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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices) Hardcover – March 8, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn have grown up together, struggling with the deaths of their respective parents and the responsibilities of caring for Julian's younger siblings after the Dark War. Five years after they convince the Clave to allow Emma to stay with the Blackthorns in Los Angeles, Emma and Julian realize that they are drawn to each other in a way prohibited by the rules of their parabatai bond. Julian's older brother Mark returns, conditionally, from the Wild Hunt to help the duo investigate recent murders that Emma believes may be connected to those of her parents. The Clave insists that her parents' deaths were related to the war, so true to Shadowhunter form, the teens take matters into their own hands, enlisting the help of the warlock Malcolm Fade and their tutor, Diana Wrayburn, as they pursue a dangerous truth that will unlock secrets of betrayal, obsession, and revenge. Complications abound, with multiple cliff-hangers that hint at the hard-hitting drama to come as the series continues. Clare delivers spectacular Shadowhunter fare with her trademark street tough yet emotionally fragile adolescent characters taking on adult roles and includes plenty of violent action and passionate romance to satisfy fans of "The Infernal Devices" and "The Mortal Instruments" series, who will be thrilled to see some of their favorite characters from the previous books make appearances. VERDICT A must-have for libraries with devoted Shadowhunter fans, who will undoubtedly be waiting for this emotionally intense beginning to her new series.—Kerry Sutherland, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
"Positively a quiver with secret ardor and murderous zeal." (Kirkus)
"Fresh and...wonderfully told." (Booklist)
"Clare's well-developed protagonists..., pell-mell action sequences, complicated family dynamics, and fascinating magic system continue to engage." (Publishers Weekly)
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Top Customer Reviews
It has been a bit since I’ve read any of the Shadowhunter books and have not read the mortal instruments. However, I found that the book was easy to follow without this background, although I need to read the Mortal Instruments at some point to have a better introduction to Jem and Tessa. It’s nice though, there are multiple characters that overlap from the other books, but this is not a story about them, there is a recognition of the past history of the world that occurs in the other books and then “Lady Midnight” gives a nod to them and establishes its own story with its own characters.
There was a bit of time in which I thought that the narrative was going to be very similar to that of Jace and Clary and Simon, but I then recognized that the characters of Emma and Julian, Mark, Cristina, and Diego are distinct; it’s almost enjoyable to encounter these characters as the same age as Jace and Clary, who in turn now look at the younger generation from their own adulthood of early twenties. It’s a reminder of how far the series has come and developed the characters.
There is a stronger relationship with the Faire in this book and it is insightful to see how this society/community establishes rules and responsibilities. It further expands the world of characters Clare has introduced the reader to over the years. The concept of parabatai is explored at length in this novel, with Julian and Emma introduced as parabatai who have been bonded since a young age as one another’s sworn friends, both having a mutual respect for on another in their Shadowhunting; it is compared to soul mates, who are then bonded by the Silent Brothers. This is a concept introduced very early, so I’m not really disclosing anything that is secret in the story.
Above all things this is a love story, a love story by so many people; some that are obvious and some that are not. Almost every layer of this book has love at its heart and the sacrifices that people are willing to make for one another. At the same time, it is also a mystery, with twists and turns, as the Los Angeles Institute is seeking to find a murder who is killing both humans and Fairies alike.
Oh, one nice addition to this story, as Clare has seldom shy’d away from new characters, whether it is sexual orientation, or overall likeability, is the introduction of Ty, who appears to be autistic. There is no mention of autism, but Ty’s relationship with his family, and inability to read human emotion to a certain extent, highlights his differences from others that he encounters. I think that it was nice to have a character that Clare incorporates into the story, but is not signaled out as being autistic, but has variations in communication, or as seen through the eyes of family members who love a younger brother.
Overall, a great read that kept me captivated all night!
Way back when, I read all of the Mortal Instruments novels, and even though I didn’t remember exactly what had happened in those books, it was fun to see Clary and Jace and Magnus again in these novels. Emma, the MC, was truly a fantastic character. I absolutely loved her and how Clare created her to be so real, faults and all. I also loved Julian and his dedication to his family.
The only real problem I had was likely due to the fact that I am currently in deep edits with my own book, so I noticed a few places where the editing was a bit lacking - but only a bit and it’s probably not terribly noticeable to the average reader. I also felt like very very end dragged a fraction, but it was heavy in information so it was important.
I cannot wait to read the next book that I just found out is coming out in May!!! Yay! Thank you, Cassandra, for creating yet another series I can love!