Review of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

LadyMidnightLady Midnight
By: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

My Thoughts:
First, I was shocked and so grateful to receive an advanced copy of this book. I never dreamed I would, and I’ll be treasuring it always. I, understandably, was incredibly eager to jump right in. I was so happy to soak back into Cassie’s writing and the Shadowhunter world. It had been far too long and it was comforting to be back. I will admit, I never read City of Heavenly Fire so some things were alluded to that I wasn’t 100% sure about. I believe if you’ve read CoHF you met the characters in this book already? Having not read it I went into this with no preconceived notions about the characters. And I don’t feel that detracted from my reading of this book.

Lady Midnight focused on a whole new group of Shadowhunters. It was great to meet new characters that still had strong ties to the past. These characters are related to our past favorites so that was really a nice surprise for me (I hadn’t kept up to date on what this particular series would be based on other than it taking place after the other books).

Now for the big question- how were the new characters? Can they compare to all the ones we’ve loved in the past? My answer- YES. I loved Emma, Julian and Mark. Each one had their own personality and struggles. I think each added to the story and I was very interested to learn more about their pasts and watch them develop. I liked that, once again, we got to see how life at the Institute functions. The descriptions were detailed and, as always, it was very easy to imagine the setting.

Since there was a lot of time spent at the Institute we were introduced to Julian and his siblings. I enjoyed getting to know each of the kids but I’ll admit- I had trouble keeping them all straight and honestly can’t recall any of their names off hand (oops). I’m hoping as the series continues I’ll have a deeper connection to each of them. Regardless of my inability to recall details, each of them helped to build Julian’s character. He was so easy to love, empathize with and feel for.

Emma was an incredibly kick-ass female character. She worked hard to get to the level of Shadowhunter that she was. Driven by the mystery surrounding her parent’s death (she doesn’t believe the official story) she was motivated to push herself further than most would. I thought she was an excellent character. Her and Julian’s dedication to their parabatai relationship was compelling and kept me reading.

There was a shippy romance, and in Clare fashion, our characters were not fated to be together. Clare tends to pull her lovers apart and give them significant reasons why they can’t be together and this novel is no different. There’s also another side romance that was really well done and plays on diversity which was nice to read.

The storyline in this book was surprisingly fast paced (it’s a BIG book) and I was always eager to dive back in. I looked forward to my time with Lady Midnight. Now, you probably notice I gave this one 4 stars…why not 5? Well, the ending left me a bit bleh (a situation happened that I’m dreading for the next book…not sure I’m crazy about the direction things went). Also, there was a good amount of bringing in the old characters that I think most fans will love but for me it felt a bit like…pandering to the fan base? I don’t know. It felt a bit unnecessary.

Those few issues I had weren’t enough to mar my enjoyment of this book. Clare continued to put all the feels in her writing. I was riveted as I so often am by her writing style.

Final Thoughts:
The fast pace, beautifully executed romantic scenes, and dynamic characters all made Lady Midnight a pleasure to read. I can guarantee that if you are a fan of any of Clare’s prior books you’ll adore this one as well. Those that have issue with her books will mostly likely continue to have similar complaints with this new series.

For the question many are asking if you’ve never read a Cassandra Clare book- can you jump in with this series? My answer is that yes, you can. You’ll run across spoilers regarding characters and their romantic endeavors though so be prepared for that. I believe the world is described in enough detail though to allow new fans to be introduced to the Shadowhunter world.

Clockwork Princess Review and Giveaway

Clockwork PrincessClockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
By: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

My Rating:
star

Note: this is less a review and more a love letter

The Summary (via Goodreads):
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy
Tessa Gray should be happy – aren’t all brides happy?

Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.

The Story:
It’s so difficult to write a review for the end of a series and for one you love very deeply. I have been waiting in timid anticipation for this book since I finished Clockwork Prince, my heart still raw after Clare ripped it from me with Will’s tale. I felt terrified about what she had planned for this last book, would it live up to the prior two? Would it have enough closure? Would it hurt to read and would the outcome crush me? I am happy to report that I loved every word of Clockwork Princess. I tried to read slowly because I wanted to savor every single word, every sentence. But, once I started to read it just sucked me in and I didn’t want to, nor could I stop. I had to know where Clare was going to take Tessa, Will and Jem.

