Monday, March 14, 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - Book Review



*Important: In every review there will be a small section about my non-spoilers thoughts and feelings of the book and my recommendation of the book (for those who haven't read it yet) and then I start the full review. Unless you want to spoiler yourself about everything that went down in the book, don't continue to the full review. I'll be sure to mark when the full review starts. 


                                                           
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Publication date: March 8, 2016
My rating: 4 stars



Just finished Lady Midnight.
And it dawned on me: do I have to wait a year for another Cassandra book?
After two years of waiting for Lady Midnight?
This is a cruel, cruel thing.
But I don't regret reading it right when it came out. It was worth it. Maybe not as worth it as I wanted but still worth it.
My only problem with the book is that it was too slow paced most of the times. Not boring (of course not!) but much more slow-paced than I'm used from Cassandra. And there are no Herondales as main characters this time around so there is much less humor and awesomeness than we're used to as well.
But I still loved it. I could never hate a Cassandra book. I can be disappointed but never not like it.
Plus, 4 stars are one hell of a high score in my book. It really does mean I loved this book. I wanted desperately to absolutely love it but for the time being I'm satisfied with just loving it.
Don't let any of it discourage you from reading it! Cassandra is a master of weaving a story. All of her characters are so unique and different. you never know where the story is going until everything clicks together. If you've read both the Infernal devices and the mortal instruments, you know what I'm talking about.
It's just the first book in a much more complex story. And from what i gathered, the dark artifices trilogy and the last hours trilogy are going to intertwine. which is going to be EPIC, I'm sure. 

Do you need to read the mortal instruments and the infernal devices before Lady Midnight?
My answer would be yes. Otherwise you'll miss all the mind blowing connections between Lady Midnight and those two series. And believe me, there are quite a few of those.
I would also recommend reading Tales from shadowhunter academy. There is something there that connects with something in Lady Midnight and it was just... WOW.
You don't have to, but you'll get the full amaziness of what I'm talking about if you do.
The mortal instruments (aka TMI) and the infernal devices (aka TID) are two of the best series I've read in... ever since I've been reading books. You will not regret reading them. I promise you.

*Full review (with spoilers)*


Where to begin?
I honestly don't know.
Everything I just read is jumbled up inside my head in no particular order.
Okay... *taking a deep breath*. Here we go: 

About 200 pages into the book things started to pick up. It was still slow paced at times but things started to get intense.
Mark came back and it was so heartwarming seeing him trying to reconnect with his family.
It took me a while to connect with the characters. It never happened to me in a Cassandra Clare's book before (I always almost immediately have a click with her characters), but in this book it took longer. I still don't fully feel it but it's getting closer. And by the end of the book i cared about all the characters much more deeply.

My first BTA (aka by the angel) moment was when Cristina saw Mark and Kieran outside (right after they came back from the whole 'Julian almost dying' ordeal) - kissing! basically making out. That was so unexpected I couldn't do anything but whisper-yell "OMG!" repeatedly for a few minutes.
surprisingly, I found myself I found myself liking Kieran. Yes, what he did, telling on Mark to the wild hunt and bringing the whipping punishment (which was such an emotional scene) on Julian and Emma was horrible. I can understand why Mark cannot forgive him - he hurt his family, after all. But Kieran, despite being a full blood feary (and a prince, no less), really-truly loves Mark. What he did wasn't out of cruelty but out of jealousy that came from love. It doesn't look like Mark feel the same as Kieran, though. And after he basically told Kieran he won't be seeing him again... still, I hope we'll see Kieran again (!). I don't feel like this is - whatever this is - over between them.


My second BTA moment was the whole Kit being a descendant from the lost Herondale line we heard of in tales of shadowhunter academy (!). I didn't think much when we saw from Kit's POV. But it's Cassandra Clare - I should have known better then to take it for what it seemed to be.
We have another Herondale! And I can't wait to get to know him better. It would be amazing to see him and Jace meeting face to face for the first time. Will we see him start to train as a shadowhunter in the next book? (he seemed to hate them at the moment). Maybe Clary can help him... they have a lot in common. After all, Clary, too, only found out she's a shadowhunter when she was 15 and right after her mother was kidnapped.
Another Herondale in the next book - squee! I'm ecstatic! 


