Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare // Review


Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare, Published by Simon and Schuster, Borrowed from the Library. Buy this book: Indiebound // The Book Depository

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)


Have you read Lady Midnight? Do you plan to? Do you think I should try the other Shadowhunters books? (the coordinating spines on the new editions are sure calling to me…)

7 Replies to “Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare // Review”

  1. I’ve yet to read Lady Midnight, but I gotta admit that I was pretty excited when I heard talk about it. I’m a huge fan of Cassie’s Shadowhunter series, and I would recommend that you try reading her Infernal Devices series. It’s miiiiiiiles better that The Mortal Instruments, and it remains one of my favorite series to date!

    I get what you mean with the length – most reviews I’ve read talked about how the first 200+ pages was pretty devoid of action, and that in turn made the book feel extra long. I am glad that you did end up enjoying Lady Midnight though, Tamara! 🙂

  2. I read the entire Mortal Instruments series and if it had been a trilogy, I might have liked it. But those last three books really ruined any chance of me ever wanting to read a Shadowhunter book ever again. But for some reason, I almost want to read this book. People say it’s better than TMI and the cover is just so dang pretty. And I actually got a copy of it in a subscription box, but I just don’t think I have it in me to commit to anymore of Clare’s series. And the length of it is just too daunting for me!

    Also, I’m REALLY bitter that she pushed the characters from this series SO HARD in City of Heavenly Fire because I didn’t even care about the TMI characters at that point anymore, I didn’t want to learn about new ones.

    But great review! It almost makes me want to read it! 🙂

    1. Aww its sad that last books in that series ruined it for you. 🙁 I feel like sometimes series just stretch on too long and even if you liked it at the beginning you don’t really at the end. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. It’s refreshing getting a review from a non-Shadowhunter fan! All the rave reviews I’ve seen are from readers who are huge fans of Cassandra Clare. Like you, I don’t know much about the Shadowhunter world nor did I like City of Bones. I didn’t have that much interest in this one when it first came out but your review gives me hope! Hopefully I like it just as much as you, if not more, and that I don’t confused by all the supposed cameos. (P.S. The size really intimidates me! and girl, I can’t believe you read two 1,000+ page books! Go you!)

    1. Yeah I actually really enjoyed this one compared to City of Bones. Maybe the author got better, maybe its me whose changed… Hmm either way its nice to like something that’s popular. As for size… I love big books, and when it comes to 1000 pages it turns out I really WILL read anything Brandon Sanderson writes, no matter how strange or how long. 😂

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