Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Genre: Paranormal, Romance (kind of?)
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Series: The Dark Artifices
Since hearing about Lady Midnight, we haven’t been as excited as a lot of people. The Mortal Instruments series was the best thing, and after Bee didn’t enjoy The Infernal Devices trilogy, we wondered how we’d get on with this sequel series. When we read City of Heavenly Fire, getting chapters about Emma and Julian was just distracting us from the baes we really cared about. But, we’d already read about them, so why not get their story, five years on?
Maybe we should have trusted our instincts on this one…
P L O T
Emma’s parents were killed in the Dark War, and since then, she’s been waiting to exact her revenge on whoever killed them. In the last few days, there have been some murders in the Shadowhunter community that parallel what happened to her parents, and so she and the Blackthorn family take it upon themselves to investigate.
Emma and Jules are parabatai and this means, for some reason, they can’t be in a romantic relationship, otherwise they’ll die. (jk, the reason’s explained at the very end, and it makes no sense.) This causes a lot of tension, but if they just communicated with each other, I’m sure they could get around it.
That’s basically it as far as plot goes. It’s very lacking, and more focused on all the different characters.
C H A R A C T E R S
Emma – She is a gender-bend version of Jace. This is the type of comment you’ll be seeing a lot of, because so many of the characters feel like carbon copies of those from TMI. Emma proved that girls can be funny, but they can also make stupid decisions. So many times, she does things without letting Julian know, and it ends up backfiring on their relationship. She’s a confident character, and there are sparks of interest in her, but otherwise, she’s just another strong female protagonist with a thirst for the blood of her enemies.
Julian – He’s Simon, but not funny. He’s Jem, but not ill. He’s a gender-bend of Clary, as he shares her artistic flare and responsibility. There was no real reason to dislike Julian: he looks after his family and he’s got his heart in the right place. His only flaw is his obsession with Emma that could lead to his demise.
The Blackthorn Siblings – We’ve put these kids all under one category, because they didn’t play a big role in the novel. Although the whole big family element was a new thing to be added to the Shadowhunter universe, the kids were used as a plot device, only coming in prominently once each. Their function was to make us feel more sympathy for Julian’s situation.
Mark Blackthorn – One of the standout characters, the banished brother returned from the faeries to his family. His conflict was the most interesting to see develop as he struggled to see where he fit in.
Cristina Rosales – An exchange Shadowhunter from Mexico, she had a lot of backstory that we desperately wanted to know. She was jilted by both her boyfriend and her best friend and so much about her emotions were hidden. She acted as a cute buffer for Emma and Jules, and we liked seeing the friendship between the girls, like Clary and Izzy. More of her, please.
Kit – Who? Why? Seriously, who is this kid, and why did he start the book?
The Mortal Instruments Characters (a.k.a Clary and Jace, heroes of their race.) – Their cameos made this book so much better, and kind of worthwhile. It was beyond cute to see how they’d all matured and what they were doing with their lives. THE SHORT STORY. My heart.
R O M A N C E
The relationship between Jules and Emma is weird. It’s a mixture of brother and sister (it felt more incestuous than Clary and Jace supposedly were), husband and wife (because they look after all the kids), best friends, and boyfriend-girlfriend.
You can’t be everything, and that was the problem. The pair needed to decide which relationship dynamic was the best for the situation and roll with it, not matter what their true feelings. Also, their relationship went from angry fighting to hot and heavy making out, which is super unhealthy.
V E R D I C T
Lady Midnight didn’t give us what we wanted. We didn’t care enough about the characters because the sense of tragedy surrounding them had been lost, because it was already revealed in City of Heavenly Fire. There was very little plot. The romance was silly. We gave it 2 stars. The only bits we enjoyed were the cameos from the old team, and getting to know how their adult lives were progressing. (Marriage: woo! Kids: woo!) You could probably read this as a stand alone if you wanted. We’re still debating whether or not we’ll continue, but at this point, we probably won’t.