Hi Shadowhunters! Well, it’s the 8th of March… and it’s Eilidh here… which means one thing… *drum roll* LADY MIDNIGHT IS NOW OUT IN THE UK!!
So… here it is, my review – spoiler free, of course! As some of you may know, Sarah and myself were very lucky in the fact that we were granted our wish in receiving a Lady Midnight Proof/ARC… and I’m writing this to tell you all how blown away you will be.
As most of you will know, Lady Midnight is set in LA, and follows the lives of Emma Carstairs, the Blackthorn family and all their friends and foes alike. Below is the synopsis taken directly from the mastermind, Cassandra Clare, behind this masterpiece website:
Emma Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, one in a long line of Shadowhunters tasked with protecting the world from demons. With her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of an secret Los Angeles where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries start turning up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were murdered years ago, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge — and Julian’s chance to get back his half-faerie brother, Mark, who was kidnapped five years ago. All Emma, Mark and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks . . . before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. As she uncovers the past, she begins to peel away the secrets of the present: 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?
And the above doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Emma is no longer the girl we knew her to be at the end of City of Heavenly Fire. It’s five years on and she is no longer mourning the loss of her parents, but rather is hell-bent on avenging her parents’ death.
On top of this Mark Blackthorn, Julian’s brother, is returned from the Wild Hunt to the family as a bargaining chip as the faeries need the help of the Shadowhunters to find out who is killing their kind. Mark doesn’t recognise his family… and not only do we wonder if the faeries will let him stay with his true family, you wonder where Mark will eventually chose to stay.
My review is as follows (and I know I will not begin to cover how it made me feel!)
It was 10AM on a Saturday morning and I was still fast asleep in bed when my doorbell rang, and my body jerked alive. I knew that Lady Midnight was in my presence. I feel very sorry for the post man as I’m pretty sure I almost tore his arm from his body. Sorry postman! I ripped open the packaged, put on a cup of tea and retreated to my bed for the rest of the weekend.
Opening the first page was like returning home to me. It has been just under two years since I had Cassie’s lovely, fresh and unknown story in my hands, and it was wonderful. You feel a sense of relaxation. (Trust me, Cassie does not let you stay relaxed for too long!)
From 10AM on that Saturday to 6PM on Sunday I was captivated by the story. The book was literally attached to me. No matter what I was doing, the book was in my hand. Lady Midnight is 669 pages of pure and beautiful torture. You will laugh, you will cry, you will scream, you will wail, you will probably throw it against a wall… and you will certainly want to hit Cassandra Clare over the head (gently) with your copy that you will (hopefully) receive today.
Emma is out with a vengeance. She wants – probably more on the side of needs – to find out what truly happened to her parents, and why they died. Whereas Julian is juggling raising his brothers and sisters, while running the Institute secretly, and dealing with his own personal demons.
When the faeries show up, the world of the LA Institute flips. They are willing to strike a bargain. They can have Mark back if they figure out who has been killing the faeries. Julian, desperate to have his brother back, and Emma, desperate to find out about her parents death, agree despite the Cold Peace which forbids Shadowhunters and Downworlders to give no aid to Faeries. Although they get Mark back, he isn’t as any of our characters remember.
Although this is the story line… I can’t tell you how much Julian and Emma (mainly Julian) will tear your heart apart. These two are parabatai, and this means that any romantic relationship between them is forbidden. Which of course kills them (and me). I wanted to reach my hand into the book and push them together like Barbie dolls. The two are conflicted with their feelings and the law… but the question is can they push aside their feelings for what is right? *internal screaming*
Cassie truly outdid herself with this love story. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Clace. And Wessa… oh Wessa. But man, oh man. Jemma is where your heart breaks. Trust me you do not know pain like this ship. Their love is far more heartbreaking than the ships before them. You can feel the ache inside of them through Cassie’s beautiful writing. You want so much to happen between them… but you also think to yourself “they cannot do this”… even though you really, really want them too.
On top of that, they have so many people to look after, and the weight of the world is on their shoulders. They have so much going on, that you can feel them breaking the whole way through the book. You feel what they feel.
Of course, that is a testament to the writing of Cassandra Clare. She is very very good at stabbing you in the heart and leaving you to bleed and cry and beg for more and more and more. The pain is good pain. So good. You suffer, but you’re happy about it.
Honestly, Cassie totally threw me with this book. I knew I’d love it – because I loved her writing. I thought I knew what would happen in this book… trust me, Shadowhunters, you do not. There were twists and turns and surprises I never even thought of. I would love to sit here and tell you what happens, but I won’t. I want you to experience what I experienced. I want you to cry. I want you to wail. I want you to say “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”.
This book is easily my second favourite book out of all of Cassie’s masterpieces. Its beautiful, it’s heart breaking, it’s perfect.
My advice to you: make sure you have enough water and tissues at the ready (also maybe something to throw at someone if they disturb you, and also to throw when Cassie breaks your heart). And be ready to drink a lot of coffee to keep you awake. The moment you sit down and open the first page, you’re not moving. So get comfy, get cosy, and enjoy the beautiful rollercoaster that is Lady Midnight.
I would like to send a big thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for entrusting us with this book, Georgia Lawe for sending it to us and communicating with us… and of course, to Cassie for writing this amazing, amazing, amaZING book, and listening to me wail at you for the pain you caused me because of the beautiful ship that is Jemma. Thank you, you all are truly amazing.