Author: Cassandra ClareEdition: Hardcover (First Edition)Rating: 5 Stars
Anything and everything Shadowhunters- that's the policy I live by. It's one of my go-to series of books for a number of reasons, mostly because I grew up reading them (City of Bones was one of the first YA books I ever picked up) and they have managed to continuously entertain me, no matter how many times I reread them. The older I get, the harder it is to enjoy some books I read years ago. Shadowhunter books, too, are beautifully written and always make me and my heart cry, so, even though that may not sound like it, it's always a pleasure to pick one up.
Lady Midnight takes place several years after the events in the Mortal Instrument's series. It follows Emma Carstairs, her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, his family, and her new friend Cristina Rosales, as they illegally investigate some faerie murders that are taking place.
I was worried about picking this one up. I had such high hopes, but it's been two years since a new Shadowhunter book, so I had no idea whether it would be any good, if the story would still hold up, if I could still connect to the characters in such a manner as I had before. If the story would be good at all, or if the amount of characters would end up hurting it more than helping. Well, I shouldn't have been worried- it was amazing. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a super fan, I'm saying that because, were this the only book by her that I had read, I would have loved it as much as I do now.
For one, the characters. Like I said, I was worried the sheer number might throw the book off course. No problem here. Clare managed to balance them all out nicely, made each unique and important to the story, and also got me to care about every single one of them. Once in a while there would be blink-and-you-miss-it scenes where a character would be dismissed and I would lose track of them and have to turn back a page and see what happened, but even while I lost track on these rare occasions, Clare didn't, and she managed to juggle them all nicely. My favorite character had to be Mark (for many reasons, many of them spoilery). He's a great character, and one we haven't really seen before, at least in her writing. Closely following him in list of favorites is Emma, our heroine, and a capable one at that. She's very different from Clary and Tessa, and I love her for it. It's hard to pin her down with just a few word description, but she falls on the list of characters who are kick-ass first, take names later. Were I to mention and describe every character here that would be a long review- but leave it at, I loved them all. There wasn't any character that I found myself disliking for any reason (unless they're, you know, the villain, in which case I'm not supposed to like them).
The story itself was very good and rather interesting, though I found the ending to be not what I expected. I mean, yes, there are some wicked (and awesome) twists that caught me off guard and had me half-grinning, half-completely in shock, but the way the novel is concluded was not what I would expect. I can't say much more here because Spoilers and what-not, but don't let me make you think it was a bad ending. Just a surprising way to wrap things up as they were. I liked it a lot more upon reflection, though at the time it felt out of the ordinary and strange.
One little theory I have before I close this review, and it's not a spoilery theory, I promise: I have guesses for who might be on the next two covers. I think, and I'm not sure the order, that it will be Mark and Julian. They're both major characters and seem the most likely, due to the plot of the series (so far).
So, yes, I strongly recommend picking this one up. You can read it without reading the other Shadowhunter books- it won't be confusing, you just won't get certain things out of it. And if you're a fan of Shadowhunters in general, then, yes, this is a must-read for you. You won't be let down. It's completely unnerving to see the names Jem, Tessa, Clary, and Jace all appear on one page, but it's worth it.
PS. If you comment, please don't leave any spoilers in the comments. This is my non-spoiler review and I don't want to ruin the book for anyone. I'll be posting a spoiler-filled review shortly, and feel free to post anything you want there. Thank you!