So, basically, Julian is in love with Emma and Emma is in love with Julian. Cristina and Diego were together ever since they were children and Cristina still has deep feelings for Diego, but she also seems to like Mark a little more than just a friend. Diego loves her and will do anything for her. Mark and Kieran were sort of together but they basically broke up and Mark seems to have feelings for Cristina, while Kieran basically declared he will always love Mark. Emma, it a desperate attempt to make Julian hate her (so they won't invoke the parabatai curse, which is already invoked, actually), asks Mark to be her fake sort of boyfriend (knowing it's the only way to make Julian completely mad). Mark agrees and even suggests they don't have to pretend (probably because he just saw Cristina and Diego together and is acting impulsively).
What a mess.
I understand why Emma did it, I do. She knew Julian would never give up, especially if she told him the truth. But I hate the whole lying and making the other person hate you on purpose 'for their own good' thing. 


Let's talk about "perfect Diego". LOL. It was so funny how they made so much fun of him. And I actually liked Diego. I know... I never expected to like someone that's called "perfect Diego" He does seem to be good at everything he does but he's not as horrible as i thought he would be when Cristina talked about him. 

My heart breaks for Julian having to be a father figure to all of those children. All the pain, hardship and burden that he goes through... but his love for them is so strong I could practically feel it searing at me through the pages. He loves them so much it hurts.

The ending... major things happened in the ending: 

1. Kit is actually Christopher Herondale! I have a feeling, from the little we saw of him, that I'm going to love him. And I can't wait to see how he and Ty are going to get along. It looks like it's going to be so much fun! 

2. The parabatai curse: I knew something must be going on when Emma healed Julian from an impossible wound and then when her courage rune acted like no courage rune should but... I didn't think there would be a curse.
It seems sometimes the clave does have good reasons for their laws. Which is even more surprising.
What's going to happen? Will they find a way to severe the unbreakable parabatai bond? or maybe control that magic and not let it consume them? 


3. It was so funny and sweet how, throughout the book, there were mentions of Clary and Jace's adventures and how they are 'the greatest shadowhunters of their generation'. And at the very end of the book we got one hell of a treat! A short chapter from Clary's POV! Isabelle and Simon are getting married! Magnus and Alec adopted another child (a shadowhunter child)! And Jace proposed to Clary!
The only strange thing is that Clary didn't give an answer yet (granted, they were interrupted by Magnus who claimed he's seen their ancestors in worse situations, which we know he had (!)) and that she seemed to be dreading it (?).
I hope we'll get to see more about this in the next book of TDA. 


4. Emma and Mark: nope... just nope. I do not ship them together. And it's obvious they don't see themselves together as well. But they are going to "pretend" which might get them closer together and I don't want that.

Speaking of ships... who do I ship?
Julian and Emma (they are obviously forever and ever). Like I said before, I still don't feel as emotionally attached to them as I felt to Clary and Jace and Tessa and Will (and Jem). But it's obvious they're meant to be.
Cristina and Diego: Yeah, I know some of you probably ship Mark and Cristina but as of right now i just don't feel them as a ship. And i knew from the moment Diego showed up that I like him. Ah... I know, I might have fallen for his "perfect Diego" thing. sorry, but I like him - can't help it. 


Malcolm fade: Oh, Malcolm... why? I wasn't as shocked about it as other things in this book but I didn't practically see it coming either. The biggest question is: is Malcolm dead? Annabelle Blackthorn has awoken (which we have no idea if it's a good thing or a bad thing yet. Will she try to take revenge like Malcolm or will she be on the blackthorns side?). It looks like Malcolm is dead (his magic vanished) but then again... it also looked like Sebastian was dead at the end of city of glass.
Cassandra Clare sure does make her villains with the kind of cause you can't help but feel sympathy for them. Or even understand it.   


It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.


I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me. 


And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea. 


The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. 


But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:


For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.


It was my favorite poem when we read it in school. Still is. I'm not the poetry type but i found myself drawn to this one,
It's creepy and sad and beautiful. It's haunting.
I was amazed how beautifully Cassandra  matched it to her story.
Like when I read it a few years ago, I can't get it out of my head now. I love it. 


My favorite-funny moments in Lady Midnight:

'The clave was the shadowhunter government. In Kit's experience, they didn't like anything'.
Truer words have never been said about the clave. Ah... the clave. I can't recall anything they did like. Ever. Sometimes they scare me more than the demons do. I'm especially scared of them now if-when they'll find out about Arthur's condition and Emma & Julian.


