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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

This book right here is the reason I didn’t do a Flash Fiction Friday this week! Sorry!

Okay, well maybe that’s not entirely true. Yes, I’ve been reading A LOT, but I also had a few more things to unpack so we could get settled in our new home. (Sorry to have missed a story.) But this one, though!! Oh man, that Cassandra Clare knows how to spin a web! Read on to hear my review of her most recent release, “Lady Midnight”!

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In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

The Review:

For those unfamiliar with the term Shadowhunter or parabatai, you might want to begin by reading some of Clare’s earlier works – “The Mortal Instruments” series, books 1-6 and “The Infernal Devices” series, books 1-3. The Mortal Instruments were the first series to be released and the entire Shadowhunter world was slowly introduced to the reader, including the Downworlders, and all the intricate details of the Clave and secrets within. I loved TMI series but honestly, I loved The Infernal Devices series much more! (That story got ahold of my heart and wouldn’t let go until the last book was finished.) Clare does a great job giving reference to the meaning behind each new term in Lady Midnight (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices series) but I do think having the knowledge from the other series’ would help you understand the background of this story and characters.

Okay, having said that, this book does not disappoint! True to Cassandra Clare style, she grabs you from the first chapter and yanks you right into the story with internal conflict, lots of physical fights and a mystery that will make you think twice about everything. This is definitely one of those, “Sorry, I can’t do laundry this week or cook any meals or even go grocery shopping. I’ve got a Clare novel to read!” (Apologies to all spouses and children of those I’m recommending this book to!)

We were first introduced to these characters in the final book of TMI series. At the time, main characters Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, were only twelve. But they have now grown into full fledged teenagers – at 17 years old – who have everything to prove to the Shadowhunter world, and everything to lose. Having gotten to know these two in the TMI novel, it was great to see how they each have matured and grown into almost-adulthood.

As always, Clare’s descriptions and the way she sets each scene is incomparable – definitely one of my favorite parts of reading her books! There is romance – oh yes, there is romance! – and lots of fun action between Shadowhunters, Faeries and Warlocks. (Sadly, I sort of missed seeing more werewolves, vampires and other Downworlders, but this installment didn’t lend itself to include them. Read it and you’ll see why!)

This book obviously gets a 5-star rating from me and I honestly have only one complaint about it: It was quite long! Not that I mind reading lots of fantastic Clare writing, of course, but I have a family to attend to, so I wish I could’ve knocked this book out in less than a week. But alas, if this is my only complaint, then boo-hoo for me, and congrats to Cassandra Clare! She wrote (another) stinkin’ long novel that I was willing to give more than 2 days of my life to read through! (*wink*)

So there you have it. If you liked TMI or TID, then run right out and get this book! If you haven’t been introduced to the Shadowhunter world then I just introduced you to all the reading material you will need for the rest of 2016!! And please don’t curse me when you find out the next book in this series isn’t due until mid-2017. I’ll be waiting impatiently right along with you!

Happy reading, friends!

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