We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil. (Kieran)
Lady Midnight wins the award for being the first book in a new series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles that I actually like. I was quite worried that the world would seem unoriginal and redundant (an issue that I had with Clockwork Angel) but I really enjoyed the vibe in Lady Midnight. I don't know if it's the Los Angeles setting or the faerie politics, but Clare's managed to put a refreshing spin on an old world that I know too much about.
The characters in Lady Midnight are diverse and, for the most part, well-developed. Here are my thoughts about some of the main characters:
★ Emma Carstairs. For the first half of the book I felt like Emma was Jace 2.0. At about the 400 page mark, I started liking her and I was like, "I feel you, girl." and then at the end, I was like, "WHY EMMA?!?!" I get that Emma's recklessness is part of her personality and she does some silly things because of it, but I couldn't connect with her.
★ Julian Blackthorn. He's the father in the Blackthorn family and he's been raising his four younger siblings since he was 12 years old. His situation is so sad. I love his fierce love and devotion to his family, his gentle nature and his ruthlessness. He's an extremely well-rounded character.
★ Mark Blackthorn. My favourite character arc in Lady Midnight. Mark has to adjust to the human world after being in the Hunt for such a long time and he has a lot of choices to make as he struggles to gain and understand his family's love and devotion.
★ Tiberius Blackthorn. Ty seems to be on the autism spectrum. I appreciate that he's seen as a character who views the world in a different way, that he's a well-rounded character and that he isn't reduced to damaging stereotypes.
★ Livia Blackthorn. She's such a precious character, but I didn't get a sense of her personality.
★ Drusilla Blackthorn. I can relate to Dru's obsession with all things morbid. She has body insecurities and I love the body positivity in Lady Midnight.
★ Octavian Blackthorn. Tavvy is a precious and pure child and needs to be protected at all costs.
★ Cristina Mendoza Rosales. She's my favourite character in Lady Midnight. She's mature, unapologetic about who she is, always sees things from different points of views and she's amazing. I love the friendship between her and Emma.
★ Diego Rocío Rosales. There isn't much about Diego in Lady Midnight but I think I like him. The fact that everyone calls him 'Perfect Diego' is hilarious.
★ Kieran. He does some messed up things all in the name of love and while I don't approve of it, I understand what he was trying to do.
★ Diana Wryburn. I love her and I'm interested in finding out more about her.
I also enjoyed reading about the Blackthorn family dynamics. They get frustrated with each other and they have their issues, but their love and devotion to each other is so real and beautiful.
There are two types of romance situations in Lady Midnight: a forbidden one and a messy one.
The forbidden romance is between parabatai, Emma and Julian. There's so much of romantic tension between Emma and Julian and clear to see that Emma and Julian are meant to be together, but the progression of their relationship seems so forced. However, I didn't mind the relationship angst because it added to the pain, conflicting emotions and heartbreak that Emma and Julian experience. The end of Lady Midnight made me so mad though. To stop the parabatai curse from happening, Emma breaks off her secret relationship with Julian and starts a fake relationship with his brother, Mark, so that Julian will stop loving her. Firstly, it's such a silly idea. Secondly, it's selfish because the already strained relationship between Julian and Mark is going to be negatively affected.
I'm quite interested to see how the messy romance plays out and I can't even say which relationship I like more than the other. There's Mark and Kieran and the history between them and what happens in Lady Midnight is so sad. I loved seeing Mark and Christina's relationship develop. I also like Christina and Diego together. I'm so conflicted. Can I just ship them all together?
Lady Midnight is really slow in the beginning and things only start happening halfway through. However, when Lady Midnight does pick up, it's engrossing. The plot of Lady Midnight is a little predictable and the villain is cliche and I didn't care much about Malcolm's betrayal and death, but I was all in and I didn't mind it.
There are two things that I appreciate in Lady Midnight:
1) The characters making the Clave own up to all the crappy things that they've done.
2) The fan service. Jace, Clary, Alec, Magnus, Jem and Tessa make appearances and we hear about Simon and Isabelle. They're engaged!
Also, The Lost Herondale, Kit, has been found, but I feel like he's included in The Dark Artifices series to keep the Herondale love going.
If this follows the trend that I usually have with Cassandra Clare books, The Dark Artifices series can only get better and I'm excited to see what happens in Lord of Shadows.
"The sea wears down cliffs, Emma, and turns them into sand; so love wears us down and breaks our defenses. You only do not know how much it means, to have people who will fight for you when it goes wrong." (Christina Mendoza Rosales)