Spring Reads: Book Three {The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare}

Friday, March 1, 2013

I forgot just how shocked I was with the last few lines of this book! Oh my word. And now I'm even more impatient for The Clockwork Princess to come out! You hear me Cassandra Clare? A girl can only deal with a cliff hanger like that for so long! 

So, Tessa - who is believed to be a warlock - has finally found herself safe and staying with the Shadowhunters at the Institute in London. But all is not well as the Clave is looking to oust Charlotte as the head of the Institute. Which would mean that Tessa would be back out on the street and in tremendous danger from whatever lurks in the dark corners of London. Particularly the Magister who wants to use Tessa's developing powers for his dark and sinister goals.

With the help of Will (a self-destructive yet handsome shadowhunter) and his best friend Jem (who is completely devoted to both Tessa and Will, but very ill), Tessa soon discovers that the goals the Magister is seeking are personal to the entire Shadowhunter population. The Magister blames the Shadowhunters for a tragedy centuries prior which shattered his life into pieces. To figure out who the Magister is and exactly what he wants (and also what exactly this tragedy was) Tess, Will, and Jem travel around the country in search of truth. Tessa is slowly unravelling the history of her parentage and her family and is beginning to understand that her life isn't exactly what she imagined. Throughout this whole process, Tessa finds herself more and more drawn to the quiet and devoted Jem. Will, however, is changing and yet still puzzles her.

When a clockwork demon comes bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister is aware of their every move. And even worse, that one of their own has severely betrayed them. As their search for the Magister leads them further and further into danger, Tessa learns that love and lies cannot mix and that only the strong of both heart and mind can survive.

This is, quite possibly, my favorite Cassandra Clare novel so far. Yes, I do love the characters and the quick wit of The Mortal Instruments series, but this series (and this book in particular) blends that with beautiful prose and a masterful weaving together of plots. Tessa becomes so real as she struggles with everything that is going on around her. Even though she is not a Shadowhunter, she joins the fight alongside them. But she struggles with so many questions along the way: Who is she? What is she (not Warlock or mundane, that's for sure)? Who should she love, if anyone? It seems that either boy - Will or Jem - will leave her heartbroken should she chose them. So, should she even bother choosing one of them?

Let's talk about Will for a minute, okay? Because, while he is a stark-raving-mad lunatic, I have discovered that I love him a lot more than I originally thought. In the first book, The Clockwork Angel, I thought that Will was just a rewrite of Jace, written in order to draw TMI readers to the new series. And then I thought that he was written just to fulfill part of the Will-Tessa-Jem crazy love triangle. Because, really? What popular YA novel doesn't have a love triangle these days? And a love triangle when the two boys are best friends forever? Even better. But this book? You guys! When we learn just why Will is so tortured? And what has happened to him to make him so incredibly guarded from others and careless with his own well being? My heart breaks for this boy. And I love him so much more. I want him to be loved. I want Tessa to break through to him somehow, somewhere.

Jem, on the other hand? I love him too, for all of his cautious and compassionate nature. The way he takes Will's complete idiot nature in stride and accepts him still. He doesn't make excuses for Will, he just loves him as he is - flaws and all. And Jem with Cassie? It's so nice to see a male character treat a female character with such kindness. I think we're so used to reading books these days with the relationships falling under two headings: snarky, sarcastic bad boy turned good/sweet/etc (Jace, Percy, etc) or the overly devoted, almost creepy and possessive love (Edward). It's refreshing to see Jem and Tessa together as they are.

Yes, this book took a while to pick up in the beginning (a common thread I've read among those who have reviewed The Clockwork Prince so far). But it was totally worth it because once it picked up speed, it never stopped or slowed down until the end. And even then? It didn't slow down there at all. That last sentence? Wow. How am I supposed to wait for the next book with that hanging over my head?

The thing about this book is that it's all about the relationships. They move the rest of the plot along so well and smoothly that you hardly notice how much you're learning about how all these people interact. The relationship between Will and Jem? It's beautiful, they have such an amazing and delicate and fierce friendship that it makes you wonder if all of your friendships pale in comparison to theirs. Tessa and Will? Stressful, electric, passionate, and chaotic. Tessa and Jem? Caring and soft but so full of life. Charlotte and Henry? Full of love and understanding, even though it's below the surface at most times. This book really takes their relationship to the forefront. And it's wonderful.

And Magnus? Well, he never disappoints.

I so enjoyed this book. The descriptions of Victorian England and the early days of the Shadowhunters make this a book (and a series) not to miss. One part steampunk, one part fantasy, add in a dash heaping cup of romance and Cassandra Clare has crafted one of her best books to date. 

Title: The Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA; Fantasy; Historical Fiction/Fantasy; Steampunk-ish
Medium: Hard Cover
Pages: 502
Date Read: 13 February 2012
Source: Purchased at Barnes & Nobel
First Line: The fog was thick, muffling sound and sight.
Favorite Line: It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.
Last Line: "I apologize for interrupting your dinner hour, but I had nowhere else to go. I am Cecily Herondale, you see. I have come to be trained as a Shadowhunter." [whited out, for serious spoiler's sake]
Recommended: Yes. Very yes. 
Recommended For: Any fan of Clare's work (TMI or TID series); Those who love YA or fantasy; Fans of the Steampunk genre; Anyone looking for a good story (but read the first book first, please!)

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Great review. I'm totally Team Jem forever, and as soon as Clockwork Princess comes out, I'm running to the store!

    Annie :)


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