Published: March 8th, 2016
by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Companion to: The Mortal Instruments
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.
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?
Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.
Don’t look so shocked at that rating, because it’s still good. Not great, but good. I now know that I’ll be continuing the series, but only when all the books are released. I’ll binge read them, much like I did The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. I was looking forward to this series so much that I totally pushed aside the fact that this world is getting tiring. Maybe because I’ve read a lot of Shadowhunter stories, I don’t know. I’m sure if this was just another book in the TMI series, I’d feel differently. This being a spin-off of the original Shadowhunters, I’m just ready for it all to end. Don’t get me wrong, Clare has created a very detailed world and a wide range of characters and beasts to go with it. I’m just ready for her to tackle a new world (or genre, if I’m being honest). It took me exactly a week to read this enormous book, and THAT is partly what influenced my rating. The other part is the lack of excitement while reading. It started off interesting, then dropped, then picked up, then went totally off course, and finished with a bang. You can see why I’m a little crazy right now.
To start, Emma Carstairs is a great heroine. I love it when a character is set on revenge. Her purpose was to find out about her parents’ deaths. She’s mainly why I wanted to read this book so badly. After finishing City of Heavenly Fire nearly 2 years ago, I wanted to see just what Clare would bring up in terms of exploring this. To have this book centered around Emma and her parabatai, Julian, was a good way to go. For those of you who don’t know the term parabatai, it is a lifelong partner to kick ass with, basically. Now, from my understanding, if they were to fall in love, that would be bad. So, I wasn’t surprised when Clare flips the script! Emma and Julian cannot ignore the fact that they have feelings for each other. Of course, this causes tension all over the book. Julian is a great guy. I admire him for stepping up and taking care of his siblings. I also love his bada** persona. Some of his actions were a little shady. But, this is about survival, so I understand. He’s still that guy who I would love to be friends with. Family and loyalty is all that he needs. I found his character to be very well fleshed out.
Enter Mark Blackthorn, Julian’s brother. He’s…….something else entirely. I’m looking forward to exploring more of his character, but what we have right now is enough to make you root for him. He has been through a lot, and it’s very hard to not feel sympathetic towards his character. Another character that will have an important role in this series is Kit Rook. You already know that something twisty will happen with someone who opens the story. It just really reminded me of City of Bones; that revelation. It all goes back to TMI. As far as this whole story goes, Clare did a great job of creating tension. I just feel like most of this could have been left out. But then Emma had to go and get all righteous at the end. Why must we have to wait for it all to blow up at the end of each book?!!
The thing I’m not happy about is all the TMI references. I get it, there has to be some ground work for new readers who don’t know what happened in the other books, and it’s hard to ignore the characters who shaped this world to begin with. It was just really boring and I wanted to skimmedy-skim-skim. I can’t count the number of times that I put the book down. Unlike all the other monster books in the previous series, I couldn’t keep reading until the end. That means I wasn’t as engrossed as I would have liked. Trust me, if I wanted to read this book nonstop all the way through, I’d have loaded up on coffee and only taken restroom breaks. I just wasn’t as invested in this story, but I will still finish the series. How can I not when there are just too many new revelations dropping? Emma is no Clary. And Julian is no Jace. I say that because I actually like the characters in this book more. I think my fascination with TMI is the world building. Well, it’s pretty much established here, so I can appreciate all of these characters and all of their faults and accomplishments.
I’m sure I don’t have to say that I recommend this book. Just not with enthusiasm. However, if you’re a Shadowhunter fanatic, then I’m sure you’ll have no problem being brought back to some big moments within the Shadowhunter universe. If you are a new reader, I really suggest at least reading TMI or TID first, just to get a feel for this world. It’s not really hard to navigate this book, since previous things that have happened are mentioned. It’s a more than okay read, I just wish I didn’t get a tad bored and put it down too much. Still, the plot twists kept me interested in finishing it. There are fairies, murder, mayhem, blackmail, Blackthorns all over the place, and a villain killing in the name of love. *snorts* I’m glad that I read it, but I will now just wait until all the books are out. Even with that ending!