Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight
Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Oh. My. God. As soon I finished reading the very last sentence before the epilogue I sat in my room whispering "Stop. Stop. STOP. Stop. Stop stop stop stop stop. Stop. S t o p," to myself over and over again in varying speeds and intonations until I could compose myself enough to go on. I had a few of those outbursts throughout the 668 pages. I don't even know where to start with this book. I think I'm going to have to do a non-spoilery half and a spoilery half because I truly have so many screams to let out. Okay. I'm breathing. Non-spoilers. Let's go.

So I got the book on the 8th when it came out but I was traveling and all that fun stuff until the 19th which took up a lot of time as it tends to so while I did read about half of it during my trip, I read the other half the night after I came back and I stayed up until 7am finishing it and then I couldn't sleep because my body was just screaming from the entire book and all that happened. I feel like I just need to add some exclamation marks here I think they belong here: !!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I do think if you have not read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices you should definitely read those first, not just because the characters pop in/are referenced but because we jump straight into the Shadowhunting world unlike the other two series where there are characters who are used to introduce us to it. The book doesn't totally operate on the assumption that someone already knows how the world works and there are definitely elaborations but they're pretty minimal compared to the world-building that's done in the previous books. Also, Emma and Julian are introduced in TMI and a lot of Lady Midnight's plot centers around repercussions of things that happened in the Dark War at the end of TMI. Basically, it's easier to know the backstory.

Anyway, I think even if I wasn't traveling, I wouldn't have read the first half of the book all in one go because it honestly just really hurt to read. Like, Cassandra Clare did such an amazing job with the actual writing that just reading the descriptions of things like parabatai bonds and of love were just so eloquent and powerful that I needed to read them in doses because it was a lot for my heart to handle. I mean, the whole book was a lot for my heart to handle but once the eloquent inner monologues started to get more frequently dispersed with ~~things happening~~ I found that I could read more (although then I wanted to just read a whole book of eloquent inner monologue but ya know).  And I was so sure I wasn't going to like it as much as The Infernal Devices (because honestly warlocks and Victorian England who can beat that???) but it was honestly just so. good. and so well written that I think they are rivaling one another.

Something I really liked was that the writing was beautiful without sacrificing plot just to draw focus on purple prose or anything. They had a great balance and I found myself equally enthralled by where the story took the characters and by what they had to say (or think) about it. Also, I don't know about other people who might be more astute than I am, but I personally didn't see the big plot reveals coming, but it's not like they were just thrown in for shock factor because once you do find out, pieces of foreshadowing from the beginning of the book come forward in your mind.

Also, I loved all the characters. Even the ones I hated, I loved the way they were written. I could do a whole dissertation on the characters so I'm going to try to keep this as short as possible because I've already started rambling. Anyway, I feel like Julian and Emma are who we got the most perspective from and it was so jarring to see how differently they thought but how well they worked as parabatai. Also my heart broke over and over again at their entire existences -- Julian having to raise his siblings since we was 12, Emma feeling like the only thing she has is revenge and physical strength, their deep unrelenting love.

Also, while we're on Blackthorns, I thought the younger siblings had just enough screen time (page time?) that they were fleshed out and relevant without being so overly focused on that it gave us too many people to keep up with. I especially loved Ty, who sees the world so differently and is so smart and is just the best. I think the descriptions of his behaviors line up with Autism or Asperger's but I'm not a doctor so I don't know if that's what she was going for, since these things don't have names in the Shadowhunter world really so none of them ever said he had some specific ~~thing~~. Also, still on Blackthorns: Mark Blackthorn. God. I could say so much. Honestly, I loved him and I loved his mannerisms and I was so interested to explore the half-Shadowhunter-half-faerie narrative where he isn't like "ok I'm gonna be a Shadowhunter because I can take Marks and pretend I don't have another half of a species in my blood" and really is attuned to his faerie side. Okay, I said this would be short and it is definitely not short so the last character I'm going to mention in Cristina. Actually, before that, I want to mention that we have a new warlock in this book! What! He's blonde and spacey and likes romcoms and is friends with Magnus, who we get to see pop in a little. Okay, anyway, so Cristina is literally an angel. (No she's literally a Shadowhunter fine) She's smart and cute and is in LA for her travel year away from her institute in Mexico. She's the Best Girl Friend Emma needs, and you probably need. And the lil moments when she gets sad melted my entire being into mush.

I can't believe I managed to write this much in a non-spoiler section because when I finished the book I felt like the only things I could say about it were to people who already read it, but it's been a little while and I've cooled down (no I haven't) and let's be real, when do I ever shut up enough to be succinct. My point being: I was going to do a spoiler section but I changed my mind, but if you did read the book and you want to scream about spoilery things with me, hit me up using any of the social media buttons on the right (okay don't message me about book spoilers on LinkedIn but I'll reply to you everywhere else) and we will talk and it'll be rad.

On an end note, I thought everything about this book was so artfully done. From the use and incorporation of the poem "Annabel Lee" to the dialogue that felt so real and natural to the fact that it was a lowkey murder mystery sitch to the heavy exploration of faeries and their customs, the whole book was phenomenal and I'll let you know how many times I reread it when I post a review in a year for the next book.

P.S: Sorry if this seems disjointed, but I myself am disjointed. Also I have so much to say that I can't say it all and trying to coherently get portions of it out is not an easy task. Like I mentioned earlier, all those social media links are up to date so if you wanna talk about Lady Midnight with me I'm here for it.

- Noor

Have you ever gone after something you weren't supposed to?
Let us know in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment