(The Dark Artifices, #1)
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 720 pages
The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.
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.
First, I'm going to be honest; I never read City of Heavenly Fire. Want to know why? I was over the Mortal Instruments. I was certainly over Jace and Clary. I have never read a story where I hated the main characters more than I hated these two. My love for Simon wasn't enough to finish the series. I will admit, while reading this book there were a couple of times that made me want to go back and read it but by the end, I felt like I knew enough to be satisfied not having read it.
Another thing that I think every fan of Cassandra's will like is the fact that we see a lot of characters from both previous series make appearances or at least be mentioned. I may have squealed every time Jem was mentioned or appeared. As a fan girl of his, this was totally justifiable. And shockingly, I like Jace and Clary when they made appearances. Again, it is five years later so I imagine they've matured some.
Emma and Julian may be my favorite possible coupling Cassandra Clare has ever done. Which is saying a lot because I'm obsessed with Jem and Tessa and also have made love and respect for Magnus and Alec; not to mention Simon and Izzy (though I never saw it officially happen since I didn't read that final book). Emma and Julian, as individual's, are fantastic characters and definitely go up there in my favorite's category, especially of hers but when they're together - wow. There are no words for how perfect they are.
But if you get invested, prepare yourself for one hell of an emotional roller coaster that will have you shaking in a corner. This book puts you, the reader, through hell and back again. All the way through the last page. There is a chapter that will completely destroy you; no matter if you're on Team Emma and Julian or not. It WILL break you.
The supporting characters in this book are fantastic - most of them are family, as that is a very big part of this story (which is awesome). The Blackthorns are a huge family. The two eldest siblings are half fairy (Helen and Mark) then Julian, Olivia (Livvy) and Tiberius (Ty) (who are twins), Drusilla (Dru), and Octavian (Tavvy). (I think I got their names right; their nicknames were used 98% of the time so I don't really remember) Like I said, big family. Tight family who has gone through the ringer. Then you have Emma, who is technically not blood but is family; who has also been through the ringer. All of these kids are parent-less and it's hard to imagine.
This book was full of action; like filled to the brim with action. Tons of humor added in, a slow-burn romance with a ton of tension added in but also tons of added romance for secondary characters, as well, as expected. A wonderful family dynamic that was touching and enjoyable to read. Honestly, this book had everything in it. Betrayal. Heartbreak. Sacrifice. Everything.
I'm going to make a bold statement and say this might be my favorite Cassandra Clare book to date. I mean, maybe it's tied with Clockwork Prince but it's REALLY up there. I'm so so sooooo glad I decided to give this book a chance.
Thank you so much to Damaris from Good Choice Reading for lending me her copy of this book provided by Simon & Schuster.