My thoughts immediately after finishing this book at 2:40 a.m. July 10, 2016:
I don’t even think I can coherently describe my feelings about this book right now but it’s over. IT’S FREAKING OVER AND I’M FREAKING OUT BECAUSE OF THE FREAKING ENDING AND THE FREAKING EPILOGUE AND WHEN DOES THE NEXT ONE FREAKING COME OUT I NEED IT NOW!
So after some sleep, I think I may be able to gather my thought in a way that sort of makes sense. There will be many MANY important spoilers that you will not want to read if you intend to read Lady Midnight in the near future so steer clear of the next part if that’s the case. I also recommend that this book is read after all of Cassie’s other books as each series and novella compilation leads up to this story.
My rating: 5 stars
Characters and thoughts
I’ll start with the characters themselves. This is a new story from Cassie Clare and is slated to be another trilogy so that means a new group of characters. These characters are Emma Carstairs, Julian, Mark, Drusilla (Dru), Olivia (Livvy), Tiberius (Ty), Octavian (Tavvy), and Uncle Arthur Blackthorn, Malcolm Fade, Christina, Diana, and Perfect Diego to name the majority of them. This bunch is much different than the group from the Mortal Instruments series because they are living in the Los Angeles Institute basically without adult supervision. Arthur is supposed to be their guardian, but he is incapable of this task because he has gone mentally insane. Their tutor, Diana, could have become the head of the institute instead, but she has secrets that are unknown even as the book ends and she does not live at the institute or see everything the children are doing on their own. Julian has taken on the task of being a father to his younger siblings since he was 12 years old, and by now he is also secretly running the institute and hiding many secrets himself.
Emma is hellbent on solving the murder of her parents which occurred 5 years before. She has filled her closet with any evidence or clues she could find and has put some information together due to a resurgence in killings similar to her parents’ murder. She visits the Shadow Market, kind of like the black market of the Shadowhunter world, and gets a tip from a man called Johnny Rook (has a son named Kit Rook to come into play later) that the similarities are not a coincidence. She’s the new Clary, a strong female lead character falling in love in yet another forbidden way. I have to hand it to Cassie, she’s never repeated a forbidden love story or love triangle situation. It’s always something new.
Mark Blackthorn is another of the Blackthorn siblings, but he was taken by the Wild Hunt because he is a half-faerie half-Shadowhunter, and the Clave refused to let the Shadowhunters do anything to get him back. he has been gone for 5 years, but the faeries decide to bring him back to aid in the investigation of the new murders supposedly because the victims are faeries. He’s an interesting character because I don’t think Cassie has introduced a bisexual character before Mark (Maybe Magnus but it seems he favors men more). Helen, his older sister who is also half faerie, has been banished to Wrangel Island so she can be “safe” but really it’s because there is some major discrimination against the Fae species now. She is married to her longtime girlfriend Aline Penthallow (seen in previous books), and I don’t know. It seems a bit weird to me that Cassie has made so many of her Downworlder characters gay or bisexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just an observation). I really like Mark, though, and I found it somewhat satisfying and also somewhat creepy that he is very into dating Emma at the end of the book because he seemed to really like both Keiran and Christina. Another way to think about it would be that Mark is now also going to use this situation to make Christina jealous because she is seemingly back with Diego at the end. I am curious to see what happens between Emma, Mark, Julian, and Christina in the continuation of the series and how their relationships change. I love that Livvy ad Ty messed with Mark the night he went to the Midnight Theater with Christina, Julian, and Emma. It was such a sibling prank to play on him since he had been outside the regular world for so long that he would be easily punked into trying to go to a semi-formal party in just a fur coat.
Christina is a great new addition to the gang at the start of the book. She came from an Institute in Mexico and has traveled to the LA Institute for her Year abroad, a part of a Shadowhunter’s training that I did not know existed until this book. I think it’s a new thing because it was convenient for Christina’s backstory (lol). But all that weirdness aside, Christina is a great loyal friend for Emma. She’s exactly what Emma needed, but it’s just too bad that Emma and Julian decided to become Parabatai so early before falling in love and finding a friend that could be the right Parabatai for each of them. Christina is always there for Emma and they have fallen into such an easy friendship in a short amount of time, Christina is even able to gauge when Emma is hiding something and can even usually guess what it is. She is wise for her age and I really like her as a new character in this story.
Julian is a father in his own way. He is also madly in love with his Parabatai, Emma, and that is something forbidden in the Shadowhunter world. I find the reason a bit interesting because Jem’s explanation made it sound both good and bad to fall in love with your Parabatai. It became obvious that their romantic love was adding to the strength of their bond, but learning that the strength would eventually grow so strong that they’d both go mad with power was a bit of a shock. I have faith that Julian and Emma will work it out. I will say that while the reason their love is forbidden is different, the solution is the same. Emma going to Mark is almost exactly like Clary going straight to Simon when she found out she couldn’t be in love with Jace (her brother- at the time) at the end of City of Bones. That’s really my only annoyance about the ending of this book. I know it won’t last and that Emma and Julian will eventually end up together, I am interested to see how they get to that point.
Perfect Diego comes from Christina’s past. He was her first love back in Mexico and now he has come back into her life because he is a Centurian, trained by the Scholomance that Ty wants to go to, and he has been sent to investigate the LA murders. He accidentally shoots Julian with a deadly poisonous arrow, which clues into Emma and Julian’s super powers when she heals him. I didn’t like him at first because it appeared that he was working with the killer and not against him, but I grew to like him after finding out otherwise. He seems like an honorable man, and I think he really does love Christina so I approve.
