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

5/5 Stars 
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published March 8th, 2016

Synopsis: 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. 

This book was literally magic. Everything was so effortlessly put together and arranged to make your heart bend, break, and snap. Lady Midnight has to be the best starter to a series Cassandra Clare has ever put out. The writing was sophisticated, eloquent, and mature in a way that was so unexpected. Of course, I expected nothing but greatness from Cassie, but this was beyond anything I had ever hoped for. From the beginning of the prologue, Cassie has you hooked with new characters, intriguing adventure, and dialogue that is seamlessly flawless. Everything about this book was absolutely beautiful - from it's characters, to it's writing, to it's plot line. The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite book series and I certainly wasn't expecting The Dark Artifices to already top TMI within the first book.

Lady Midnight is so rich and full of diverse and complex characters. Each one is so intricate in terms of personality, that each and every trait is precise and vibrant and unlike one another. From this vast cast of characters, I can't even pick a favorite. I was so impressed with the development in each of them and the development that is to come in the later books, which is already evident by the later chapters. There is so much girl power in this book. From Emma to Cristina, to Livvy and Dru, these girls kick ass and prove that women can be strong and independent all on their own. I love the familial relations between the Blackthorns. Under unfortunate circumstances, Julian really did become the father figure in this family, so it was interesting to watch him navigate the life of a parent, yet remain that older brother. This formed unbreakable bonds between Julian and his younger siblings. Emma and Cristina's friendship reminded me a lot of my friendships with my friends. We confide in each other and find comfort, strength, and respect in one another. 

Something I always love about Cassandra Clare's books, is that no matter what part of the book you're in, you always have something to think about. Whether you're predicting what is going to happen next, or you're still dwelling on a past scene, or you're caught up in the action happening right then and there, you're always involved and intrigued. The plot lines are always fast paced, but if they start to slow down, then they'll always pick right back up with a wild revelation or fight scene. Not to mention, her writing is incredible - it is of the utmost finesse. Cassie's writing reminds me of the ocean and how the waves are constantly pushing and pulling at each other; the language rolls off your tongue like the riptides. It's admirable that Cassie can still write books set in the Shadowhunter universe, and still captivate thousands of readers. I never want her to stop. 

There was so much that happened in this book, that it definitely would not have been able to fit in a 350 page bind-up. The details that Cassie provides are always crucial to the plot and are never irrelevant or unnecessary. Even if they don't prove necessary at that exact moment, that detail will come back later on in the story. The projected plans for this story must have been to the t, because it's web of plot was all so meticulous. There was a certain, indescribable feeling of happiness that I experienced when I read this book. I'm still not sure if it was because I was finally reading a new Cassandra Clare book after two long years, or because I love everything about this story so much, but every second of waiting was worth it. I didn't think such a growth could be possible from an author that has already established herself and her way of work, but Cassie proved me wrong by blowing me away with Lady Midnight. I've attempted to read about three books after Lady Midnight, and I can tell you that I'm in a major post book depression (so if that doesn't tell you how good the book is, I don't know what can). 

lex malla, lex nulla. a bad law is no law.

(also blackstairs ... goodness me i love blackstairs)

you can also find my playlist for Lady Midnight here!!