We’ve mentioned Cassandra Clare‘s books in a couple of posts. We’re huge fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, and we love the Shadowhunter world she has created. And now, finally, on March 8th, she has published the first book in her new trilogy The Dark Artifices: Lady Midnight. I read it, and I want to talk about it. So here I am.
I’m gonna do a review, and no real recap, and I’ll do my very best to keep it spoiler-free, I promise.
Where do I start… Okay, the characters, so you know what you’re getting yourself into (if you don’t already know. If you do, feel free to skip this part). We’ve met Emma and Julian (and the rest of the Blackthorne family) in City of Heavenly Fire. At that time, they were tvelve, Emma had just lost her parents, and Julian had to kill his father, who’d become on of the Endarkened. Last we heard, Emma and Julian wanted to become parabatai, Julian’s uncle Arthur was coming to L.A. to run the Institute and take care of Julian, Ty, Livvy, Dru and Tavvy; Helen was banished to Wrangel Island because of her Faerie blood, and Mark was not to be rescued from the Wild Hunt. Lady Midnight takes place five years later, with Emma and Julian being parabatai, and almost-adults. It introduces a couple of new characters as well, of course, which are all great characters (some douchy-er than others…).
Every character in this book is as well-written as any of Cassandra Clare’s characters. There’s the same sass and wit and humor that you can find in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices; so it’s not anything we haven’t heard before, but it’s still a lot of fun. The characters also have depth, even those only mentioned on the side and don’t play that big a role, don’t feel like they’re just two-dimensional. That’s an amazing ability Cassandra Clare has, and she has not lost it in this book.
There’s also a new LGBTQ (did I forget anything? Sorry if I did…) character introduced, and those are always great. And I was not expecting the way this character turned out. It was a lot of fun to watch them develop through his own, and through the other characters’ eyes.
The plot itself is not all that different from what we’ve seen before. It’s still new, of course, because we discover new aspects of the Shadowhunter world, and learn new things about Downworlders, and get a glimpse into how the world has changed since the “Cold Peace” (the Faeries being punished for the Dark War). And, as always, there’s twists and turns that I did not see coming – even though I thought I might be able to predict most of the plot because of how much of Cassandra Clare’s books I have already read. I was not. And that’s fantastic, because it never gets boring.
It slows down a bit, though. That has to be mentioned. The book is about 700 pages long, and it could have been shorter; but that did not bother me much. I never tire of the characters and their stories, so I’m perfectly fine for the story to not be extremely fast all the time.
And I can’t talk about a book by Cassandra Clare and not mention the love stories. There’s a couple of them, all of them entwined, all of them the same complicated thing we get in every book. And although it’s predictable, you’re in for a heartbreak. But then again, you always are when Cassandra Clare is the one writing the love story.
All in all, it’s a great book. I’m looking forward to the second book in the series; I fell in love with these characters and their stories, and I really want to see where all of it is going – because this book ended on a cliffhanger. Of course.
I am rating this book with Exceeds Expectations; I went into this book knowing I was going to enjoy it, but not quite sure it would be able to surprise me. It did, and it was fantastic!
So, if you like Fantasy novels, even if you haven’t read any of Clare’s works, check out this book! You don’t really need to read the other ones, although it might help. And if you enjoy Cassandra Clare’s books and love the Shadowhunter world, read this book! It’s as awesome as the rest of them.