Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)

25494343In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

*May Contain Spoilers*

First off, it just feels so great having another Shadowhunter series to dive into. I cannot believe I waited this long to read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, especially when it was everything I thought it was going to be. At the end of the Mortal Instruments series, Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns are introduced as fellow victims of Sebastian. In Lady Midnight, it's been five years since Sebastian Morgenstern used his army to attack institutes around the world and Emma is still looking into the death of her parents. Her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn has also grown, into the big brother who takes care of everything for his brothers and sisters: Livvy, Dru, Ty, and Tavvy. He even takes care of the Los Angelos Institute itself. 

Emma Carstairs is a very different female main character than Clary Fairchild. And I mean that in the best way possible. Clare gave Emma her own brand of badass which includes being obsessed with training. Emma trains constantly. Her dedication to being in danger is entertaining and obviously dangerous, which is also entertaining. Yet, Emma is a scarred girl. She is so focused on getting revenge for her parents, figuring out who killed them, that she'll stop at nothing, often breaking laws. Readers will witness two sides to Emma. The first is witty, sarcastic, bold, and strong. The second is scared, hopeful, cautious, and caring. All of these characteristics work together to create a very complex main character that will undoubtedly grow through this series. 

Julian Blackthorn is Emma's parabatai, but he's sort of been regretting that lately. Julian has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. Ever since his brother Mark was taken by the Faerie Hunt, Julian has been the caretaker of his family. He's determined to keep them together so he lies. He lies about his uncle's illness, he lies to his family to protect them, and he lies to Emma about his feelings for her. However, he does somehow hold it all together. Julian is the sort of character that never lets you down. He's caring, he worries, and he understands. I think readers will really enjoy Julian's character while also being afraid for him, as his love for Emma (and her feelings for him) threaten their future as Shadowhunters. 

There are many important characters in this book and Clare does a great job at using the way she writes to help readers gain a deeper sense in regards to each one. She does this in such a way that it works to build the plot while providing intimate details about the cast and creating connection with readers. The plot of Lady Midnight is focused around a spree of killings that include dead faerie languages, various types of victims, seawater, and fire. The M.O. even matches that of Emma's parents. Emma knows that this is it, the chance to find out who killed her mom and dad. If she can solve these murders, then she can gain her revenge. 

Though it's always a lot more complicated than it seems. Clare gives readers a twist at the end that was incredibly surprising and let's just say that perhaps the murderer didn't need Blackthorn blood to succeed... The only thing I didn't really enjoy about the book was the Parabatai curse. I'm assuming that the next books will continue to tackle this, and maybe I'll understand it the more it is explained. But, I didn't like it. I don't want to stand for it. However, we do need to celebrate the return of some amazing characters from previous books including Clary Fairchild, Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Jem Carstairs! And let's not forget the favorite Magnus Bane! Jem and Tessa's story (in the Clockwork series) was amazing and made a fan of Shadowhunters and Clare's fantasy work. To see them again in this new series is going to be fantastic. Don't wait as long as me to read this book! And for any fantasy fans out there, if you haven't read the Shadowhunter series, I highly recommend it. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Cups

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