- Original Title: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
- Edition: Hardcover, 698 pages
- Published: March 8, 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
- Characters: Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn
- Rating: 5/5
Description: In 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?
I’ve actually been stalling on this review for months because I finished reading Lady Midnight on April 17 (according to my Goodreads rating).
It should be no secret by now that I’m a Cassandra Clare superfan. I started reading The Mortal Instruments in early 2010 and I’ve been addicted to this universe ever since, so I may be a bit biased. As with all of the Shadowhunters books, I absolutely loved Lady Midnight.
My favorite character was the lead character, Emma! Even though all of the Shadowhunters series have lead female characters, the secondary characters usually really stand out and become my favorites. In this book though, I thought Emma was really well-written; she’s bad-ass, independent, and intelligent, but she still has flaws and issues that she has to overcome. Spoiler alert, but a pretty obvious one, she loves Julian and that’s a huge bit of the plot but it’s not overwhelming. It doesn’t become this annoying and pining unrequited love story that many young adult books fall prey to in my opinion. It is honestly a feat and a treat. (I do love Tessa, but it took almost two books for her to grow on me. I still can’t stand Clary!)
I’m also a huge fan of Mark Blackthorn! I just love his existence and I want more of him. Can he get his own spin-off like Magnus Bane and Simon Lewis? I definitely hope for more flashbacks of his time with the Wild Hunt too. It sounds horrifyingly beautiful. Honestly, there’s not a character that was my least favorite. Even the villains were interesting in spite of being absolute morons. And I’m so excited to see the relationship between Ty and Kit blossom. Actually, I’m just looking forward to getting to know Kit more because all of his ancestors we’ve met so far have been the absolute best. He’s got a huge legacy to live up to but I know he can do it! (Remember these are not real people, Elle. Breathe.)
At 698 pages this book is massive, but it never felt like it was slow or dragging in action or drama. That being said, the world building and descriptive language is amazingly beautiful. There was so much detail to describe all the settings and characters; you feel like you are in the story. Again, it wasn’t overwhelming, and it didn’t fall into the trap of becoming too technical. It’s actually so good that most times I remember Lady Midnight more in images I’ve created in my mind like scenes from a movie than I do as text on a page.
There was one thing that bothered me intensely, but it’s more of a political issue regarding Ty’s “specialness”. I can understand why Cassandra Clare would be careful about the words she chooses so not to offend any of her readers, but at the same time there’s so little representation of people with special needs, especially ones that are portrayed as heroes instead of victims. It would be nice to firmly at least state that he does have special needs, even if she she doesn’t specifically say that he’s ASD.
Overall, I give this book a whopping, amazing 5 stars! There’s so much more that I could discuss because there’s so much goodness, but I’ll just leave it at this because it would really be overwhelming. Now I’m just impatiently waiting for the next book.