And how could it not be?
A few years ago, I completely immersed myself into the world of the Shadowhunters, reading and rereading (and rereading again!) both the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices series.
I waited (not so) patiently for City of Heavenly Fire to wrap up the series in 2014, but since then, I've felt like I've just been waiting for the new Dark Artifices series.
Of course, we had the Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and who could forget the new Shadowhunters TV show?! But none of those things really brought me completely back into the Shadowhunter world...
March finally arrived (oops - this post has been quite a while in the making!) and Lady Midnight was in my arms, just where it belonged!
And here it is now..!
Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare
Published: March 2016, by Simon & Schuster
Length: 698 pages
Genre: YA, Urban-Fantasy
My Rating: 5 STARS!!
Lady Midnight is set 5 years after the events of the Mortal Instruments Series, in Los Angeles. Emma Carstairs, is no longer the child in mourning you may remember from City of Heavenly Fire. She is now a fierce young woman who has sworn vengeance on the deaths of her parents. But first, she must discover what really happened to them that night. Why were they targets and what did the strange markings in an old faerie language on their bodies really mean? Along with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma is intent on finding out. But first, they must encounter a series of strange, demonic killings in Los Angeles, some of which may link closer to her than she realises...
What can be said about this book without spoiling it in so many ways..?
Well, first of all, it was fantastic. It was the kind of fantastic that leaves you sitting in a pile of awe after closing the final page. The kind of fantastic that makes you want to cry of happiness (which I may or may not have actually done). The kind of fantastic that makes you feel so jealous because you know you will never be able to write something as phenomenal as this book was.
Need I really say more?!
To be perfectly honest, I don't want to go into a lot of detail about Lady Midnight because I do not want to spoil the book for anybody. But what I will say is that it was not what I expected.
Lady Midnight definitely had a different feeling to it in comparison to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, which I'm glad about. Cassandra Clare has received a lot of criticism about the sheer number of books she has managed to write in the same universe as each other, with the same creatures and some of the same characters. I do not agree with the criticism in this respect; frankly, Cassie could bring out a thousand books with Shadowhunters in and I would read each and every one of them. And then I'd probably reread them a few times too.
Since City of Bones was published in 2007, Cassie's writing and story-telling has evolved so much and has transformed from the 'slightly-above-average' level to the 'supreme-writing-queen' level it is today. I can't complain about her writing one bit; I am completely in awe of it!
In Lady Midnight, we're introduced to a bucket-load of new characters, which, I will admit, I was initially a little apprehensive about. Of course, we do meet the majority of these characters in City of Heavenly Fire, but they've grown up a lot since then. Since we had been with Clary and Jace for six books before these, I was a little concerned about how I would react to our new main characters, Emma Carstairs, Jules, and the rest of the Blackthorns. But I needn't have worried. We were introduced to these characters in a way that make it feel like we'd known them forever. I 'bonded' with all of the characters right from the start, and yes, I did miss not having Clary and Jace around so much, but I really enjoyed the fact that they were still mentioned and made a couple of appearances!
I loved Emma so much as a main character. She was bright and vibrant but also fierce and protective. In fact, I loved all of the characters in this book. They were perfectly well-rounded characters - what more can be said?
Like I have already said, the writing in these books has evolved so much over time, as have the complexity of the storylines. Whereas I would class The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices as more 'Action Fantasy', Lady Midnight definitely seemed to be a Fantasy thrown in with a Murder Mystery type story, which I really loved. It was so well done, and every page left me wanting more and more and more! This in particular was complimented well by the mystery side of the novel, which was a little different but still completely and utterly enjoyable!
I found the aspect of the evolving relationship between Emma and Jules really interesting; we've already been told that parabatai cannot fall in love, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how Cassie pulls it all off. I do suspect though, that like with all Cassandra Clare books, hearts will be broken!
I absolutely cannot wait until Lord of Shadows is set to release because this book has left so many cliff-hangers and there are so many questions I need answers to! Next April needs to come around faster so that I can get my hands on the beautiful book.
I would recommend Lady Midnight to anyone. Really, ANYONE!! You probably could go into Lady Midnight without reading the other two series, but I wouldn't recommend it as it spoils the ending of City of Heavenly Fire, and there are things that could be a little hard to understand for someone who has not yet read any other Shadowhunter books. In terms of a reading order for all of the Shadowhunter books, everyone seems to have their own opinion but my preference would be reading them in publication order; so reading The Infernal Devices between the later books in The Mortal Instruments. This is the order in which they were intended to be read, and if you've read both the series you'll know why that is.
But whichever order you read them, I just recommend that you do read them!! These books are beyond worth the hype surrounding them, and I don't understand how people still haven't heard of them!!!
Back in April, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to meet Cassandra Clare while she was visiting the UK on her Lady Midnight tour. Cassandra Clare is one of the authors I have always wanted to have the chance to meet, since her books were some of the first to really get me into reading. So when the chance arose for me to join a few hundred other fans in a bookshop, I definitely wasn't going to say no!
I must say, this was the most hectic book signing I have ever been to. After driving 2 hours to get to the bookshop, we noticed that the queue for the signing had already started... 7 hours before the event!
We then proceeded to make the biggest mistake, by deciding that they queue probably wouldn't grow much in an hour and we would have plenty of time to go and grab some lunch and maybe do a bit of shopping...
|My gorgeous signed copy!!|
Finally, Cassandra Clare arrived and we started moving closer to the shop in which the signing would be held. After a further 2 hours of waiting inside the shop, it was finally our turn and we could go and meet her... We probably all looked bedraggled and homeless by the time she actually saw us, but I don't think anyone cared! We got our books signed and in a moment of dazed star-struck-ness, we forgot the questions we had planned to ask her. But it was all okay... We had got our books signed!!!
I must say, this signing was a lot more hectic and tiring in comparison to the others I have been to, and due to the huge numbers of people there (I think there were around 600!!), there was not time to stay and chat with the author or have our photos taken with her, but I still did enjoy it all, and I have so much admiration for Cassandra Clare being able to sit for so long without a single break and sign for us!! So thank you Cassie!!
That's all I have for this post but I'll be back with another very soon!
Did you get to meet Cassandra Clare on her tour? I'd love to hear your meet-up stories!!