I was given the closure I desired but it wasn’t a slow read that only focused on tying up loose ends, it was the completion of a journey. It was a full story in and of itself yet wrapped up everything from the prior books. I was swept away from beginning to end. I found myself misty eyed from the first chapter just because I knew it was the last of the series. I didn’t want to have to say goodbye to this world and these characters I’d come to love greatly. I’ve seen that some readers have been iffy about the epilogue but after digesting what I read I am happy with where Clare took the story.

The Characters:
From the moment Clare introduced me to the characters of Clockwork Angel I fell in love; I became entranced with each of their stories. In Clockwork Princess I felt that the women had the most growth, especially Tessa and Charlotte. I loved watching them stand up to extreme obstacles and fight their own fears. The mysteries surrounding Tessa were answered and I was pleased where Clare took her character.

Jem was as wonderful as ever and parts of his story surprised me, Clare has guts and such an over arcing plan for each of her characters. Will, oh Will. He is on my top five favorite characters ever list. The completion of his story left nothing for me to desire, it was done perfectly.  Clare had me loving Magnus even more which I didn’t think was possible. Not much can be written about the characters without going into spoiler territory but I felt Clare stayed true to the characters she created and really I loved every minute.

Final Thoughts:
By the Angel, if you have not read this series what are you waiting for? It is a must read.

Buy this book:
Blue Willow Bookshop
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Where I recommend The Infernal Devices

I preordered a copy and didn’t arrive soon enough so I had to buy a copy on release day. So I’m giving away my extra copy!
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Figment Live Chat: On the Road with Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan

Maureen Johnson Sarah Rees Brennan live chat

This Thursday 7pm ET, March 21, 2013, Figment is hosting an online chat with Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan from their bus tour. Join them live here. They are working with Cassandra Clare on a series of novellas, The Bane Chronicles. They’ll be discussing the novellas along with their books.

Check out Figment’s online sweepstakes toobook covers for The Madness Underneath The Bane Chronicles and Unspoken

Recommended Books: The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare has become a household name with her Mortal Instruments series set to hit the big screen this August with City of Bones. The series is wonderful and should be read but her (sort of) lesser known series and prequel, The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess) is actually my favorite so if you’ve not checked them out you should do so. This month (March 19) the last in the series, Clockwork Princess releases (for all those people who only like to start a series once all the books are out–now is the time).

Whereas the Mortal Instruments takes place in today’s world the Infernal Devices is set in the past: Victorian London. These books have a steampunk feel and Clare does an amazing job of melding historical details with her own creative influences to write a beautiful world populated with charismatic and well rounded characters. Jem and Will have got to be some of the best fictional characters ever written, they are truly alive to me and I am so enraptured with their worlds and journeys. Our heroine, Tessa, is strong willed and loyal (to a fault perhaps). And we can’t forget about the appearance of some of our favorite long lived characters from the Immortal Instruments.

And coming in 2015, a three book companion series to the Mortal Instruments: The Dark Artifices series. You can read a character list here

You can find the Clockwork Princess Tour Dates Here

Clockwork Angel Trailer:

Clockwork Prince Trailer:

Clockwork Princess Trailer:

Most Anticipated YA Books of 2013

Happy New Year! 2013 will be a year for great books. There’s no way I could possibly list all that I’m excited about but here are ten (in no order).

  • Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by: Cassandra Clare
  • Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky ,#2) by: Veronica Rossi
  • Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) by: R.A. LaFevers
  • Splintered by: A.G. Howard
  • Apollyon (Covenant, #4) by: Jennifer Armentrout
  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) by: Leigh Bardugo
  • Horde (Razorland, #3) by: Ann Aguirre
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2) by: Diana Peterfeund
  • Untitled (Penryn & the End of Days, #2) by: Susan Ee
  • The Madman’s Daughter by: Megan Sheperd