Monday, May 20, 2013

Clockwork Princess - Review

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, # 3)

By: Cassandra Clare

Published: March 19th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

568 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Books-A-Million )

Goodreads description--Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?

Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

*Sigh* I can't believe this series is over! I've had some serious ups and downs with The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and with Cassandra Clare. It seems like just when I'm fully in love with everything going on I get smacked in the face with something and I want to throw the book I'm reading across the room. And I can go ahead and tell you right now that I'm going to have a hard time keeping this review spoiler-free. Speaking of spoiler-free, the inside jacket cover of my edition has a copy of a family tree, don't look at this too deeply until you've finished Clockwork Princess (unless you want to ruin the journey for yourself).

Let me start off with this...It's obvious that Cassandra Clare is well-read. Especially when it comes to the classics. Aside from the quotes added to the beginning of each chapter, these books are loaded with various quotes. Off the top of my head, we've got Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, A Tale of Two Cities (obviously), Shakespeare of various forms, Great Expectations and other Charles Dickens, Tennyson, Saint Augustine, Edgar Allen Poe...seriously, I could keep going. I loved this. Well the chapter heading quotes I could do without most of the time, but the quotes found within the happenings of the book I loved. It's one thing to be able to read the classics and appreciate them. It's another thing to in some ways recreate and retell them. And it's a completely other thing to recreate and retell the classics while bringing in appropriate quotes and happenings from many other classics at the same time. In this way, I find Clockwork Princess to be quite brilliant.

We left off Clockwork Prince with Will finally confessing his love for Tessa only moments after Jem proposes to her and she accepts. Talk about heartbreak and one of the moments I wanted to throw the book across the room. Jen @ YA Romantics says in her review that many of us were prepared for any possible outcome going into Clockwork Princess. She listed the following scenarios: Will dies, Jem dies, Will and Jem die, Tessa makes some sacrifice to save Will and Jem, Tessa ends up with Will or Jem. Or neither. And that's exactly how I felt going into this one. I felt like anything could happen, and like Jen, I felt that I wasn't likely to be satisfied with any of the choices.

In the end Cassandra Clare managed to in some ways surprise me by coming up with an option that wasn't even mentioned above--and I thought I covered all of my bases, right? Wrong. Guys, I hate to say it, but I still wasn't satisfied. I read Clockwork Princess with eager anticipation to see what was going to happen next and how everything was going to play out. In the end, I felt like the culmination, climax, and resolution were a bit of a cop-out. I know, I hate that I just said that, and I'm sure many will disagree with me. I felt like the way that the villain, Mortmain, was defeated was an easier solution than all of the build up to get there (although I'm hoping to hear this related into City of Heavenly Fire maybe). And I felt like Cassandra Clare kind of managed to avoid having to make the hard choices and actually make a decision about some of the bigger pieces of the overall puzzle--although the acknowledgements prove that she had this ending in mind all along.

I do love, and always have, the way Cassandra Clare weaves the two series (The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices) together, and I can already see her intertwining pieces that will fit in perfectly with The Dark Artifices (Lady Midnight, book 1 is scheduled for publication in March 2015).

I should also mention that I loved the addition of Cecily in Clockwork Princess. Although Cecily and Will have surprisingly little interaction, it was definitely nice to see the side of Will that she brought out and to see how alike they are in the frustrating and sarcastic ways.

Though I don't usually do this, I bookmarked several pages of sarcastic quotes--mostly from Will. I love this characteristic in him and Jace. So here are some of my favorites (spoiler-free, of course):

"I am not a certified idiot--" (Gabriel Lightwood) "Lack of certification hardly proves intelligence," Will muttered. (pg 27)

"You don't think I can fight," Tessa said, drawing back and matching his silvery gaze with her own. "Because I'm a girl." "I don't think you can fight because you're wearing a wedding dress," said Jem. "For what it's worth, I don't think Will could fight in that dress either." "Perhaps not," said Will, who had ears like a bat's. "But I would make a radiant bride." (pg 34)

"By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles," noted Will as the worm vanished behind a large structure shaped like a Greek temple. "Has no one respect for the classics these days?" (pg 42)

"Sometimes one must choose whether to be kind or honorable," he said. "Sometimes one cannot be both." "Which is better?" Tessa whispered. Will's mouth twisted with bitter humor. "I suppose it depends on the book." (pg 68)

I marked a few others. Pg 123 has a great quote from Magnus that I won't include here. A laugh out loud quote from Will on page 551 but I also won't include because of spoilery. Henry had one and then Magnus has another.

All in all, I'm giving the Clockwork Princess 4 Stars. Have you read Clockwork Princess? If so, what did you think? Let me know!


  1. Thanks so much for mentioning me! I was about 90% happy with the outcome. One of my favorite YA series :)

  2. Yeah, I didn't love the very end...but everything up until that I was all about. Definitely a great series! Thanks for stopping by!