Book Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

lm.pngLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Published: 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (+ audio, Kindle)
Pages: 668
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 9-22, 2019
Grade: D
Synopsis: 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? (from Goodreads)

REVIEW

lmI read this for the fourth challenge of Romanceopoly.
Growing Pains Place: Read a young adult book (fantasy or contemporary).

It almost hurts to say this (but not enough, so here we go), but this book was so disappointing for me. Maybe that’s why I put off reading it for so long even though I’d owned it for two years, like my subconscious knew or something.

The book is very introductory — as it should be considering the high possibility of someone happening upon this book without knowing of the Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices series — but at times I still felt as though I were missing something. Like I should have known about some things before starting the book. And that’s not good. Because I have read both of those series, and I still felt lost sometimes. Despite that, there is so much info-dumping at the beginning. For example, there’s a scene at the beginning where all the kids are having a history lesson with Diana, and it’s totally there just to tell readers what’s happened since City of Heavenly Fire. That’s lazy writing. We as readers could essentially sit in for the characters there.

The dialogue was pretty cringey sometimes. Teenagers don’t actually talk like that. Were the other books the same? I at least know that the dialogue in The Infernal Devices was better since I’ve re-read Clockwork Angel recently. The book could have been shorter, as well — really, Clare often repeated herself, in her descriptions or re-telling things to other characters that could have been paraphrased. I think she described the same exact aspects of Ty’s autism over and over again, as if she were trying to pound it into my brain. That made it seem like less of a character trait or condition and more of a gimmick. And sometimes it felt as if the individual scenes were taking as long to read as it would for them to take place in real life, which is just too slow. One of the perks of reading a story rather than watching it is that you can condense more material into less space.

There’s so much teen angst. Okay, fine, I haven’t been a teen for a while, but never did I have that much angst in my life. I’ve read other YA books where the angst is kept to a manageable amount. I know it’s too much when I get annoyed at the characters.

I wish characters from the other books didn’t show up so much. I mean, I like them, but they’ve had their books. It felt like fan service to me and added to the overall contrived feeling of the book. I understand why Clare continues writing within this universe — it’s a good one. But sometimes this book could feel almost like recycled bits of her other books.

This is a bit spoilery, but at one point Julian shows Emma a secret room full of pictures he’s drawn of her. Umm…creepy serial killer vibe much?? It’s one thing to have a secret stash of drawings — that’s fine. But to have a whole room dedicated to it? Not so much. Now, I’m a romance reader. The romance in this book is just lackluster and cringey. It could have been good, but sadly it just wasn’t. There’s also a sex scene (on the beach wtf). Julian has an orgasm, and THEN asks Emma if she’s sure this is okay. Wrong order, my dude. And the way Emma uses Mark at the end of the book…just no. Noble idiocy kills me every time. Purposely hurting someone in order to protect them or somehow try to help them is still hurting them, which doesn’t bode well for a relationship.

The plot is…fine. But I’m not sure I want to continue with the series, or even the rest of Clare’s books. This doesn’t cancel out how much I enjoyed the first two series (even if I think TMI should have ended at City of Glass as it was originally supposed to), but I don’t think I’m even going to keep this book. I might donate it for a library book sale.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Everyone is more than one thing,” said Kieran. “We are more than single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.” (565)
  • “No one is ever the villain of their own story.” (605)

SERIES ORDER

 


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