March 07, 2016

Book Review: LADY MIDNIGHT (The Dark Artifices)

Book:  Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre:  YA Romance,  Fantasy and Fiction

Blurb via Goodreads:

The Law is Hard but it is the Law…..

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.

My Review:

There is nothing more important than love, And no Law higher…..

I bought my copy of Lady Midnight 3 days ago (it was released here in Manila, Philippines March 4, 2016) and in as many days, it has been attached to my hands.  I haven’t let go, even though I have completely devoured the words over and over again.  Simply put, this book is amazing, all 669 pages of it.  One would think that with its volume, I would be completely satisfied and ready to move on.  But NO, on the last few pages I was more than desperate (a little wailing was involved), praying that the next instalment wouldn’t take too long because I can’t endure the suspense.  Yes fellow Cassie Clare fans, she has another winning series in this one.

If you’ve read all Shadowhunter novels, especially the last one, City of Heavenly Fire, you’d know that this book focuses on Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. Lady Midnight begins 5 years after the end of the Dark War. 

Emma is still hell bent on discovering who killed her parents while Julian is busy keeping himself together while raising his brothers and sisters (his father was killed 5 years prior, his older sister Helen exiled and older brother Mark was taken by The Wild Hunt) and secretly running The Los Angeles Institute as his Uncle Arthur, who is actually supposed to head it, is too sick to do so.

Then came the offer from the Fairy convoy to return Julian’s brother Mark IF they help solve a series of killings in Los Angeles whose victims include the fair folk.  So desperate are they to have Mark back despite the Cold Peace (an agreement that Shadowhunters and Downworlders will extend no help to the fairies) and finding the killer of Emma parents, that they agree.  Mark, who has all but forgotten life as a Shadowhunter, has a hard time navigating his former world and his family.  He is also keeping a secret that could potentially make him leave his family again.

Emma and Julian, having been best friends since they were children, are Parabatais, which means they are bonded for life as friends, partners and fellow warriors, it also means that they are forbidden by Law from falling in love.  But try as they might, they cannot stop what is inevitable.....but what should be, isn’t always right, and what is right, is never easy.

A bad Law is NO Law….

It broke my heart.  Julian and Emma…..their strength, their weaknesses…’s just too much.  More than Clary and Jace or Tessa and Jem’s, I find Julian and Emma’s plight more heartbreaking and hopeless as this involves not just WHO they are but WHAT they are meant to be.  They have to fight against everything and everyone, including themselves to be able to love each other and keep themselves together.  And what Emma discovers in the end…..and what she has to do….. oh the tears.

Cassandra Clare is an expert at making the readers ecstatic by giving them everything good and then wrenching it all back in the end…..or at least at the end of the first books in her series (I should know since I’ve read ALL of them multiple times).  She can make your heart pound so fast from sheer joy and give you a headache from too much tears after.  She is fabulous really.  As they say, All the FEELS, they are here.  Kudos to her for being unafraid to have characters of different genders (from Alec to Magnus and now…….it’s someone totally unexpected) and characters who are “special” in ways that I can not say.

Much as I would desperately like to divulge and discuss all the things that make this book different, spectacular, fantabulous and just…….extraordinary, I shouldn't!  As a reader I like being surprised….the kind that makes me fall off my chair…..and I want you to have that too when you read this book.  Lady Midnight is off the charts PERFECT, worthy of the hours you will surely devote to reading AND re-reading it.   Just prepare a box of tissues, water….and maybe your breakfast, lunch and dinner since I don’t think you’ll be getting off your reading chair once you’re on the first page.

Oh and just a tip, if you haven’t yet, read the Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy before diving into Lady Midnight.  There are details there… stories…characters... history.... that you need to know, before coming into this one.  Also for the fans of Simon and Izzy? You just might get your greatest wish here.  And do watch out for cameos of your favorite characters from the previous series.  From that alone, I am one extremely satisfied and HAPPY reader.  Now excuse me while I hold my breath for the sequel.