Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Dark Artifices, #1
Narrator: Morena Baccarin
Released: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
Source: Publisher for review
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.
Cassandra Clare is perhaps one of the most divisive authors out there. Very few people feel lukewarm about her fan fiction beginnings and her reuse of the same world in so many different series. The internet is filled with reactions, opinions and arguments about her work, but when I pick up one of Cassie’s books, I leave all of that behind. The only thing I truly care about is the quality of her work, the emotions her stories provoke and the characters she creates for us to love. Lady Midnight delivers everything the fans were hoping for and more. It is rich, complex, and it promises that The Dark Artifices will be just as heart-wrenching as The Infernal Devices, which is my absolute favorite by Clare.
Cassie introduced Emma and Julian as kids in City of Heavenly Fire, which means that we went into this knowing their background and something about the hardships they’ve already endured. It was clear from the start that the two would be parabatai, which would make any romantic relationship between then dangerous and practically impossible. There is no shortage of heartbreak in Clare’s books, and Lady Midnight is no different in that respect. The feelings between these two are so intense that they often become too difficult to bear. At the same time, they truly are best friends and they stand by each other no matter what. It’s very difficult for one of them to purposely hurt the other and the loyalty and affection between them comes across as genuine and unbreakable.
It was easy enough to think that the characters from Cassie’s previous series (like Clary, Jace, Magnus, Tessa or Jem) would steal the spotlight with their brief appearances, but that did not happen at any point. In fact, having them around just reinforced the fact that this is very much Emma and Julian’s book and they are both heroes in their own right.
As usual, Clare created a fabulous cast of secondary characters as well, all of them fully developed and important. We could never claim to care for one more than we care for the others because all of them have their own complicated, painful stories and extremely difficult paths ahead. So far, Mark might be the most interesting member of the Blackthorn family, but that’s only because of his years with the Wild Hunt and his fae blood.
I’ve already mentioned our main star-crossed couple, and trust me when I tell you, their story will hurt you! But there are more conflicted, impossible, star-crossed couples, some I cheer for even more than I do for Julian and Emma. In this, as in so many other things, Clare is amazing and she knows how to time her revelations to make them as painful as possible.
All in all, when I practically inhale a book of almost 700 pages or an audiobook over 20 hours long, I know I’ve found the right story for me. If you decide to go with the audio, the narrator really gave a new life to the characters and made the story even more gorgeous.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.