Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?
The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.
Authors: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Number of Pages: 698
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Where I acquired this book: Amazon
When I read this book: March 15 2016
Ratings on a Scale of 1-10
Quality of writing: 10
Plot Development: 9
Ease of Reading: 9
As a huge fan of Cassandra Clare, I obviously had to pick up this new installment in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This novel follows Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorn children, who were introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. I was a little apprehensive about this book, because I wasn’t Emma’s biggest fan in CoHF, mostly because her chapters took time away from our main characters from TMI, but I was clearly wrong. Emma and all of the Blackthorns were well written and easy to fall in love with, though I will say that after reading them in CoHF, they will always be that little in my head (which makes things a little strange during certain scenes for me).
Emma is like a mini-Jace, and it’s a nice change to see our main female character so sure of herself in the Shadow World. Both Clary and Tessa in TMI and TID were introduced to the Shadow World in their respective series, but Emma already knows what she’s doing, so we don’t have to go through another recap of the world. On that note, if you have not read TMI, I would not recommend reading Lady Midnight until that is rectified. There are some major spoilers to TMI, and TID for that matter, in TDA since it is a sequel series of sorts. *****FROM THIS POINT ON THE DISCUSSION OF LADY MIDNIGHT WILL SPOIL THE ENDING OF TMI***** Even though Emma is confident in the Shadowhunter part of her life, she is far from flawless, which is nice to see. She gets to deal with the loss of her parents and some of her deep seated fears. Moving on to the Blackthorns, Julian is the sweetest older brother ever, and it warms my heart to see how he takes care of all of his younger siblings. Cassie also addresses some of the issues we were left with about the older Blackthorns, Helen and Mark. While Helen isn’t discussed a lot, we get to find out a lot more about Mark and how his time in Faerie has affected him. We even get the chance to see more about Faerie in general, especially in the wake of CoHF and the Seelies Queen’s betrayal of the Shadowhunters. Dru isn’t a major part in this book, but what I do like is that she is portrayed as a plus-sized character in a world of super athletic shadowhunters. I know someone personally who exercises more than I do and eats better food, but still weighs more than me, and I know it lowers her self-esteem, so it’s nice to have a character who weighs a little more, despite her best efforts. It shows people that weigh and physique are not always a choice and that it doesn’t mean someone is unhealthy simply because they weigh a little more. Another more diverse character we get is Ty, who is autistic. This is my first time reading about an autistic character, and I found it fascinating. I don’t know anyone who is autistic, but from what I have heard from other reviews by people who do know someone like Ty, Cassie has made a fairly accurate portrayal of this type of autism (since I know that it is a wide spectrum and not every person with autism is like Ty). I think it is a great idea to have more characters with mental illnesses, because, like with Dru, it shows how people are more than this single piece of them. Ty is one of the most intelligent people there and the sweetest Blackthorn in my opinion, accepting everyone for exactly who they are. Seeing Livvy interact with her twin was one of my favorite parts of the whole family being together. Besides maybe Julian, she is the only one who truly understands Ty, so it’s nice to see how they interact, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship is expressed in later books. The last Blackthorn we have is Tavvy, who I will always picture as a two-year-old, even though he’s much older, but that’s about all I have to say about him, because he isn’t exactly a major character. Besides the main family, we are introduced to Christina Rosales, who is studying at the LA Institute from the Mexico Institute, I believe. She and Emma are practically best friends, and once again we get to see a strong female friendship from Cassie. It’s so important to portray to strong women who support each other and talk about other things than boys. Then we have Diana, who is their mentor and “trainer” (I can’t think of the right word right now), like Hodge was in TMI. Unfortunately, like Hodge, she has a secret that we have no idea about. I am both excited and nervous to find out what that secret is in a later book. Sorry about the long character rant here, but they are, in my opinion, the most important part of the book, and I could no longer hold in my love for all of them. I know I missed some crucial people, but I don’t want to spoil certain events in the book.
It was also interesting to get to see a new institute in this series. Lady Midnight takes place in L.A., which we haven’t seen in other Shadowhunters novels. Los Angeles is a place that I have always wanted to visit, and the gorgeous portrayal of it, both real and fictional, makes me want to visit even more.
This review has gotten really long, so I’m going to wrap it up here. Overall, I adored this book and would recommend it for any and all Shadowhunters fans, under the stipulation that you have read TMI and TID first. You don’t have to read them to enjoy this novel, but if you have any plans to read them, it should be before you pick up Lady Midnight.
OVERALL RATING (out of 5): 5 stars
If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought below! Who’s your favorite Blackthorn?