“Waiting on Wednesday”: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Fan-made book cover
Fan-made book cover

Lady Midnight

Cassandra Clare

To Be Released March 2016

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

I am beyond excited for Cassandra Clare’s new addition to her Shadowhunter World: her upcoming series, The Dark Artifices. Lady Midnight will be the first book in the series.

warrior

It follows the life of seventeen-year-old Emma Carstairs, an orphaned shadowhunter, and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. She idolizes Jace Herondale and is a badass fighter. She aims to exact revenge upon whoever killed her parents, bringing comparisons to my mind to Arya Stark of Game of Thrones, another kick ass fantasy female character much loved by me.

shadowhunters

I’m super thrilled to read her story, especially since I can’t get enough of shadowhunters in general. It’s so exhilarating to have another girl to join the ranks of Clary Fray, Tessa Gray, and Isabelle Lightwood. I’m particularly elated for a main female character who seems to be a fierce warrior. I’m used to seeing that more from male characters like Jace and Will Herondale. Sure, Isabelle was tough, but I see her more as a femme fatale, than just a kickass fighter. I’m highly anticipating Emma’s badassery.

shadowhunter girls

I can’t wait to explore Emma and Julian’s relationship as parabatai of the opposite sex. It’s cute how Emma is going to be crushing on, and I’m always a sucker for forbidden romance (parabatai cannot be together romantically). More so, I’m ecstatic to get to read an opposite sex friendship that also involves them being fighting partners.

Julian’s family, the Blackthorns, are going to be so much fun to read! I love reading about big families. I’m so interested in their family dynamic and reading the interactions between all the many different kids: Helen, Mark, Julian, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla, and Octavian. I’m also particularly fascinated by the faerie blood in their family as a result of their father, Andrew Blackthorn’s extra-marital affair with a faerie producing Helen and Mark. I find it interesting that he named all his kids after Greek and Latin historical. I’m falling in love with this Shadowhunter family already.

Something that is really exciting about this series is that it is set in Los Angeles, which is a far cry from the New York setting in the Mortal Instruments series. It also continues Cassandra Clare’s portrayal of different big cities in her books, such as London in The Infernal Devices. I think that Los Angeles is going to be a fresh, interesting setting.

Mark is a character that I am desperate to know more about. I need to find out what happens to him after the events of City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6). He’s the second child and oldest boy of the Blackthorns, and his character really intrigues me. I don’t want to give away any  events of CoHF, though. I suspect that he could also be a love interest for Emma, which I wouldn’t mind at all. Fingers crossed!

After reading about Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns last summer in CoHF, I’m dying to read more about this enchanting bunch. I was drawn to twelve-year-old Emma’s impetus and outspokenness in CoHF, so I’m highly anticipating more of that in Lady Midnight. 2016 can’t come fast enough!

If you’re interested in kick-ass heroines, large families, and forbidden love, look no further than Lady Midnight, coming out in March 2016!

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Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

clockwork angelClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published August 31, 2010 by Simon & Schuster

479 Pages

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

My Thoughts

The prequel to the thrilling Mortal Instruments Series comes The Infernal Devices. I would recommend reading The Infernal Devices after the third book in TMI, City of Glass, and before reading the fourth book in TMI, City of Fallen Angels, for optimum understanding and entertainment.

Clockwork Angel is the first book in this electric series, centered around a mysterious shapeshifter girl named Tessa Gray, who was tricked into going to London from America after her brother. Here, she stumbles and falls into the dark world of demons and witches and shadowhunters, the fierce race of angelic humans who fight demons. She ends up at the London Institute for Shadowhunters after painfully discovering her wondrous powers to shift into any person, as long as she has an item particular to them.

She meets the shadowhunter ‘family’ that live there: The small but mighty Charlotte Fairchild, the head of the Institute; her ditzy inventor husband Henry; the imperious and beautiful Jessamine Lovelace; the scarred and loyal pretty servant girl Sophie; the frail and dying yet delicately handsome Jem Carstairs; and the fiery, magnetic, passionate, bold, alluring Will Herondale.

Throughout the book, Tessa tries to figure out what exactly she is, while becoming aware of the growing attraction between her and the stormy Herondale. They both love literature and poetry, but it is clear that Will is twisted, racked with hidden inner pain. Tessa immerses herself in trying to figure this haunted boy out. Meanwhile, his parabatai (sworn fighting partner), Jem, is racked with actual physical pain, dying of a disease that destroys him from the inside out.