"That's not the spirit of the law, Emma. Remember? The law is hard but it is the law."
"I thought it was 'the law is annoying, but it is also flexible'"
Oh, Emma! You totally got it.
The motto of 'the law is hard but it is the law' annoys me every time I hear it. I understand there should be laws... laws are important to keep the peace and order but the clave tends to go too far with it. 'do what you are told and don't ask questions?'. *rolling my eyes*. Yeah, right, like that's going to work on shadowhunters. It's not in the shadowhunters blood to do it - just look at Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Tessa, Will, Jem... and now Emma and Julian.
Shadowhunters will always do what they think is right and protect their family at all cost by the end of the day.
A bad law is no law. Some laws need to be changed.
Nice one, blackthorns! 


"This is my domain. You've got your own hopeless humans in New York."
"Once of those hopeless humans is the father of my child," Magnus pointed out.
 Magnus had not ever been pregnant, though that would have been interesting, Emma though. He and Alec Lightwood had an adopted warlock child, named Max, who was a scintillating shade of navy blue,
"And," Magnus added, "the rest of them have saved the world, at least once."
Malcolm gestured toward Julian and Emma. "I have hoped for these."


And if there were two things he believed were limitless, it was love and imagination.
(Julian).


"You drive too fast," said Mark.
Emma snorted and checked the strap on Cortana where it fastened across her chest. "You sound like Julian."
"It brought me joy," Mark said, moving to stand beside her. "It was as if I flew with the hunt again, and tasted the blood of the sky."
"Okay, you sound like Julian on drugs," Emma muttered.


"I wish you'd quit going to the shadow market," Julian muttered. "It's dangerous there-"
"Oh, NO," Emma said. "Not danger, Mr. I-Just-Almost-Bled-Out-in-My-Car." 


Livvy held up a hand. "In Emma's defense, Cameron's annoying, but he's hot." Julian gave her a look. "I mean, if you like guys who look like a redheaded captain America, which I... don't?"
"Captain America id definitely the most handsome avenger," said Cristina. "But I like the hulk. I would like to heal his broken hurt."
"We're Nephilim," said Julian. "We're not even supposed to know about the avengers. Besides," he added, "Iron man is obviously the best-looking."
Oh, LOL! They got me there!
It was so interesting how much they know about modernity - phones, computers, movies... In TMI it basically seemed like Jace, Isabelle and Alec grew up in a different planet with how much they knew nothing about the mundane world. In TDA it's part of their lives (even though the clave wouldn't like that).


Once, the GPS had only spoken in a heavy German accent for weeks. Julian had decided it was possessed.

"Jesus Christ!" sterling shouted. "where's you learn to drive?"
"Nobody asked you for commentary!" Emma yelled back as they hurtled into the moving traffic. Luckily it was late and the lanes were mostly empty.
"I don't want to die on the pacific coast highway!" sterling wailed.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Emma's voice dripped acid. "Is there a different highway you'd like to die on? BECAUSE WE CAN ARRANGE THAT." 


"You're a centurion," Ty said. "You have vows."
"vows of friendship and love are stronger," said Diego.
Drusilla looked at him with cartoon hearts in her eyes. "That's beautiful."
Mark rolled his eyes. He was clearly not a member of the perfect Diego appreciation society.


Emma who had also been twelve, had not been shy about letting the world know she thought Jace was the handsomest and most amazing person who had ever graced the planet with his presence. 
- also applied to Will Herondale! 

"well, either you've been out fighting the forces of evil or you've come from a much wilder party than we have," Jace said. "Hello, there, blackthorns."
The moment Julian saw Jace coming down the stairs I knew the first thing coming out of Jace's mouth was going to be something funny. Not surprising, considering most of what comes out of his mouth his something like that. Oh, Jace *swoon*.


"No one is ever the villain of their own story."
(Cristina).
In Cassandra's books the villains never think they're villains, they think they are right... which makes it all the more real.


Lady Midnight was a great book. It wasn't as amazing as TMI and TID (for me). there were some really amazing moments but it wasn't all pure awesomeness (as I felt TMI and TID were).
The reason for the missing star is the slow-paced aspect and that it took me a while to get into those characters (maybe because it was slow-paced). I was already into this world since TMI... it was the characters I had difficulty getting into.
But other than that I really enjoyed Lady Midnight and I'm already freaking out that Lord of shadows is coming out in May 2017! How will I survive?
There is also the last hours trilogy which is going to be intertwined with the dark artifices so... maybe - I'm hoping - we'll get the first book of the last hours (chain of gold) before Lord of shadows? Please let it be so. 

Casandra is and always will be one of my most favorite authors of all times. 



Heroes aren't always the ones who win. They are the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes  
-- Clary Fairchild. 



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