Keiran is still a bit hard to pin down on the scale of like or hate for me. I don’t like his attitude, but I like his commitment to getting back into Mark’s good graces. It sounds like those two shared a pretty important relationship in faerie and I am interested to see if this pans out in the next books. I like the description of his hair too, magical color-changing hair that responds to his emotions. It sounds pretty cool. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Keiran.
Malcolm Fade. Where do I start? I trusted him. I think he may have been the biggest fictional betrayal I have ever experience reading. I in no way suspected that he would be the Guardian, orchestrating all these murderers through his half-Downworlder followers. This was so heartbreaking because he did it so seamlessly that no one could have seen it coming! I think that was Cassie’s best writing as well, I mean her stories always throw me for a loop and the little pieces only ever click into place at the end, but the sheer lack of dramatic irony throughout this book was shockingly brilliant. Usually, I’d be able to at least tentatively predict a plot twist before it happens, but I definitely did not see this one around the corner. Malcolm was also the person who saw Emma and Julian on the beach after they had slept together and planted the horrible warning of that danger in Emma’s mind just before his death by magic ocean portal. I thought there was some sort of foreshadowing about Diana a bit earlier on in the book, but I think that was both a hint that we don’t know much about her and to throw us off the trail a bit. There is no way Diana would be capable of this anyways because it requires so much magic that a Shadowhunter can’t do. One thing I still don’t believe is that Malcolm is dead. I just have a hunch, but it could be wrong.
The Clave does not allow engagement with mundane cultural items such as computers and other types of mundane technology (but they all have phones…) and the Blackthorn household is full of Mundane things. Ty, Dru, and Arthur are all a bit obsessed with mundane things even, Ty with technology, Arthur with classic literature and philosophy, and Dru loves mundane horror movies. I found this kind of strange, but it makes sense considering the culture-heavy location of LA and the lack of Clave supervision in their institute. Ty also might have Asperger’s or ADD which I deduce from his constant hand movements and inability to look people in the eye.
The other major twist at the end includes two of my favorite Cassie Clare creations: Tessa Grey and Jem Carstairs from the Infernal Devices trilogy. They have been searching for the son of Tobias Herondale (story told in the Shadowhunter Academy stories), and they have found him at last. He is, in fact, Kit Rook, son of Johnny Rook. Johnny had been hiding Kit from the Shadowhunters and telling his son horrible things about them, so naturally Kit was not exactly happy to be shoved into an institute full of them and being told that he actually is one. That will be another interesting part of the coming books. I assume he will become a great Shadowhunter, but, for now, he’s just a grumpy recently orphaned teen.
The title came around as the reason Malcolm was killing people. Super creepy to find out that the bodies didn’t even matter, though. All he needed was the hand that had committed the murder. *cringe* Anyways, Lady Midnight is the person Malcolm wants to bring back to life, Annabel Blackthorn (who I will always call Annabel Lee because of the use of Poe’s poem). So Annabel and Malcolm had fallen in love before it became okay for Shadowhunters and Downworlders to do so and Annabel had been murdered by their family as a result. Malcolm forevermore held a grudge against the entire Blackthorn family which led him to deceive them and almost kill Tavvy to complete is revival spell to bring Annabel back from the dead. WHICH FREAKING WORKED ANYWAYS. How I do not know, but I do know that we’re sure to find out soon enough. The epilogue sent my mind spinning (as you can probably see from the start of this post) and I just don’t understand how she is alive even though the spell was never completed!
There are a couple of things that have been left hanging at the end of this book because, as we all know, there will be two more books in this series.
Firstly, there is a character named Wren who is a purple-haired Mundane “witch” and was introduced in the first chapter with Kit at the Shadow Market. This girl is friends with Kit, but she doesn’t show up in any part of the book past that part. I suspect she is still around and will be playing a part in the future of Kit Herondale (formerly known as Kit Rook)’s story line.
This was just a random thought, but how did the Toyota get fixed after the night the Followers attacked the institute. The Toyota had been severely damaged that night (tire blown up, smashed front), but this was totally ignored later on when they took the Toyota out to the Convergence with no indication that the recent damage had even happened. I’m probably the only one who caught that but it made me think anyhow.
Cassie left us with a little short story with the New York gang at the end here in which we get to see the engagement party Clary, Jace, Magnus, and Robert came from after the altercation in LA with Malcolm. It’s really sweet and everyone is so happy. There are so many little continuations from Shadowhunter Academy like that Beatriz and Julie are Parabatai and Beatriz is the new Institute tutor and Simon is in a new position called a Recruiter to find new Shadowhunters. I think it’s a great tiny addition to their story and I hope we get to see more. Of course, I know it got interrupted due to the events in LA and a juicy bit of info in regards to that was that Jace had just proposed to Clary, but she has yet to respond. For some reason, she is dreading the response she will give, which is weird because I would assume the answer is yes, but maybe there is something holding her back. Hopefully we will get some more on that soon too.
There was also a creepy bit of foreshadowing early on when Arthur said this cryptic thing:
“You’re a good boy,” he said to Julian. “But it won’t help you, in the end.” (Page 62)
I anticipate that this will be more important later on in the series. Sometimes, it’s like Arthur has some sort of prophetic powers and he goes into a trance and says these things. Maybe there will be more of this in the future, but as for this quote, I think Julian is not going to forget it.
I think those are all my thoughts for now, so I’ll catch you real soon with another review! Leave a comment and share your thoughts, I’d love to see if you caught anything I missed!
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