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Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 8th 2016
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Source: Publisher Provided
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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 very much the story we’ve all been dying for after finishing The Mortal Instruments Series. We get to see some of our old favorites but it’s a totally new story with new characters that I think most fans are totally currious to get to know an see how their story plays out. Cassandra Clare brings the shadow wold of LA to life just like she did with NYC. If you’ve been a fan since City of Bones or are just delving into the world of the Shadowhunters, you will enjoy Lady Midnight.
Lady Midnight, the first book in the The Dark Artifices trilogy, starts about 5 years after the end of City of Heavenly Fire. We switch coasts and follow Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn who we met in City of Heavenly Fire as young 12 year old kids who had just lost their parents and had sworn to become parabatai. Emma and Julian are now officially parabatai and are living in the LA institute with Julian’s uncle, and younger siblings. Emma is trying to unravel the mystery of what happened to her parents five years ago, she’s convinced it wasn’t Sebastian, and this pursuit leads her to another mystery currently unfolding in LA. Bodies of humans and the fae are turning up across LA with similar markings to those that were on her parent’s bodies but this mystery goes deeper than she thinks.
The story told in Lady Midnight is very much about the mysterious bodies showing up across LA, but the other large part of this story is Julian and Emma’s relationship and the two of them dealing with the growing responsibilities of family and as shadowhunters. It was heartbreaking to watch Emma and Julian move from from friendship into something more knowing that parabatai aren’t aloud to fall in love (yes we do get an answer as to why this is not aloud). Their struggle to resist their growing feelings combined with the stress and emotions from everything else made me adore these two even more. And on top of their feelings for each other, Emma is still dealing with the loss of her parents and what it means to want revenge and Julian is facing what it means to be the oldest child when he has two older siblings that are just out of reach. These two are going through so much and Clare really showcases their struggle and growth in such a moving and real way.
The only criticism, and it’s a pretty big one, is the length. The ARC was 668 pages long, which I don’t mind, but I think the story could have used some tightening up. There’s was a lot of repeated concepts, ideas and descriptions leading to extra words that could have easily been cleaned up. And there’s a lot of description of description of feelings and thoughts that made the story drag a little. As a reader who loves the world and the characters that Clare creates it was amazing to get into their heads, but as a reader who wants a tight, fast pace book, I was struggling at points and just wanted the story to move forward. This is a problem I’ve seen in several resent books by big time authors. They aren’t edited as much by the publisher for any number of reasons and I really wish It was a trend that would stop. But thankfully for Clare the story doesn’t suffer too much, and I think readers will love the extra insight into the characters.
I cannot wait to see how this all plays out. Emma and Julian are now just as beloved as our original gang, and I hope Emma and Julian leave just as big of an impression in the Shadowhunter world as they did.