boy is an idiot and doesn’t know what’s happening around him most of the time.
I want more of him. Like, he is such an interesting character who poses a lot of new questions. I also like the glimpses of the faerie world we got to see through him and Mark and I’m rooting for that relationship. He screwed up big time with the whipping thing but I trust he will make amends.
He is mentally ill and, in true shadowhunter fashion, instead of getting him some help his family keeps him in the attic. It’s an interesting contrast to how Julian treats Ty, one is young and cute and so he tries to help him and make everything so he can lead a normal life, the other is old and can’t take care of the family so he gets relegated to his corner and drugged without his knowledge. Nice going
I don’t know whats up with her. I mean, I spoiled myself a few things but I can’t, for the life of me, see at her motives. Her actions don’t make sense and she felt more like a plot device than a character
He was the big bad and then he died. Not many feelings there. He was established by comments here and there but he wasn’t really all that present during the events of the book so it wasn’t all that surprising of a reveal. The moment he started saying all that stuff about love and the phrase Bring love back from the dead was super sketchy so suspect number 1.
By way of character I loved Cristina, I enjoyed the parts where she’d talk Spanish because it felt like something that’d happen. No matter how perfect your English is sometimes you need to curse in your native tongue.
The cameos were few but on point. I feel like, in this topic, the author was walking a fine line between building a brand new story with new characters but also recognizing the readers already fell in love with the old cast. I’d have liked to see a bit more of Magnus but that’s a personal preference of mine; everything is made better by adding more Magnus Bane.
The family dynamics were really well done and realistic. Poor Julian needs a break but aside from that the siblings interactions didn’t feel forced or fake and you could see how they cared or each other in their own ways.
Kieran is a precious Gay Mess (TM) and I need more of him and Mark. The whole Hunt deserves its own book tbh. There’s so much potential with the characters and the possible back-story they share.
And that’s basically it: so much potential but poorly executed.
WHERE DO I START?? I know
The beach scene…
There are so many things wrong with that but I’m gonna break it down to 3 points:
1.. You better thank the angel there’s a contraceptive rune out there because you Stupids didn’t stop to look for a condom until the morning after for some inexplicable reason
I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about the hilarity that is the grand Angel showing Clary a rune to prevent more shadowhunters, because that makes sense with the rest of the lore
2. They juuuuust learnt that the other has the same feelings and… they go right to do it??? I mean, you could try to… i don’t know… talk? maybe?? Also, the poor girl almost died, she should be taking it easy for at least ten minutes
3. …on the beach… without even a towel… ALL… THAT… SAND
Let’s move on from that
After all the efforts CC went through on the other books to establish that your feelings for your parabatai were like your feelings for your siblings she goes and does this. This doesn’t help to hide your incest kink, lady!! It actually made me kind of uncomfortable, maybe because I don’t feel like there was a proper build-up for that kind of relationship. The guy f*cks off to England for 8 weeks and before that we have been led to believe that everything was normal and then he comes back and in two weeks they are fucking in the sand.
Is the Clave actually that stupid or are they actively trying to wipe off the shadowhunter race? First off, I refuse to believe no one noticed when the letters from the LA institute started to come from a 12 y/o. No matter how smart he was, Julian would have needed a lot of time to perfect communicating from the clave so he didn’t do it well at the beginning. Then,they left an entire institute to one adult and a half and six children there’s no way even a responsible adult could have taken proper care of them.
The treatment of mental-illness within the story. While talking about the clave: you want me to believe that a race made specifically for fighting and whose vast majority of people are soldiers and constantly on-duty haven’t yet learnt what PTSD is? Like they don’t acknowledge how their lifestyle affects them? They haven’t any kind of mental-health professionals? I call bullshit.
This is honestly the first time I’ve read a love hexagon and I did not like it. Mainly it was because the endgame pairings were obvious from the very beginning so there was no real tension and it felt like everyone was there just for the teen-drama (TM)
So let’s see if I got it all: Kieran loves mark and mark loves him but also likes Cristina and Emma. Cristina likes Diego but also mark and Julian
also I got some kind of vibe from Jaime and Emma fight me on this. Emma likes Julian and mark and Diego (because everyone likes Diego) and Cristina. Julian likes Emma because she is the only girl he ever interacted with so I’m assuming he will also like Cristina at some point. And I heard a spoiler that Kieran also “likes” Cristina though that feels more like he’s trying to make Mark jealous.
You see? We all know what the endgame is but we get this shoved in our faces all throughout the book and it’s soooo annoying.
Lastly, while on the topic of relationships, I need more Aline and Helen. We have a happily married lesbian couple and we saw nearly nothing of them! I hope they will play a bigger part in the rest of the story.
There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.
You belong where you’re loved.
No one is ever the villain of their own story.
“Everyone is more than one thing,” said Kieran. “We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.”