Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Publication: 8th March 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Genre: YA, Fantasy.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A books from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016.

Synopsis (Goodreads)

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

My Thoughts

I told my self I wouldn’t do this. I told myself I wouldn’t read another Cassandra Clare book. I told myself I wouldn’t put myself through the disappointment. Then I ending up buying it. I told myself I wouldn’t read it. I told myself it could just sit on my shelf to complete my collection. Then I read it.

I don’t know why I did it. I dislike Cassandra Clare. She blatantly takes things from other people’s books and says they’re inspiration (see my review on The Iron Trial). She is a fan pleaser, and I freaking hate that. Her fan pleasing completely destroys what was good about the books (See review of TMI).

Firstly, this is meant to be a stand alone series. But if you haven’t read any of her other books, don’t read this first. It completely ruins the endings of TID and TMI. I would say all of her books, but I don’t know about The Bane Chronicles, so I would say go ahead and read that before you read this one too.

This book is a whopping 698 pages long. And what happens in those 698 pages? Bugger all. This book is about 400 pages too long. Stuff happens in the first 150 pages and in the pages 450ish -550ish and that’s it. The rest of it is just filler. There’s lots of talking and lots of focus on different characters.

The problem was, there were so many different characters that I didn’t really get attached to any of them. Emma was basically a gender-bend version of Jace, who was sarcastic and made lots of stupid decision like going off without telling her Parabati. She’s confident and a strong female protagonist but I didn’t overly like her. Julian like a mixture of Simon and Clary; family focused, fiercely loyal and with an artistic flare. Marc was a bit more interesting, having returned from the faeries, it was interesting to see his conflict between where his loyalties lied. My favourite character was Cristina because she felt different and there was a bit of mystery there.

What really wound me up about this book was the cameos. Now I know lots of readers would love this but it really got on my nerves. Was there really any need for them to appear? Did they really add anything to the plot other than a constant reminder that they’re there?

One of my saving graces of this book was Emma’s decision at the end. I know what lots of fans reaction will be, and I bet Cassandra will rectify that in later books, but that peaked my interest a bit.

Will I read book 2? I say no. I want to say no. I bet I’ll end up reading it.

My Rating

2-stars

The Coffee Book Tag

I’m personally not a coffee drinker (it sends me way too hyper) I’m an avid tea drinker. Like, 8 cups a day avid. However, I had a lot of fun doing this tag – so thank you Beth at reading every night for tagging me! Go and have a look at her answers by clicking on the link!

The Coffee Book Tag

Black:
A series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutoski: I have completed the first book (review to come soon) and am halfway through the second. Kestrel isn’t for everyone but I find her very intriguing. The series is insanely popular at the moment.

 


Peppermint mocha:
A book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year

This one threw me off a bit! The only thing I can think of is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or The Grinch by Dr Seuss but mainly due to the films rather than because I / others read them at Christmas.

 


Hot chocolate:
A favourite children’s book

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling: If you know me at all, you will know that I am crazily slightly obsessed with Harry Potter. I began reading it when I was seven and have read the entire series at least five times over. I own a ridiculous healthy amount of merchandise and have been to the Harry Potter Studio Tours twice 😀

P1010329.JPG

I got to open the doors!


Double shot of espresso:
A book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish

Into the Darkest Corner

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes: It is just so chilling!

 


Starbucks:
A book you see everywhere

Lady Midnight  by Cassandra Clare: Every bookstore I go into there are loads of her books. There was an entire table covered in just this one i the last Waterstones I entered. I tell myself I won’t read another of hers and yet I can’t help myself. It’s currently sitting on my coffee table ready to be read (It’s ridiculously big!).

 


That hipster coffee shop:
A book by an indie author (a shoutout)

Riyria books by Michael J. Sullivan: A sarcastic theif/former assassin and an idelistic mercenary/brilliant swordman join forces. The results are amazing!

 


Oops! I accidentally got decaf:
A book you were expecting more from

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare: I invested so much into The Mortal Instruments series and this final one was ultimately just a fan pleaser.

 


The perfect blend:
A book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying

The Magicians' Guild (Black Magician, #1)

The Black Magician Series by Trudi Canavan: Just could not put them down!

