Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

So almost a month after it came out I'm finally getting around to writing my Lady Midnight review. I really don't know why it's taken me so long because I literally loved this book so damn much. I've read all of Cassandra's other books (duh) and have been waiting for this one for almost two years now! 

I'll leave the synopsis below and then we'll have a little non-spoilery chat before we get to the good stuff!


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?

Okay so the first thing I want to address is whether or not it's paramount to read all of Cassie's other books first. (The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series.) Honestly no, it's not. This book is the first in a trilogy and all the world building is explained so you wouldn't be lost however in my personal opinion you would miss out on so much if you hadn't read her other books. For example we see a few recurring characters and a couple of little comments here and there eluding to the lives of the characters from her past books, and since five years have past since City of Heavenly Fire (the last book in the Moral Instruments series) it's great to see where everyone is. But the crux is: no you don't have to have read them. (But I would. Just sayin')

Now onto my rating before we kick off with some spoilers. I loved this book so much, I would give it 4.5 stars and a 85%. In all honesty it's not my favourite of her books however that doesn't mean much, because I still adored it.

If you haven't read Lady Midnight and you don't want to be spoiled I would go away now, read it and come back so we can discuss. Byeeee!


Right so I'm first going to start by talking about the LA Institute and by thoughts on using California  as a backdrop for this book. Gotta say I loved it! It was so completely different form both the New York and London institutes - both of which are based in the heart of bustling cities - and whilst LA is of course a city, it felt more homey in the sense that they drive cars and visit the beach and have more of a sense of pop culture. In the previous books, the shadowhunters have always been so outdated (both with technology and knowledge of movies etc) so it was really refreshing to see characters who drove and watched TV and owned computers. I don't know, I just think it fitted really well in with moving the whole dynamic of the books forward in time a little. And of course LA is my dream place to live so I was all up in that!

And with the new institute came a whole host of new and fabulous characters! I think I'm going to start by talking about Emma and Julian and then move onto the others. We'd gotten a small glimpse of these characters in City of Heavenly Fire so it was almost like carrying on with a series that had already started. Of course, they'd all aged five years and Emma and Julian are now 17. If you've read Tales of The Shadowhunter Academy you'll know that after the Dark War these two chose to become Parabatai in order to stop Emma (who was orphaned) from being sent away. At first I loved them being Parabatai because they seemed so close and so in synch but of course after reading the book and watching them fall more and more in love with one another all I wanted was to yell at 14 year old Julian and tell him not to make the biggest mistake of his life! Because as we know Parabatai cannot fall in love with one another. Which leads me on to talk about just that. The reason The Clave has for this law does seem like a sound one, but Christine (of PolandBananasBooks on YouTube) brought up a good point in that: how do we know that it's actually true?! The Clave is well known for making dumb ass laws so does anyone actually have any proof that it definitely would kill them? Because I mean... Emma and Julian have to be endgame so hows that gonna work? Because one cannot simply break the Parabatai bond?! Just saying. And of course when Emma finds out about this she goes into full on nutter mode and for some reason doesn't tell Julian (like WTF Emma?) instead deciding to break his heart. And the only way she can think of is to date his brother: Mark.

Ahhh Mark. My favourite character. I liked him in City of Heavenly Fire, adored him in Shadowhunter Academy and absolutely fell head over heels in love with him in Lady Midnight. We first see him returned to the LA institute as a bargaining chip almost, and naturally everyone is super happy to have their brother back. But it soon becomes apparent that Mark has left part of himself in faerie and will never quite be the same again. I definitely need to talk about Kieran here because holy guacamole I loved him too. Like poor Kieran, he's made some pretty terrible life choices but nonetheless he's had an awful childhood (his father literally sold him to the hunt) and the only person he's ever loved (Mark) has now gone away and seems infatuated with some random Shadowhunter girl. Like how much crap can we pile on to this poor boy?! And I agree, when he sold Mark out I was pretty angry but he did it for totally selfish means and for half a second I got it. At this point I was pretty sure they were over (they were) though I'm still hoping for a little reconciliation in Lord of Shadows. 

However I have this nasty feeling that Cassie is setting us up for a Mark X Cristina endgame. Like she was really into him (can we blame her?!) and he definitely 'desired' her too. But NGL she's got some pretty big boots to fill and I doubt Kieran is just going to give up on Mark. 

Okay so next up I wanted to talk a little more about the faeries. I have an obsession with anything faerie related (I read folklore for fun y'all) so I'm really excited to see more of the Unseelie and Seelie Courts throughout the next couple of books. I just find them so fascinating and really hope at some point we'll get to explore more of the faerie lands. (Also does anyone else really want to know what happened to the Seelie Queen because we keep hearing that she's just vanished. I also saw this post on Tumblr (lol) that proposed a super interesting point: Now if you've read CofHF you'll know that the queen was sleeping with Sebastian who was part demon. And here comes the good bit: (if you've read The Infernal devices) you'll also be aware of what happens when you sleep with a demon... Benedict Lightwood anyone?! Well he literally turned into a demon! However because faeries are part demon part angel, this probably wouldn't be the case, but omg can you imagine?!) Okay back to Lady Midnight.

Okay so now I wanted to discuss the general plot line. I think this was where I had the most issues with this book (I mean like, one or two maybe haha). Compared to TMI and TID it had more of a darker tone which unfortunately called for less humorous bits. Which is such a shame because when Cassie writes funny sequences it's literally the best thing ever. (Eg City of Ashes when Jace was like: "Alec what's that on your neck?" and he's like "Oh I... fell." And Jace is all: "Ohh sure you did." Yeah alright Alec we all know about Magnus no need to lie!) And I did find some funny bits in Lady Midnight but all in all the dialogue wasn't as witty as it usually is. Cassandra has described Lady Midnight as being a murder mystery which in it's core it definitely is. Did you suspect Malcolm as being the villain because I didn't. I mean I didn't really like him all that much, (he was kinda wimpy and annoying) and when he kidnapped Tavvy it was truly the final straw. Like what sort of massive asshat pretends to like an entire family of children for years and years and somehow manages to not form a bond with them, AND THEN TRIES TO KILL THEM?! And the thing is, Malcolm isn't a bad person (well sorta) I almost get why he was so upset, but the present day Blackthorns had nothing to do with the death of Annabelle Lee. It was all so frustrating I can't even. (Also since they're now in the market for a new warlock... Magnus Bane anyone?! No, I think he'll be staying in NY for the time being lol.) 

Okay so lastly I wanted to discuss Kit Rook. Holy sh*t Kit is the lost Herondale?! I did not see that one coming at all!! And bless his cotton socks he seemed so suspicious and wary of the shadowhunters and yet even though Ty held a bloody knife to his throat they appear to be forming a cute ass bond. Anyone remember that line when Kit called him beautiful. Because I do. Jumping on that ship, just saying. 


Okay, let me know your thoughts on Lady Midnight - I loved it in case you couldn't tell - and I'll be back again soon with another post! (Also sorry this was so rambley I just have a lot of feelings...)


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