What is it about?
The first book of third series in Cassandra Clare’s The Shadowhunter Chronicles, The Dark Artifices: Lady Midnight centres around two characters we were introduced to at the end of the stellar Mortal Instruments series – Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. However, they are no longer frightened but fierce twelve-year-olds; now, at eighteen, they are surrogate parents to Julian’s five orphaned younger siblings and have become spectacular demon hunters at the Los Angeles Institute (a Shadowhunter base). Emma has spent the past five years clinging to a burning obsession with revenge, bent on finding her parents’ killer, and when a series of bodies matching that of her parents’ (covered in strange markings and drenched in sea water) crop up throughout LA and Julian’s older brother (kidnapped by fairies five years previous) shows up, only one thing is clear; things will never be the same again. Taking inspiration by Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee, Lady Midnight is an epic story of betrayal, romance, and a world where vampires make the best pizza this side of Hell.
Is it any good?
Cassandra Clare has peaked. For Lady Midnight I am willing to forgive her for the Infernal Devices (you can read my scathing reviews here, here and here) and forget it in the same manner that most people like to pretend that Grease 2 never happened. I would even go as far as to say that Lady Midnight betters any/all of the books in the Mortal Instruments series. The characters are diverse and complex, with a strong female lead who doesn’t make you want to scratch her eyes out (*ahem*, Clary) – you find yourself sincerely rooting for her. However, sometimes the characters break role in ways that create an annoying incongruity – for example Mark, Julian’s brother who has been living in Faerie for an unmeasurable amount of time, slips out of his formal lexis far too quickly. The romance in Lady Midnight feels far less manufactured than in the previous two series’, although there still feels like there is far too much of a focus on it, especially on the idea of ‘forbidden love’, which is annoying at best and utterly infuriating at worst. A much more in-depth look at the world of the Shadowhunters, Lady Midnight is a young adult delight.
How long did it take to read: six days
For fans of: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fanfiction, Twilight, bisexual fairies, endless romance
This book tastes like: mint choc chip ice-cream