Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: "Lady Midnight" by Cassandra Clare

It is 5 years after the Dark Wars.  Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs are parabatai, living at the Los Angeles Institute when a series of murders in the area catches their attention.  Someone is killing Downworlders & mundanes alike, but no one knows who.  This is of particular interest to Emma, as the bodies all bear the same markings as her parent's bodies when they were killed.  The Faeries come and ask Julian and Emma to investigate and deliver the killer to them (as faerie blood has been spilled as well) and in return, they will give them back Mark Blackthorn, Julian's older half brother.  There is a lot riding on this investigation...  one that they willing take on, even though The Clave has expressly forbidden doing anything with Faeries.

Alright.  I have to start by saying that I have loved this Shadowhunter world ever since I first discovered it, some years ago.  This is a start of a brand new trilogy, but touches briefly on some favorite characters from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.  In fact, finish those series before you read this one.  But if it has been awhile, don't fear as Clare will fill in all the details from those books as you need them here.  Repeatedly.  As in, everytime Jace and Clary are mentioned in the first 250 pages, you will get their full names just in case you forgot.

This brings me to my first complaint - I feel like this book could have easily been about 200 pages shorter.  Does Clare's editor even edit for her anymore?  Or is this the end result of a lot of editing?  ((shudder))  SO MUCH could have been cut.  I think there were three or four separate occasions in which we were describe, in many of the same details, that Julian's younger brother Ty is "different" somewhat like being on the autism spectrum, but without ever actually giving it a name or diagnosis.  So many things were described repeatedly that it got pretty annoying.  Then all of a sudden, a visiting Shadowhunter, Cristina, just starts referring to her home Institute as D.F. and I don't thing that was ever actually defined.  Or if it was, it was buried and I missed it and I found myself no longer caring.

I was talking with a co-worker about this little editing/continuity issue as well:  Julian is a painter.  At one point, there is about a page and a half of descriptions of the tarot-card like paintings he did of each member of his family.  Then it says that he very rarely paints people, and goes on about everything he paints besides people (except all the preceding paintings).  Further on in the book, we find that he has an entire secret room filled with paintings of Emma.

Oh yeah, Emma and Julian are in love with each other, but it is forbidden to be "in love" with your parabatai.  If you love your parabatai because he or she is a family member, that's okay.  But just not romantic love.  That is just too powerful I guess.  ((Me not buying it)).

So, yeah, I was told to stick it out, that the ending would make it worth it...  and all I can say to that is , sure, I guess, sorta.  I didn't love this book.  I don't believe in the "twists" thrown in at the end, and I really don't think I'll continue with this series.  I think I have reached the end of my involvement with Shadowhunters.

Edit to add:  I really like the cover I'm showing above.  It is the first edition, and it is gorgeous.  I just went to add it to the post for an Amazon link, and all I can get is the one below - which is some sort of special edition hardcover bullshit whatever.  Can they just not rerelease all of her books seventy bajillion times?  Honestly.  The money grab is embarrassing.

*****

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