 


Green tea:
A book or series that is quietly beautiful

One by Sarah Crossan: I read this over the summer and it was an instant 5*. Definitely under appreciated.

 


Chai tea:
A book or series that makes you dream of far off places

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I love this book so much. The library just sounds amazing.

 


Earl grey:
A favourite classic

Alice

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: I own the beautify copy above by the Folio Society. Another thing that I also own a huge amount of merchandise for – mainly cups.

 


Who do you tag?

The Book Llama

Amberinoface

AloofBook

Read.Run.Study

ABookishFetish

Sherlockianbooklover

If there’s anyone else out there who wants to take part, consider yourself tagged. Just send me a link to your post in the comments so I can see what your answers are.

Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors”.

1. Sarah J Maas – Although I only started reading her books last year, I loved Throne of Glass so much I will buy anything else she writes. I didn’t even bother reading the blurb for A Court of Thorns and Roses before I bought it.

2. Trudi Canavan – I loved both the Black Magician series and The Traitor Spy series, I wouldn’t hesitate to read anything new by her.

3. Patrick Rothfuss – I would rather he be working on the final book in the King Killer Chronicles, but I would read anything else he releases. I don’t usually pre-order books, but I did for The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

4. Sarah Dessen – Her books are so lovely, enjoyable and easy to read. Each summer I go to the library and hunt out all the books they have by her.

5. George R R Martin – I feel a little bit silly with this one. I a lot of books by him, yet I’ve only manage to read the Game of Thrones and about a quarter of Rogues.

6. Julia Donaldson – Author of The Gruffalo, The Highway Rat, Room on a Broom among many others. Each book I’ve read by her has been wonderful and thoroughly enjoyed by myself and children.

7. Cassandra Clare – I keep saying I won’t buy or read any more and yet I still find myself at the till with her newest book in hand.

8. Morgan Rhodes – She wrote Falling Kingdom series, I most certainly will be buying the next few, along with the newest series she has released!

9. Michael J Sullivan – I adored the Riyria Revelations, and now he has started writing the Riyria Chronicles, which I am very excited about! They will automatically be bought, regardless of how many he ends up writing.

10. Nicholas Sparks – Similar to how I feel about Sarah Dessen, his books are just very sweet and easy to read. I like to just relax in summer and read one of his books.

What are your auto-buy reads?

Are there any authors / books that you think I should go out and buy right now?

Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From ”.

This is similar to “Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From“. Lets see how many overlap!

Image result for terry pratchettSir Terry Pratchett – 10+ Books

The Disk World Series – Although I haven’t read them all… yet!

Meg Cabot – 10 + Books

The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series

P.C.Cast – 10+ Books.

House of Night and Partholon series

Roald Dahl – 10+ Books

A childhood favourite. I recently re-read Fantastic Mr Fox and I still love it.

Charlaine Harris – 10+ Books

Sookie Stackhouse series

Jacqueline Wilson – 10+ books

Another childhood favourite. I was lucky enough to meet her, and I still own my signed book.

Anthony Horowitz – 10+

Alex Rider and The Gatekeepers series.

Cassandra Clare – 10 books

Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series

Lousie Rennison – 10 books

Confessions of Georia Nicolson Series.

Trudi Canavan – 8 Books

The Black Magician Trilogy, Traitor Spy Trilogy and Millenium’s Rule series.

Michael J Sullivan – 8 books

The Riyria Chronicles and The Riyria Revelations.

.

I thought it might be easier to put 10+ rather than counting them all, but it turns out a lot of authors have written more than ten books!

What authors have you read the most books from?

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

“They want to find a chaos mage. They say it takes a Makar to stop a Makar. As long as the Enemy is the only one of the Makar is alive, he has the advantages over us.”

Part of the Magisterium series: Book One

Release Date: September 11th 2014.

Rating: 3 / 5

(I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I was so torn after reading this. I want to like Cassandra Clare books, really I do. I keep giving her chances, but time and time again I feel disappointed by the end. This book is good, it really is, and I really like the twist at the end, but there are lots of smaller things that combined, outweigh this.

