Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McEldery Books
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Song I Played While Reading: You & Me (Flume Remix) by Disclosure
Rating: 3.5 stars
In a kingdom by the sea...
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your bets friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other- but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder wit her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries- the most powerful of the supernatural creatures- teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma's parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma's chance to revenge- and Julian's chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks... and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from seas caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery were death is dispense. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. 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 the know the truth?
My life lately has been nothing but Shadowhunters. All in the month of March, I listened to the audiobook of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, read The Shadowhunters Codex, drooled over A History of Notable Shadowhunters, watched the tv show, and started Lady Midnight. I almost even started rereading City of Bones, because I was getting some hard core TMI feels from Shadowhunter Academy, but knew that would be ridiculous and a sort of waste of time. I had too much to do and too many books I had to review, so that was out of the question. I guarantee it'll happen at some point this year, though.
I remember reading about the Blackthorn family and Emma in City of Heavenly Fire and thinking to myself, "How the FRICK am I going to remember all these kids?" Dru and Ty and Livvy and Tavvy and Julian and Emma and WAIT, let's occasionally call them by their full names too! Drusilla and Octavian and Tiberius and Livia AND CANT FORGET MARK AND HELEN, TOO! I kept getting Ty/Tiberius and Tavvy/Octavian confused and would mix up their full names, and then couldn't remember if Dru was a girl or not, so the first 50 pages were a hot mess. Thank god for A History of Notable Shadowhunters or else I would've been so confused.
The biggest thing for me in this book was the family and relationship dynamics. I adored everyone, so I loved seeing how they all interacted with each other. I loved it, but my soul was also constantly being crushed by the responsibility Julian had on his shoulders. It utterly confounded me that NO ONE thought to hire some sort of nanny, or that Julian might be taking on too much. I was pissed off at Diana a lot, since she obviously saw and knew what Julian had been through, yet never thought to ask if he needed help or to even offer her own services to watch the kids occasionally. I wanted to beat her up. But besides the occasional annoyance at her, every scene with the kids and Mark just had me beaming. Or crying, if Julian was reminiscing on how he thought of the kids as his own and all the things he had to learn to take care of them. He's my kryptonite, I swear.
I wasn't overly thrilled with Emma. She was kind of... bland to me. She definitely was not as funny as she thought she was, because she would occasionally make some quip about how she was "so witty" and I would stop and think, "Actually, you really aren't." There were maybe 2 or 3 scenes where she said something funny, but most of the time she was all talk. Julian was just a god damn cinnamon roll, though he could be slightly scary (ex: the scene after the big show down when he twists the whole story into the pizza thing and gets the one guy in trouble, hello HOW DID YOU THINK ON YOUR FEET THAT FAST AND ACT SO SERIOUS????). Mark was another cinnamon roll, but he was a spicy one (ex: "Why lie?" *SWOONS*). Cristina, Diego, and the rest of the Blackthorn kiddies were all fantastic too, especially my quirky cinnamon roll, Ty.
I wasn't a huge fan of the plot line, this murder mystery. Until we got to the the Lady Midnight children's rhyme, I was extremely bored. Like, reeeeeeeeeeeally bored. Sad bored, because I wanted to love this as much as everyone else did, but I couldn't, which is why it took me a week to finish this. I've learned that no matter how long the book is, I'll finish it relatively quickly if I'm enjoying it. But if I don't, then it'll take me longer, no matter how much I think I'm enjoying it.
I also spoiled myself because I'm a damn idiot and read something on the Shadowhunters Wiki about a certain character in Lady Midnight, so that definitely took away from the surprise of finding out who was killing all these people. I lurved the way Cassie twisted this plot with a poem, a poem I won't name because I don't want to spoil people, but it's one of my all time favorite poems ever and I was getting MAJOR feels from it. And speaking of feels... KIT *SCREAMS AND RUNS AROUND AND CRIES AND JUMPS FOR JOY AND HUGS LADY MIDNIGHT TO MY CHEST* WAY TO FUCK ME UP, CASSIE. DAMN.
So overall, this was a middle book for me: it had it's boring parts, but it definitely had it's AMAZING parts, so 3.5 will have to do. And I only bumped it up half a star because of the ending and my sudden love for two people who I was not expecting to love.
"When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They're in everything you do. They're in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don't think they're perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don't frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don't want perfect. You want them."
"But he hurt Jules, so when we track him down, I'm going to chop him up and feed him to my fish."
"You don't have fish," Julian said.
"Well, I'm going to buy some," said Emma. "I'm going to buy goldfish and feed them blood until they acquire a taste for human flesh."
"These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.
"Diego looked at Emma with serious brown eyes. "If I had known what was to happen, I would have stayed and volunteered to be whipped myself. I am more muscular and larger than you, and I probably could have taken it better."
"I took it fine," said Emma, annoyed. "But thanks for the reminder that you're an enormous hulk. I might have forgotten otherwise."
"Julian looked at her for a moment. He had lived by ironclad rules for so long. Protect Tavvy, protect Livvy and Ty, protect Dru. Protect Emma. Recently that had widened out slightly- he would protect Mark, because Mark had come back, and he would protect Cristina, because Emma loved her.
It was a sort of love few other people could understand. It was total and it was overwhelming and it could be cruel. He would destroy a whole city if he thought that city posed some threat to his family."