Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.”


I noticed that the rating details of Lady Midnight on Goodreads says '4.56'. I must admit I did like The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, and I was pretty excited for this series. I was really happy when I got the copy from my local library, but now I feel that this book was not worth all the excitement. I've come to a final conclusion: this is an overrated book. Sorry folks, but I definitely do not think that Lady Midnight deserves the spotlight.


“Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.”


This is the whole thing again: five years after the City of Heavenly Fire, Emma Carstairs has evolved from a mourning child to a strong woman who is determined to find out what was responsible for her parents' death and to avenge them. Along with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, Emma sets out to investigate, following all deaths reported with immense inquisitiveness. As if that was not enough, Mark, Julian's brother, who had been captured by the faeries five years ago has been given back to his family by the faeries, since they need the Shadowhunters to help them find out the murderer amongst the faeries. The problem lies in whether Mark will be returned permanently.


“When no one you know tells the truth, you learn to see under the surface.”


Is it only me or does anyone else think that Cassandra Clare has just plagiarized from her own books? I understand that this is the sequel of the other two series, but candidly I'm tired of reading about parabatai and young women being betrayed, assuming their parents are dead and later discovering that their family is really not their family - and most importantly, falling in love in the middle of an adventure even though they know that it is forbidden. I'm sick of it; I'd really like a change from this same old Shadowhunters story. I've got a song for this, too.


“Nobody calls me 'blondie' and keeps their kneecaps.”


Our female protagonist, Emma, is “the fiercest warrior and most skilled young Shadowhunter since Jace Wayland”. Emma lost her parents when she was about 11 or 12; at the end of the Mortal Instruments. Her parents' bodies had some marks on them and dissolved when tried to move. Hence, whenever a murder case is reported, the first thing Emma asks is whether they had the marks on her parents' bodies, or whether they dissolved when they tried to move them. Honestly, she isn't doing a very good job appeasing me. Her dearest parabatai is Julian Blackthorn, whom she likes more than just a friend.


“You'll fix me, because we're parabatai. We're forever.”


Julian Blackthorn doesn't do a very good job either. For a parabatai, I think he is too vulnerable. He is not the stereotype of the male protagonist in young-adult books, but he isn't a unique character. I have very little to say about him. Talking about him puts me to sleep. I'm sure Julian could use some character improvement.


"Everyone is more than one thing."


Another problem that I find is the characters of the previous series keep reappearing. Let them be. Jem from Infernal Devices appeared; Clary from Mortal Instruments. Candidly, I'm sick of seeing the previous characters being hailed like that. I don't mind if it was the same series, or if it is a sequel, but asking for advice and literally talking with them earns from chagrin. I think Cassandra Clare needs to start afresh, and leave behind this story of Shadowhunters.
“Hello? This is Clary Fairchild.”

“Clary? It’s me, Emma.”

“Oh, Emma, hi! I haven’t heard from you in ages. My mom says thanks for the wedding flowers, by the way. She wanted to send a note but Luke whisked her away on a honeymoon to Tahiti.”

“Tahiti sounds nice.”

“It probably is — Jace, what are you doing with that thing? There is no way it’ll fit.”

“Is this a bad time?”

“What? No! Jace is trying to drag a trebuchet into the training room. Alec, stop helping him.”

“What’s a trebuchet?”

“It’s a huge catapult.”

“What are they going to use it for?”

“I have no idea. Alec, you’re enabling! You’re an enabler!”

“Maybe it is a bad time.”

“I doubt there’ll be a better one. Is something wrong? Is there anything I can do?”

“I think we have your cat.”

“What?”

“Your cat. Big fuzzy Blue Persian? Always looks angry? Julian says it’s your cat. He says he saw it at the New York Institute. Well, saw him. It’s a boy cat.”

“Church? You have Church? But I thought — well, we knew he was gone. We thought Brother Zachariah took him. Isabelle was annoyed, but they seemed to know each other. I’ve never seen Church actually likeanyone like that.”

“I don’t know if he likes anyone here. He bit Julian twice. Oh, wait. Julian says he likes Ty. He’s asleep on Ty’s bed.”

“How did you wind up with him?”

“Someone rang our front doorbell. Diana, she’s our tutor, went down to see what it was. Church was in a cage on the front step with a note tied to it. It said For Emma. This is Church, a longtime friend of the Carstairs. Take care of this cat and he will take care of you. —J.”

“Brother Zachariah left you a cat.”

“But I don’t even really know him. And he’s not a Silent Brother any more.”

“You may not know him, but he clearly knows you.”

“What do you think the J stands for?”

“His real name. Look, Emma, if he wants you to have Church, and you want Church, you should keep him.”

“Are you sure? The Lightwoods —“

‘They’re both standing here nodding. Well, Alec is partially trapped under a trebuchet, but he seems to be nodding.”

“Jules says we’d like to keep him. We used to have a cat named Oscar, but he died, and, well, Church seems to be good for Ty’s nightmares.”

“Oh, honey. I think, really, he’s Brother Zachariah’s cat. And if he wants you to have him, then you should.”

“Why does Brother Zachariah want to protect me? It’s like he knows me, but I don’t know why he knows me.”

“I don’t exactly know … But I know Tessa. She’s his — well, girlfriend seems not the right word for it. They’ve known each other a long, long time. I have a feeling they’re both watching over you.”

“That’s good. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.”

“Emma — oh my God. The trebuchet just crashed through the floor. I have to go. Call me later.”

“But we can keep the cat?”

“You can keep the cat.”
One more thing I'd like to point out is that the entire story of Lady Midnight was exaggerated. The whole story could have been fit it 300-400 pages, but the author decided to stretch it like floss. This way way too long and way too tedious. The romance didn't click either. Maybe Mark/Keiran did, but Emma/Julian - please! I didn't like the quotes much, but I had to smile to this:
“He bumped into a pay phone and said, 'Excuse me, miss,' on our way in," said Julian.

"It's polite to apologize," said Mark with the same small voice.

"Not to inanimate objects.”
Also, the words 'Lady Midnight' appeared after about 500 pages, and to think that is the name of the book. Scratch the title: it should be named Shawdowhunters: The Cycle Repeated Again and Again.


“Laws are meaningless, child. There is nothing more important than love. And no law higher.”


Finally, I wouldn't personally recommend it to anyone unless they like The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, but reluctantly and halfheartedly, because even though it corresponds with the other two series, I still don't fancy it.



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