When I found out that Cassandra Clare was writing another Shadowhunter series, I was so incredibly excited. I am a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series and an even bigger fan of The Infernal Devices series. I think the Shadow World that she has created is just so fascinating and immersive and I love all of the stories that she has created in this world. And this novel is no different, it truly impressed me and was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Cassandra, a whirlwind of feelings.
Lady Midnight starts five years after the events of the final Mortal Instruments novel in the Los Angeles Institute and follows Emma Carstairs, a girl who’s become obsessed with avenging her parents’ death, which had been blamed on someone who she does not believe killed them; Emma’s parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, a boy who had to become the father to his younger siblings after the death of his father; Cristina Rosales, a girl at the institute to study the ways of the Los Angeles institute while also escaping something back home; and the other Blackthorn children: Ty, Livvy, Dru, and Tavvy. Emma ends up finding out information that leads her to find a body of a murdered person, someone with similarities to the circumstances of her parents’ deaths. This leads the group on an investigation, which becomes significantly more complicated when Faeries get involved, especially when they offer something the team cannot refuse, Mark Blackthorn, the oldest son of the Blackthorn children, who had been taken by the Faeries to join the Wild Hunt five years prior.
This book was so good, I immediately fell in love with it. I think Cassandra does a great job of explaining terms so that someone who may not have read the previous series could read this though I really wouldn’t recommend it because although she does explain things, there’s still so much that you won’t know going into this. The characters are unique but they’re definitely a combination of characters from the previous novels, for example Emma is kind of a mixture of Jace (The Mortal Instruments) and Will (The Infernal Devices), in my opinion; whereas I feel like Julian is a mixture of Clary (The Mortal Instruments) and also Will (The Infernal Devices). But I still felt that each character was unique and they all contribute something different to the novel. The story is very interesting and different from the others because it gives you more of a glimpse of Downworlder life then I feel like the other stories did, or at least a different perspective then you received in the previous books. This novel has a forbidden romance that really pulls on your heartstrings and I can only hope it is resolved in the future novels, for the sake of my heart! And of course there is a major betrayal in the book, because Cassandra can’t ever let you become too attached to characters, but the betrayal is due to love lost that is truly heartbreaking and shows you just how cruel the Clave can be. One of my favorite aspects of the book, however, is that each chapter is named for a line from the poem “Annabelle Lee” by my all time favorite writer/poet, Edgar Allen Poe, and the poem itself makes an appearance throughout the story.
Something that I really want to address though is all the negativity that I’ve been seeing on a number of different sites regarding the fact that the series was even started. Some are angry with Cassandra for making yet another Shadowhunter series and that is something that I just really don’t understand. It’s not like other authors haven’t taken a universe and developed several series out of it like she has and I don’t understand what the deal is anyway. The story is really well written and the novel is a really solid start to the new series, and I just don’t understand all the negativity before the novel even came out. If you’re going to hate on a novel, read it first and have an educated opinion as to why you don’t like it, don’t diss it before you’ve even read it.