It is a powerfully urban fantasy novel, as Tessa steeps into the supernatural world hidden in the city of London. Yet, there is someone who wishes her nothing but harm, who desperately wants to get his hands on her for reasons the Shadowhunters do not know. He is the evil human Mortmain, who plots the downfall of all shadowhunters. Somehow, Tessa is the key to that downfall.

For lovers of the shadowhunters in The Mortal Instruments, this book is a must read! Meet the ancestors of the characters you love, and find out how the shadowhunters were centuries ago.

5 stars

Kele

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

coHF

City of Heavenly Fire

Cassandra Clare

725 Pages

Published May 27th, 2014 by Simon and Schuster

Read June – July 2014

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WARNING: This review is not a spoiler-free zone.

Synopsis

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

My Thoughts

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve finished the entire Mortal Instruments series. I had a every emotional ride with all the characters, and this book is the best conclusion to a series I have ever read. It was a befitting finale of an epic story.

First of all, I loved reading about how Emma Carstair’s story began. Her character warmed my heart from the very beginning, and I can’t wait to see how her own story unfurls. Meeting her and the Blackthorn kids was very interesting was interesting in that they are so different from anything we’ve seen from Cassandra Clare before. Their story line was very refreshing and like a breath of fresh air. Emma’s relationship with Julian Blackthorn took center stage in her story, and their closeness was a joy to read.

Ms. Clare took her sweet time getting to the actual war part of the story, but the set-up was exquisite. The journey to the Dark War was thoroughly well-written, through various points of views, so that I could see different characters roles in the upcoming war, making the story very well-rounded.

The romances were delicious. We finally get to see how everyone stands, from Clary and Jace, to Magnus and Alec, to Simon and Izzy, to Maia and Jordan (and then Bat). It took the whole entire book to finally get to see what becomes of Magnus and Alec, but it’s well worth it. Clary and Jace finally got very intimate, in what was a very beautifully-written scene that makes me swoon just thinking about it. Simon and Izzy actually become a couple at long last. Maia’s romance is met with tragedy, but she unveils a budding new one after.

I really liked the new characters introduced, as well as old characters becoming more in-depth in the story. I thought Lily was really cool, and I enjoyed getting to know more about Raphael.

Sebastian Morgenstern is hands down the best villain ever written to me. He was downright terrifying. There was no doubt that he was a completely evil being, and he was pretty easy to hate and despise.  He was also extremely clever and actually really brilliant, so that he was a formidable foe that wouldn’t be easy at all to defeat.

I liked how Clary got to really tap into her shadowhunterness, at long last, equipping herself and taking up her family sword. She became stronger, not only in fighting, but also in her special power: rune-making. It was impressive to read how she saved herself and her friends by simply producing runes out of thin air.

The twist that led to the final defeat of Sebastian was amazing. Jace’s heavenly fire took center stage, and Clary figured out how to use her gift for runes to trick Sebastian and save the day. It was all really clever of Ms. Clare.

One thing that was really tragic, however, was how Clary lost the brother she never got to have. We only got a glimpse of what Jonathan would have been like without the demon blood, and it was heartbreaking to lose him immediately after.

The ending was loaded. There was a shocking twist, that a solution was eventually found for, which would completely change everything, but not in totally a bad way. The premise for the next series (The Dark Artifices) was set up, which I really cannot wait for. What would become of Mark Blackthorn? How would the Fey retaliate against the injustice against them by the Clave? What will Emma find out about her parents’ demise? How will Emma and Julian’s lives be like in the Los Angeles institute (as Parabatai)? How will Helen Blackthorn and Aline Penhallow fare?

My favorite part of this book is how the past, present, and future collided. We got to see Jem again!!!! He and Tessa reunite!!!! Emma meets Clary, and they develop a mutual like  and admiration for eachother!!!! Emma gets to meet her ancestor Jem!!!! Clary gets to meet Tessa and have an actual conversation with her (which included their shared experience with Herondale boys)!!!!

It was basically the perfect ending.

An easy 5 stars for me.

5/5

End Note: It’s funny how Cassandra Clare kept on stressing how lives will be lost and keeping us all tense, when the deaths weren’t even as heavy as she was hinting at. She said six people we know by name would die, instantly driving all her readers crazy with trepidation, yet those six people were as follows: someone who’s near sole purpose was to be the love interest of someone who actually didn’t really love him and got a new love interest, a psychotic villain, another clear villain, someone who’s death was a tragedy to make his character more interesting/likeable, the actual bad guy who needed to be defeated, and someone who I can’t even remember.