My mother-in-law Cathy is back today with her latest review!
The Dark Artifices #1
Paranormal Young Adult
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Amazon)
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.
Lady Midnight introduces us to a new set of Shadowhunters living in the Los Angeles Institute. Ms. Clare does a seamless job of bringing us up to date on what has been occurring in their world since the earlier books, making this storyline easy to follow without having read the previous series.
This story begins after a war between the Shadowhunters and some of the Downworlders. We meet our new heroine, Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter trying to solve the mystery of who killed her parents. Emma is strong-willed and strong-minded, with her major motivation in life being revenge. This tunnel-vision results in numerous instances where she rushes blindly ahead into danger with very little forethought, something that may be frustrating for older YA readers but a little more accepted by a younger reader. I kept wanting her to stop and think but then I am old! But it does endear Emma to us and we want to protect her. Emma does have someone who tries to curb her rashness–Julian Blackthorn. He is a wonderful character who is responsible, caring, and brave, but there is something underneath that peeks out and lets us know that there is something more to be seen.
Emma and Julian are bonded as Shadowhunter partners, parabatai, which works perfectly when they are out fighting, but as you continue to read it becomes a problem personally. This is where the romance and the angst begins and grows. There is that smoldering forbidden love that we have to watch and worry over.
Ms. Clare creates a well developed plotline of murder, deception, and mystery. There is a series of murders that Emma believes is somehow related to her parents' death. As they work together to solve these crimes, old secrets come to light and enemies need to join forces. You never know who you can trust. Just what I look for in a good suspense tale. Since this is the first book in this new series, there are a lot of characters introduced throughout the book. Ms. Clare manages to balance them all without confusing the reader too much. This is partly accomplished so well because this is a long book– almost 700 pages! Do not let that scare you, this story is compelling enough that it is a page turner and you come to know these characters so well that you are truly invested in them.
Lady Midnight manages to give something to everyone – mystery, paranormal, suspense and romance. Ms. Clare leaves with several questions and a new character to have us checking for the release date for the next installment.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is Cathy's honest opinion.