Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lady Midnight

I have read many of Cassandra Clare's books. All of the Mortal Instruments, all of the Infernal Devices. I just can't keep up with it all. I haven't read the Bane Chronicles, and I'm sure there are some graphic novels out there. I did see the City of Bones movie, but I haven't watched the TV series. I have read some of the novellas, but not all of them. In fact, I wasn't even sure I'd read the Dark Artifices books. I hadn't loved the last few books in the Mortal Instruments series. But I thought, hey, I'll give it a shot. If I don't like it, then that's a sign I should stop reading Clare's books.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
It's been five years since the Dark War ended, bringing Shadowhunters to the brink of extinction. Against the odds, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn survived. Their parents did not. Now Emma lives at the Blackthorn institute in Los Angeles with her parabatai, and Julian is the guardian of his four younger siblings. Emma never gave up her quest to figure out who killed her parents. The Clave thinks they were casualties of the Dark War, but Emma disagrees. When a series of murders happen around LA that bear a striking resemblance to her parents', she thinks she's finally found the lead that will take her to their killer.

Not bad! I mean, Clare's books are, at their base, very readable. There's lots of fun, specific detail, there's good banter, and a very fleshed out world. There are always some laughs and some twists, and some tortured forbidden love. I'm down with all of this! What bothered me about the Mortal Instruments was that there were only so many ways to keep Jace and Clary apart, and by the back half of the series they were getting ridiculous. Lady Midnight corrects that a bit, and understands that its readers are older now and can handle some more mature content (you can guess what some of it is). My favorite part was how Julian became a parents to his siblings. I think that portion of the book was very well written, and I felt his frustration at not having a childhood, at having to be a parent all the time when sometimes he just wanted someone to lift a bit of the burden. But also that fierce protectiveness at the thought of anyone hurting his siblings. There are some quibbles though. This book did not have to be as long as it did. Now, if this were a Sarah J. Maas book, I'd be saying bring it on. But since I'm not a devoted Clare fan, the length here felt excessive. I also felt that the conflict with Julian and Emma falling in love while being parabatai was interesting, but how Emma chose to mitigate the disaster was forced. The instances of Julian being jealous of his brother flirting with Emma felt like they were done specifically to force the conflict at the end of the book rather than because there was any reason for Julian to feel jealous, or for Mark to flirt with Emma. Other than that, it was a fun read! I think I'll grab a copy of Lord of Shadows when it comes out in paperback.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

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