The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in this #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling 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 who killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her battle partner 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 recognise his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

It’s summertime so my head turns to YA fiction to get away from the pressure of “grown up” books – that’s an insult to some of the YA fiction that outstrips the so-called mainstream novels by a country mile and especially when it comes to addressing social issues and generating a useful conversation, but in my case it simply means I’m too old to emotionally empathise with the romantic dilemmas and so I get to focus on the story.

I’ve read the first three of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels in the “Mortal Instruments” series and a couple of the “Clockwork” novels too. That’s another attraction these series have for me, I don’t have to get my head around a completely new set of characters or a new “fantastical” setting for the stories. The blurb pretty much says it all and the twists and turns in the plot are good enough not to give the game away too soon.

If you don’t let yourself get too distracted by the teenage angst dripping from every page there’s a good detective novel hidden in here that will bring you along nicely toward a satisfyingly enough ending. The characters are well written, as I would expect from Cassandra Clare at this stage, and the evolution of the relationships are sufficiently interesting to make you care about all of the main characters – a prerequisite for sticking with any series of novels I should imagine.

An enjoyable read on a sunny week off work when I can fit in a few books to keep my eclectic taste happy. I’m about to read the next in the series – Lord of Shadows – so I must have enjoyed this one….right?

What I Did Like:  The entertaining mix of character and action with a decent plot to keep me guessing.
What I Didn’t Like: A little too much teenage romantic angst, but it is a YA novel so…


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