The Iron Trial is the story of Callum Hunt who, despite his best efforts to fail the test, is accepted into the Magisterium to start learning magic. Despite growing up being told that magicians are bad, they are the reason his mother died, and that he will get lost in the Magesterium tunnels and be unable to escape; Callum begins make friends, enjoy the lessons, and find out he is good at it. Soon they are made aware that they are trying to find the Makar, the only person who can control the choas element, and their only chance to defeat the Enemy of Death.

Now, if you have read other reviews, you will have noticed the constant comparison between this and Harry Potter, or people being quite aggressive in reply that just because it’s about magic doesn’t mean it is a Harry Potter rip off, and this cannot be assumed from the cover alone. Now, as someone who has read it, I can confirm that there is a lot of similarities between this and Harry Potter, and not just because it is about magic. Since reading it, I did a little bit of research on Cassandra Clare, and it turns out that before she became a successful author, she wrote Harry Potter fanfic, from Draco’s perspective. Which for me, explains an awful lot. In addition to this, both Cassandra and Holly have stated that they read a lot of magic books and series in order to get research, they stated that “We wanted to build a fun world, characters we loved, and as many twists and surprises as we could come up with. We hope that reader familiarity with witch and wizard books actually allows us a little more flexibility in terms of what readers will go along with — and also maybe there are things they won’t at all suspect!”

So what are the similarities? Both have mothers who died when they were young, both protecting them. The Enemy of Death is very similar to Volemort in that his greatest fear is death, and he tried to conquer it, and in doing so did something that was very similar to the concept of Horcruxes. There is only one person who can defeat each, Harry Potter for Voldemory, and the Makar to stop The Enemy of Death. Additionally, both are within a trio, where the children constantly break the rules but get away with it because they ultimately succeed.

So, there are a lot of similarities, not just the magic element. But equally, there are elements to this book which are unique, and make it very good. I liked the idea of the magic system, and there being five elements; fire, earth, water, air and chaos, each with a counter balance. Without giving too much away, I did rather like the ending, which wasn’t entirely predictable, which is good! Additionally, I don’t normally like books that are co-wrote, as I find it doesn’t flow very well, and you can usually tell who wrote each part based on their writing style. However, the two went together really well, and it flowed throughout.

Therefore, if you can overcome the similarities between Harry Potter, it is a good read. Will I read the next in the series? Who knows!

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

“Is that,” Isabelle said in a low, amazed voice,” Brother Zachariah? When did he get hot?”

Image

3.5 / 5

CONTAINS (mild) SPOILERS 

The long awaited final book in “The Mortal Instrument” series finally arrived, and I rushed out to buy it. Firstly, because I hate having an incomplete collection on my shelf, but more importantly, because I was excited to see what will happen. We were promised deaths. Lots of deaths. This excites me, there is nothing I love more than an author who is willing to test their characters, especially those who are able to kill off main characters.

As an ending to “The Mortal Instrument” series, this book was good. It tied together a lot of loose ends that the previous books had left. However, it was a fan pleaser, with no real plot twists or surprises. Everyone gets a happy ending. Although we were promised deaths, these were predictable deaths. I was hoping that Cassy may kill off a main character, for me, that would have caused excitement and a twist. However, she never has. She killed off Max in a previous book, but he was never really a main character, and she killed Will, but he was old, and it was inevitable. For me, if she killed off a more prominent character in the book, such as Simon or Alec, it would have created excitement and that element of risk and thrill that I love.

My main frustration with the book was Emma and the Blackthorn’s story weaving throughout, who will be the main protagonists in Cassandra’s new series, “The Dark Artifices”. I felt like it did not input anything into the story, and was included into the book as a propeller into the new series. Unfortunately, due to this, I skim read most of the chapters focused on them. Personally, I would have preferred them to have has a lesser role in the book.

However, I adored “The Infernal Devices”, and was thrilled that they included Tessa and Brother Zachariah / Jem into the book. She nicely wrapped up how they came to being together, as set up in “Clockwork Princess”, without it a main focus of the book. I also loved the subtle references to the “The Infernal Devices” series, linking the world together closely, and giving a silent nod to her TID fans.

Therefore, a lovely, if not predictable ending to the series.