Series: Dark Artifices #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date Published: March 8th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 19 hours 45 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Morena Baccarin
Description: 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.
Lady Midnight is another story in the continuing saga of the Shadowhunters by Cassandra Clare. This time out, we learn about Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. Parabatai. Best friends. And maybe a little bit more. I have mixed feelings about Lady Midnight. Parts I did thoroughly enjoy. And parts that I’m still confused about, even after finishing the book. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Characters: I loved the characters. All of them.
Emma is the female equivalent of Jace in Lady Midnight. She’s sassy:
“I wasn’t planning on dumping Cameron. We were here, and he called, and his face showed up on my phone- well, actually a llama came up on my phone because I don’t actually have a picture of him so I just used a llama- and the llama made me so angry I just couldn’t help myself.” [Emma]
“Bad time to be a llama.” [Cristina]
“Is there ever a good time, really?” [Emma]
She’s reckless. And she’s a warrior. Without Jace’s broodiness. She’s been training to be a warrior since she was 12. And usually has the bruises to prove it. If you need some demon butt kicking done, Emma is the one to call.
Julian is the steady one of the pair. He’s sacrificing everything to raise his younger siblings. And himself and Emma for that matter. From the age of 12 no less. And when anything happens to Emma or the children, he’s there to protect them. And when he calls Octavian his baby, not the baby, my heart hurt for Julian. No teenager should have to raise their siblings.
Of the two main characters, I was more emotionally invested in Julian, even as the story is told from Emma’s point of view. I also loved the other Blackthorns. Mark, just returned from the Fae, and not used to humans. Tiberius and Dru. And it was great to read the scenes with Jem and Tessa, Clary and Jace, and of course Magnus.
Narration: I’ll say this for Ms. Clare’s audiobooks. She does pick excellent narrators. If you are even remotely familiar with Morena Baccarin, you’ll totally understand why.
She does a great job with the different voices, especially Emma and Cristina. And if you aren’t familiar with her, get yourself to Firefly, Deadpool, Stargate SG-1, or any other number of places watch her in action!
The ending: No spoilers here. But the ending of Lady Midnight was gut-wrenching. Heart-aching. And definitive. With an brief epilogue to set up the next book in the series. I think the whole book was worth it for the ending alone.
Now here’s where things get sticky.
The Plot: I’m not even sure what the main point of Lady Midnight is. There isn’t even a Plot A and Plot B. It’s more like Plot A, B, C, D, and E. And the scattered-ness of the plot drove me crazy. Sure, everything is tied up at the end. It was just a very windy road to get there.
The Writing: Ms. Clare spends an inordinate amount of time explaining various aspects of the Shadowhunter world. Stelle. Idris. The Accords. But then she drops major bombs like, oh yeah, Clary has a parabatai. WHAT. Where did I miss that? I’ve read the main books. But not all of the short stories. I’m sure Ms. Clare was trying to introduce topics from the other books to new readers, and give them the necessary background. I can totally accept this. But then the random bits from the short-stories were just jarring. Either explain everything. Or explain nothing. Not both.
My overall recommendation would be to read Lady Midnight. Especially if you are a fan of the other Shadowhunter stories.