Apr 12th

Review of Lady Midnight

Posted in Reviews

Lady Midnight

     I’d like to preface this review by giving a quick  rundown of my feelings on Cassandra Clare’s other work  in the Shadowhunters universe. I loved The Infernal  Devices. My feelings on The Mortal Instruments are a  little more complex–I loved the first and final books but  wasn’t as big a fan of what came in between. I found  Clary and Jace to be quite irritating as the story  progressed. That said, I absolutely loved Lady Midnight.  It took me back to the first time I read City of Bones and  how I was so excited to enter this completely new world  with such an intriguing premise.

     Lady Midnight was well written. I maintained my  interest in the storyline throughout the book and  there didn’t seem to be places where the plot slowed  considerably or dragged along. There’s a wonderful  element of mystery that kept me hooked. Multiple new  characters are introduced, my favorite of which is an “exchange student” of sorts from a Mexican Institute, Cristina–but I’ll talk more about that later.

     One of the most fascinating elements of the story was experiencing how the Shadowhunter world changed after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. We’re all quite familiar with the Shadowhunter world by now and there wasn’t a tremendous amount of worldbuilding to do, but Clare very realistically handled the fallout of Sebastian Morgenstern’s devastating actions. The Cold Peace and tenuous relations seemed genuine, much like what world leaders would do were a similarly catastrophic even to take place in the mundane world. All of that aside, there seemed to be no inconsistencies between Lady Midnight and the other books that take place within the Shadowhunters universe. Another favorite aspect of mine was the Night Market, a place where downworlders of all kinds converge to try and eke out a living and seek out wares and information. It was particularly intriguing to see how they all interact with one another in the wake of the events of The Mortal Instruments.

     The Los Angeles Institute is essentially a family affair. Julian Blackthorne, who we were introduced to in City of Heavenly Fire, is attempting to be a parent to his orphaned siblings. Emma Carstairs adds an interesting dynamic to this–as Julian’s parabatai, she feels much like his partner. At the same time, she is something of an outsider because of her lack of blood ties.

     Emma’s POV is the best I’ve encountered in a Shadowhunter novel. While both Clary and Tessa were very unsure of themselves and responded respectively with bravado and fear, Emma is a powerhouse. She works hard, trains hard, and tries to master her skills as best she can. She is a solid lead character and carries the story along quickly. I found her inner dialogue to be easy to read and enjoyable.

     Julian’s siblings provide a cast of fascinating supporting characters. My favorite among them was Tyberius, who is highly intelligent but has difficulty with social skills and sensory overload. I thought that Ty could easily be read as someone who is on the autism spectrum, and it’s nice to start reading about a slightly more diverse set of characters. Through Octavius, the youngest of Julian’s siblings, we see some of the brutal effects of living through tragedy that are often glossed over in young adult genre fiction. His night terrors and other issues highlight the little-seen vulnerability of Shadowhunters and show a realistic portrayal of PTSD.

     Mark was the star character in my opinion. We have a young man who’s lived the past few years with a race that is fundamentally different, more brutal at times, than the people he grew up with. He is then forced back into the world he left behind and expected to assimilate immediately with no issues. Obviously this is not what happens. I love how raw Mark is as a character, how real and emotional I got while reading about him. His anger, his helplessness, his frustration, I felt them all as if I had suffered just as he did.

     Cristina, whom I mentioned earlier, is one of my favorite of the newly introduced characters. Instead of just following Emma around like so many underutilized supporting characters, she gets her own story arc. She often steals the show. I enjoyed hearing about the cultural differences between American Institutes and Mexican Institutes. In contrast to many American Shadowhunters, she strongly dislikes the Cold Peace. She’s also very religious, worshipping the angel Raziel who created the Shadowhunters. Where Julian is the oft-negative caretaker and Emma is the wild one, Cristina adds some frankness and realism to the mix. She provides much balance to the cast of characters.

     Lady Midnight breathed new life into the stagnance I began experiencing with The Mortal Instruments series. I think we can really witness Cassandra Clare’s growth as a writer, and I’m finally excited to read Shadowhunter books again! I highly recommend Lady Midnight!

Purchase your copy today through our affiliates, Amazon Bookstore and local indie bookstores Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh! Your purchases help us bring you new content!

Lady Midnight

     I’d like to preface this review by giving a quick  rundown of my feelings on Cassandra Clare’s other work  in the Shadowhunters universe. I loved The Infernal  Devices. My feelings on The Mortal Instruments are a  little more complex–I loved the first and final books but  wasn’t as big a fan of what came in between. I found  Clary and Jace to be quite irritating as the story  progressed. That said, I absolutely loved Lady Midnight.  It took me back to the first time I read City of Bones and  how I was so excited to enter this completely new world  with such an intriguing premise.

