Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lady Midnight: Definitely Not What I Expected!

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Book review by Mara Was Here.
TITLE: Lady Midnight
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
GENRE: YA Urban Fnatasy, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
PUBLISHING DATE: March 8, 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

AMAZONGOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE

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.

Book Review

Wow. Lady Midnight broke my heart over and over and over and I couldn’t even have time to breathe.


Emma’s story definitely worked better for me than Tessa’s or Clary’s (as I am writing this, I am currently reading City of Heavenly Fire). If you’ve read my past reviews for The Infernal Devices series, you probably know now how the romance in the books didn’t work well with me. It was just… blech.

Let me put this review in sections for you. Because that’s my thing and I have no idea how to write this review otherwise.


The romance between Julian and Emma


I know, I know, I hate clich√© romances. I’m pretty sure forbidden love is included in that category, but then again, Lady Midnight’s romance is at least better than the incest-ish-but-not-really romance in The Mortal Instruments or the love triangle that wrecked every fan apart in The Infernal Devices.

Emma and Julian’s romance might make other people’s eyes roll because of the forbidden love trope, since parabatai can’t fall in love with each other and all that. But when you find out why falling in love with your parabatai is forbidden in the first place, it makes things a bit… better (not sunshine better, though). For me, at least. Because hey, I actually thought the reason would be cornier than that. At least the canon reason makes sense. Ish.

BUT, what I didn’t like was how Emma handled the truth about parabatai falling in love with each other. Really, Emma? You’re going that route? I THOUGHT YOU WERE BETTER THAN THAT, SIS. I really didn’t mind the forbidden love thing, since I already braced myself for it as I was reading the book, but how Emma handled it? Sheesh. Hopefully things won’t get eye-rolling-ly dramatic in the next book just because of it.


The pacing


I admit I kind of dozed off at the first few parts of the book until Mark finally showed up and made things worse so we call all finally get to the intense parts. Then again, I really should have paid attention more to the first few chapters, since it introduced a some new information that I had to get back to later on in the book because I didn’t pay attention to it (*nervously laughs embarrassment off*).

But onto the After-Mark-Shows-Up-Scenes. Like every other book Cassandra Clare has written, everything becomes fast-paced after that. Things happen, some other things make situations get worse, and you just basically forget to breathe or eat or even go to the bathroom.

Err, not that I forgot to go to the bathroom.

HOWEVER, yes, things get crazy after Mark shows up. Fights happen, injuries happen, another protagonist-does-a-reckless-thing scene happens, and yeah. Of course things get worse. It’s Cassandra Clare we’re talking about here, people.


The Blackthorn family


In all honesty, I have grown fond of the Blackthorn family more than any family or character Clare has ever written in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Every sibling is uniquely different, and yet they’re such a close family, closer than any other Shadowhunter family I’ve been introduced (not considering Clary’s, with Jocelyn and Luke as her parents).

I love how Julian would do anything for his siblings, and how he tries his best to be the best kind of father figure for them. Heck, I even adore him for being more like an older brother for Mark even though Mark’s basically older than him.

I also grew fond of Ty. I love how he’s strong and makes his own choices and loves his twin even though he’s… the way he is (no spoilers here). I hope he reaches his dreams, because ooh boy, if he gets insulted or shunned or anything by the Clave or any other Shadowhunter or Downworlder, they’d have to go through me. Humph.


Let us delve back to how Emma dealt with the parabatai thing


I'm sorry, I can’t help it, okay? I just wasn’t a fan of the way she dealt things. Like Clary and Tessa, Emma is also strong, and yet so stubborn. She thinks she can make things better by staying silent. And even involve Mark! Ugh. Reaaaally? In all honesty, if I were Emma I’d tell the truth to Julian, no matter what.

Sorry. I just had to let that out.


The cameos


Let us pretend I did not want to read Lady Midnight mostly because I heard Jem would be in it and a lot of other previous characters from TMI would appear. Let’s just.

First of all, I was sort of overwhelmed by how the old gang just suddenly appeared at the part where the book was nearly ending. Then again, I WAS STILL SATISFIED.


Jem. MY JEM. FINALLY YOU APPEARED. I HAVE BEEN DYING TO MEET YOU AGA—

*Cough* *cough* Err, sorry. I got carried away there.

All I want to say is that if at least a bit of the reason you wanted to read Lady Midnight was because you wanted to meet the old TMI gang (plus Tessa and Jem) again, then you won’t be disappointed. ESPECIALLY THAT EXTRA SHORT STORY (“A Long Conversation”). EEP.


And lastly, Kit


OH MY, KIT. I did NOT expect that plot twist of yours, either! No spoilers here about that, though, don’t worry. What I only want to say here is that I’ll most probably read the next book partly because of Kit and how he’ll affect the second book of the series. I have a feeling he’ll be important.



(Hell, I didn’t even think he’d be relevant when I was reading the Prologue. I was like, “WHY ARE YOU HERE. WHERE IS EMMA. WHERE IS JULIAN. WHY DID A RANDOM CHARACTER SUDDENLY NARRATE THIS STORY.”)

               

Overall, if you’re a fan of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, you’ll most definitely not be disappointed! Like I said, Lady Midnight has taken a new plot that I really didn’t expect. In my opinion, I’m currently liking it better than The Infernal Devices or The Mortal Instruments, which is saying something, because a) TID is basically my life (because Will and Jem, duh) and b) Because The Dark Artifices has only one book released as of yet, and I’m already loving it more than all the other previous series.

In the end, the only thing that put me off in this book is, honestly, that last part, where Emma used Mark to “do the best thing” for her and Julian. Pfft. Please. I’ve read a lot of books using that card and believe me, everything just gets worse when you use it.

Overall, a 4-star for Lady Midnight. Definitely going to read Lord of Shadows once it’s released.
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Mara @ Mara Was Here

*Pops confetti* Congratulations, you've reached 'till the end of this post! I'm Mara, 15, and I love anything bookish and graphic designing. I also spend 90% of my life fawning over fictional boyfriends and smelling books. Thanks for hanging out at my blog! (And yes, that's me sniffing Six of Crows in our car.)

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