iread – myreadinglife

I have read and enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series over the years, and appreciated her creation of this alternative universe in which Shadowhunters live within the human community, protecting it from incursions by the  denisons of the shadow world. She has made much of her imaginative development, and the romance which seems inherent to so many forms in the YA reading universe.

Lady Midnight offers more of the same; so, in that sense, there are no surprises here. The protagonists of the first series are all grown up and running their own shows in NY – friends and legends in the LA world.  Clare sticks with a formula with which she has had success: a couple who desire more than friendship in a world which does not look kindly on such a relationship, isolated and troubled young people trying to manage in a world that ignores and/or underestimates them, a mysterious danger, a lot of action and the troubles of family, friendship and love in a complicated life. The basics are as well presented as usual – Clare has a wonderful way of depicting the emotional inner life of her characters in ways we can all relate to, and her descriptions of family life are realistic and poignant. The mystery is slowly [and I do mean slowly] revealed and the action stems naturally from the plot.

It is really hard to criticise Clare, but it does seem excessive that the first book in a series, setting up the events to follow, needs to be over 600 pages long! There are quite a few threads explored in this tome: the Shadow Market, the ‘Cold Peace’ and it’s part in creating tension with the faerie kingdoms, the lack of support or care within the Shadowhunter world and the parabatai [which for some reason is consistently written in italics…]. It is the latter which drags the story down to a large extent. Quite early on we realise that Julian and Emma mean more to each other than simply being a fighting pair. Every chapter their relationship is belaboured to the point of frustration – for the reader as much as for them. Between that, and a lot of unnecessary running around, there were times I just wished she would get to the point.

Much as I can admire her tenacity in continuing to write about a world she has created with such dedication, I will not be pursuing the series. I feel I have enough understanding of Clare’s shadow world to finish the books myself; I just wish she had a better editor to help her realise her vision without repeating herself quite so much.

Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related