     Lady Midnight was well written. I maintained my  interest in the storyline throughout the book and  there didn’t seem to be places where the plot slowed  considerably or dragged along. There’s a wonderful  element of mystery that kept me hooked. Multiple new  characters are introduced, my favorite of which is an “exchange student” of sorts from a Mexican Institute, Cristina–but I’ll talk more about that later.

     One of the most fascinating elements of the story was experiencing how the Shadowhunter world changed after the events of City of Heavenly Fire. We’re all quite familiar with the Shadowhunter world by now and there wasn’t a tremendous amount of worldbuilding to do, but Clare very realistically handled the fallout of Sebastian Morgenstern’s devastating actions. The Cold Peace and tenuous relations seemed genuine, much like what world leaders would do were a similarly catastrophic even to take place in the mundane world. All of that aside, there seemed to be no inconsistencies between Lady Midnight and the other books that take place within the Shadowhunters universe. Another favorite aspect of mine was the Night Market, a place where downworlders of all kinds converge to try and eke out a living and seek out wares and information. It was particularly intriguing to see how they all interact with one another in the wake of the events of The Mortal Instruments.

     The Los Angeles Institute is essentially a family affair. Julian Blackthorne, who we were introduced to in City of Heavenly Fire, is attempting to be a parent to his orphaned siblings. Emma Carstairs adds an interesting dynamic to this–as Julian’s parabatai, she feels much like his partner. At the same time, she is something of an outsider because of her lack of blood ties.

     Emma’s POV is the best I’ve encountered in a Shadowhunter novel. While both Clary and Tessa were very unsure of themselves and responded respectively with bravado and fear, Emma is a powerhouse. She works hard, trains hard, and tries to master her skills as best she can. She is a solid lead character and carries the story along quickly. I found her inner dialogue to be easy to read and enjoyable.

     Julian’s siblings provide a cast of fascinating supporting characters. My favorite among them was Tyberius, who is highly intelligent but has difficulty with social skills and sensory overload. I thought that Ty could easily be read as someone who is on the autism spectrum, and it’s nice to start reading about a slightly more diverse set of characters. Through Octavius, the youngest of Julian’s siblings, we see some of the brutal effects of living through tragedy that are often glossed over in young adult genre fiction. His night terrors and other issues highlight the little-seen vulnerability of Shadowhunters and show a realistic portrayal of PTSD.

     Mark was the star character in my opinion. We have a young man who’s lived the past few years with a race that is fundamentally different, more brutal at times, than the people he grew up with. He is then forced back into the world he left behind and expected to assimilate immediately with no issues. Obviously this is not what happens. I love how raw Mark is as a character, how real and emotional I got while reading about him. His anger, his helplessness, his frustration, I felt them all as if I had suffered just as he did.

     Cristina, whom I mentioned earlier, is one of my favorite of the newly introduced characters. Instead of just following Emma around like so many underutilized supporting characters, she gets her own story arc. She often steals the show. I enjoyed hearing about the cultural differences between American Institutes and Mexican Institutes. In contrast to many American Shadowhunters, she strongly dislikes the Cold Peace. She’s also very religious, worshipping the angel Raziel who created the Shadowhunters. Where Julian is the oft-negative caretaker and Emma is the wild one, Cristina adds some frankness and realism to the mix. She provides much balance to the cast of characters.

     Lady Midnight breathed new life into the stagnance I began experiencing with The Mortal Instruments series. I think we can really witness Cassandra Clare’s growth as a writer, and I’m finally excited to read Shadowhunter books again! I highly recommend Lady Midnight!

Purchase your copy today through our affiliates, Amazon Bookstore and local indie bookstores Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh! Your purchases help us bring you new content!

By Kate Woods

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4 comments
Review of Lady Midnight

  • Stacy says:

    Great review! And i totally Agree…the tid series is among my all-timE favS & while i also enjoyed Tmi, it got drawn out in thE middLe. And noW lady mIdnight has came along & made mE reAlize i am going to fall in love another clare series again!!! 🙂

    we came up with a page with many theories aboUt what will happen in books 2 &3 in the tda series. We’d love it if you would check it out, comment with your thoughts, & share it! 🙂
    http://www.bookseriesrecaps.com/dark-artifices-theories/

    • Stacy says:

      Sorry about all the weird capitalization in my comment!! It was showing the text in all caps as I typed, & I couldn’t tell what was & wasn’t capitalized!! 😉

      • admin says:

        Stacy, Thank you for the feedback. We are a fledgling site and the style template still has some kinks in it. I have updated the stylesheet and future comments will allow full range of the keyboard. Cheers, Russ

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