Clare, Cassandra Lady Midnight, 668 pages. McElderry (Simon), 2016. $25. Language: PG-13 (25+ swears, 0 ‘f’); Violence: PG-13 (lots of blood); Mature Content: PG-13 (sweat and then implied sex; homosexual kissing).
It has been five years since the Dark War and the establishment of the Cold Peace, which stripped all Faerie of their wealth and power and forbids any Shadowhunter contact with them. The younger Blackthorn children and Emma Carstairs were taken to the Los Angeles Institute, but the not two older Blackthorns, with their half-fae blood. Helen was banished to a remote island and Mark was taken by the Wild Hunt. Every adult dismissed Emma’s parents’ deaths as casualties of the War, but now new bodies, killed in the same manner, are appearing around LA. Not only do the kids not want to ask for help because no one believed Emma the first time around, but they also don’t want the other Institutes to know that they have been fending for themselves for five years because their guardian is basically insane and their tutor has too many secrets from everybody. When the Wild Hunt deposits Mark on their doorstep and insist that they have just a few days to solve the new deaths, they don’t know where to turn except to each other.
Get ready for a wild ride. Clare still crafts a gripping read, even though it weighs in at almost 700 pages. I just wish she would abandon romance as her secondary plot device. Her obsession with parabati and love triangle relationships, including steamy sex on the beach scene, detract from the greater story for me – almost making this a romance disguised as a fantasy instead of the way it should be. Be a fantasy writer, not a romance writer, Cassandra Clare.
MS – ADVISABLE (see ratings); HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher