December 29, 2011

Book Review: Clockwork Prince

Title: Clockwork Prince
Series: The Infernal Devices trilogy
Length: 498 pages
Publisher: McElderry Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
On-Sale Date: December 6, 2011
Format: ARC paperback

There will be SPOILERS for anyone who has NOT read CLOCKWORK ANGEL. Read at your own risk!

Clockwork Prince takes place over a two week period.
Will, Jem, Tessa, and the rest of the Shadowhunters at the London Institute have been entrusted with the task of locating the Magister’s whereabouts (even though he’s vanished off the face of the Earth).  The Clave has set a terrible price, if they don’t succeed in their task.
Can the Magister be found in time?
Mortmain isn’t going to make it easy to find him.  There are countless problems that arise and horrible betrayals that come to light.
Can anyone be trusted?
During all this, Tessa grows closer to Jem … and Will.
Who’s heart will be broken?
Will’s been disappearing more than usual.  He’s even starting to worry Jem.  However, Will actually has a good reason for his actions this time.
What in Raziel’s name is going on with that boy?
Secrets are uncovered, lies are unraveled, and sides are taken.
Who will be victorious?

Clockwork Prince was a book that you could not wait to get a hold of, (especially with the way Clockwork Angel ended).
This was another classic Cassandra Clare; once you were swept up in the book everything else becomes unimportant … it was okay when you missed your stop on the bus, as long as you were able to finish the chapter.
It was exciting to open the book, flip the pages, and finally get to read it.

Most people who read this book would have already read Cassandra Clare before, and would be expecting Clockwork Prince to top all of her other books … but it didn’t (at least for me).  Yes, I couldn’t put it down while I was reading it, but that was until the last couple of chapters.  The ending was too bittersweet.  It was unbelievable in a does-not-compute kind of way.

The mystery known as William Herondale was unraveled in Clockwork Prince, and so much detail was shared about his character.  At the end of Clockwork Angel, you were left completely in the dark, and wondering what was going on with him.  Will was an enigma, but by the end of this novel he was a puzzle solved.  There was a moment of enlightenment when those questions were answered, surrounding Will’s actions, and then his personality made perfect sense.

In Clockwork Prince Will’s past confronted him, and it was easy to see why it had always haunted him.  He had some painful secrets hidden in his heart.  The events of Clockwork Prince fractured him a little (and me, a lot, because I have a soft spot for Will).  Will’s layers were peeled away, and his heart was exposed.  He was completely vulnerable for the first time.

Will’s mysterious persona was slowly stripped away as Clockwork Prince progressed, but he didn’t lose any of his appeal.  He was even more intriguing beneath his condescending sarcasm.  Will’s character could be appreciated, even more, after the events of Clockwork Prince.

Jem’s story wasn’t the focus of Clockwork Prince; therefore certain things that he did seemed to come out of nowhere.

There were a couple of shocks at the end of Clockwork Prince that were difficult to process, and even more difficult to move past.  The end was startling even though there were numerous SURPRISES during the book.  (Cassandra Clare did not bore her readers).  There were hints given, and clues strategically placed, but the ending still seemed abrupt and sudden.  The events were jolting enough to derail a reader.

There was a lot that occurred in this book, and you expected it to finish with this spectacular ending, but Clockwork Prince left you slightly baffled. The ending did not exceed expectations.  It was meant to outshine the rest of the book, but it overshadowed it instead.

Even Charlotte and Henry had surprises in-store.  Their relationship continued to be oddly endearing, and their marriage was very sweet.
Me at Book Expo America (May 2011)

Magnus Bane continued to be a secondary, but vital, character in The Infernal Devices series, (it’s a trilogy, but you never know).  He was especially essential to the development of Will’s plot line, and of course, Magnus added his individual sparkle to Clockwork Prince.  He popped up quite often, and his own story became increasingly interesting.

In Clockwork Prince, Cassandra Clare delved into the budding love triangle between Tessa, Will, and Jem, and focused on building their one-on-one relationships.  It wasn’t long before Tessa’s romances with Will and Jem became intense (and hot).  Tessa and Jem became exceedingly close, but a piece of her heart had been lost to Will.
In certain ways the boys’ relationships with Tessa mirrored each other, because they seemed to develop at the same rate.

Will and Jem had possibly the strongest relationship in Clockwork Prince.  It seemed like nothing could come between them, but in Clockwork Prince their brotherhood was tested at every turn.  The mechanics of their relationship was astonishing.  They still put each other first no matter what.  Will and Jem truly loved each other, and you didn’t want anyone or anything to ever come between them (even Tessa).

Tessa became more dependent on the Shadowhunters in Clockwork Prince, as she was no longer the same Tessa Gray that was introduced in Clockwork Angel.  She was now integrated in the Shadowhunter world and part of the London Institute.  She had lost a part of herself in Clockwork Angel, (because of her brother’s betrayal and Mortmain’s manipulation), and was still seeking something to fill the void.  She didn’t realize that she was enough or that she could help herself.  Although, she wasn’t completely confident, not once did that stop her from jumping into action.

As a whole, Clockwork Prince did not amaze me, but certain pieces and certain characters did.

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the publisher. This did not influence my review in any way.

Note: The cover of Clockwork Prince was released at Book Expo America this year (May 2011). I got a picture taken with a GIANT version of the cover. I missed the release because I was in line for another author, and a nice lady with Simon & Schuster, appreciating my enthusiasm, gave me a t-shirt and an excerpt of CP!