Release Date: 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
True love is shrouded in secrets and lies in the #1 New York Times bestselling second book of the Infernal Devices trilogy.
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart. (courtesy of Amazon.)
I enjoyed Clockwork Angel, but Clockwork Prince is the book that cemented my love for The Infernal Devices series. Why is that? I'm not exactly sure why love it so much. It has that intangible "something" that has no formula or no real description.
The Infernal Devices series differs from The Mortal Instruments in that the characters and the romance are the focal point of the books. Not that The Infernal Devices stints on the action or that The Mortal Instruments as insufficient character development, but the series have different feels. Overall, I like The Infernal Devices's focus better than The Mortal Instruments.
We get to know both Will and Jem a lot better in Clockwork Prince. Poor Will is haunted by his past and it has put a wall between him and all the people he cares about. He spends a lot of time with Magnus trying to fix himself. These are some of my favorite scenes in the book, because not only do we get lovable, emo, heartsick Will, but we get a full Magnus quota. A quote from Magnus describes both their characters well:
"[Will] sounded exhausted, Magnus thought, and dramatic in that way that only seventeen-year-olds could be." (pg. 152).
Will can be a bit of a drama queen. He spews vitriol at those he loves but also shows pure despair with Magnus, who he trusts and respects. I could sense Magnus's age more in this book, especially in contrast to Will. All the things that are fresh and desperately important to Will are dampened to Magnus. Not because he feels less but because time has shown that there are things that are more important than one's own heartbreak.
Jem also comes into his own in Clockwork Prince. The book contrasts Will as fire and Jem as air. I think that's a fabulous description. As much as I love Will, I can't help but love Jem equally, but in a different way. Jem is pure goodness. Disliking him would be like kicking a puppy. Unthinkable. Like Will, Jem is in love with Tessa. We see that Jem is also capable of passion. The romance between Jem and Tessa is the kind that any girl would cherish, all sweetness and softness.
One of my favorite things about Clockwork Prince and the The Infernal Devices series in general is just how much is going on. Will, Tessa, and Jem's collective and individual dramas are a large part of the book, but the side stories of multiple characters play significant roles as well. I love the depth that this series has. There are quite a few major players in this series: Tessa, Will, Jem, Jessamine, Charlotte, Henry, Magnus, Sophie, Gideon, Gabriel. There are even more lesser characters who influence the plot. Each major character has an individual side story. Miraculously, Cassandra is able to write about all of these without dragging the book down.
As I expect from Cassandra's books, Clockwork Prince is full of action, even though it is a less action oriented novel. Tessa and the others are trying to learn more about Mortmain with the intent of defeating him but also to prove that Charlotte is proper head of the Institute despite her gender. There are fights galore, unexpected re-acquaintances, shocking betrayals, and so much more.
In some ways, Clockwork Prince had a second book feel but mostly it did not. It is a bedrock of the main story rather than a mere bridge between the first and third books as so many second books are. I now have a good feel for each of the characters and have developed emotional attachments to them. This is the book that makes The Infernal Devices truly stand apart from The Mortal Instruments. I highly recommend it.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
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