Genre: Urban fantasy, YA
First published: 2017
Author: Cassandra Clare
***SPOILER ALERT*** This is the second book in the series and therefore the following synopsis and review may contain spoilers for the first book.
Synopsis: Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?
A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
I keep forgetting how much I enjoy Cassie’s books. Every time a new one comes out, I always wait months before reading it, because I just feel like I won’t really enjoy it for some reason, despite having to date, read like… 15 Shadowhunter books and having loved each and every one of them. I don’t know why I have this mental barrier. But I’m always surprised, as a result, by how much I absolutely love her books and how she just keeps getting better and better with each one.
Like the first book, this one has a noir mystery vibe to it, which is really cool and I really enjoyed. Lady Midnight had Anabelle by Edgar Allan Poe as a sort of… starting point or… I don’t quite know what to call it. But basically, the poem was very relevant to the story and even somewhat part of the story. This one’s based on another Poe poem, Dreamland. And I think the poem parallels very nicely to the Unseelie Court which is quite prominent in this book. I find that aspect to be really cool, I think it adds so much to the story, to the vibe and atmosphere of the story.
As always, there is a mad, complicated and heart-wrenching love story that just seems impossible. I can’t envision any happy ending for these poor souls. But ore than that, it features, as always, such beautiful and powerful friendships and family relationships and it just made my heart ache to read about them. It’s just so lovely how much they love each other and Cassie does such a wonderful job of highlighting the importance of friendship and family relationships which are so often overlooked in YA in favour of romantic relationships.
The ending of this book left me in shock. Honestly. I did not see it coming and my blood quite literally drained from my face as I was reading it. I’m still in denial. I’m halfway convinced that we’ll get to the third book and we’ll find out that the last like… 3 chapters were actually just someone’s nightmare and didn’t actually happen. And that’s all I’m going to say because spoilers. I might do a discussion post as well, where I’ll talk more about it.
I don’t think there’s any point in me talking about the writing, because if you’re reading this, then you’ve probably read some Shadowhunter book at some point and you know the writing style. All I will say is that Cassie’s skill for words and storytelling just grown and grows with each book. It just gets better.
The characters are mostly the same as the ones in Lady Midnight, so you’ll already be acquainted with them. But we do get to see a lot of Kit Herondale (and I just can’t resist a Herondale). He’s quickly become one of my favourites. We also get to see a lot more of the twins, which I really loved as well. Especially learning more about Ty and his autism and how he thinks and interacts with the world. I think Cassie did a very good job of portraying that.
I can’t believe I have to wait two years for the final one. It’s going to drive me crazy. Although I am really looking forward to The Last Hours and seeing some more of Will and Tessa and their children. I’m also really curious how it will weave together with The Dark Artifices, because we all know that she’s going to somehow weave them together. So, exciting times ahead!