Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare // Review
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…
I don’t know much of anything about the Shadowhunters universe. I read City of Bones in middle school, didn’t really like it, and never bothered picking up the rest of the series. But a few weeks ago Lady Midnight was released and everyone was so excited about it and people were saying it was great so I got excited about it… And checked it out from the library when I saw the shiny new copy on display.
Lady Midnight is the first book in a new series that is a part of the larger Shadowhunters series. That whole description is a little confusing, yeah, but even for an “outsider” like me the book was easy enough to understand. There were a couple moments that had me going “wait… what/who are they talking about here?” but most of the time things were explained or introduced in a way that I thought worked well enough.
My main impression of Lady Midnight is: “good, but not great.” As in, I enjoyed it and can’t find anything but small flaws in it, but I also don’t think it’s the greatest thing ever or is any sort of new favorite. I want to continue this particular shadowhunters series (heck after the entire ending of this book how can I not) but it wasn’t the level of good where I finished it and was like “I need to read every single book in this universe so I can understand E V E R Y T H I N G!”
The only real issue I had with this book is that it occasionally felt so loooooong. After having read two 1000+ page books this month, ~600 pages sounded short but didn’t always feel short. The pattern was generally one slow chapter, three super fast chapters, another lull of a chapter or so, and then a good 50 pages where exciting stuff happened. The pacing just felt a little off. I think a few of the not-so-tense moments could have been condensed more and a few of the plot heavy parts maybe needed to be drawn out a tiiiny bit.
What I liked included…
- The characters and team/family dynamic: I love books where large groups of characters work together closely in a team. In Lady Midnight that team was made up of a large family of siblings which was just all together adorable.
- The magic/world: I will admit it; the shadowhunter world, while not monstrously unique, is pretty cool.
- The plot: It dragged occasionally and sometimes took some unnecessarily detours, but the story as a whole was good and lined up well.
- Mark Blackthorn (Mark is hilarious and precious and I love him)