Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The situation at the London Institute has never been more precarious. With Mortmain and his clockwork army still threatening, the Council wants to strip Charlotte of her power and hand the running of the Enclave over to the unscrupulous and power-hungry Benedict Lightwood.
In the hope of saving Charlotte and the Institute, Will, Jem, and Tessa set out to unravel the secrets of Mortmain’s past—and discover unsettling Shadowhunter connections that hold the key not only to the enemy’s motivations, but also to the secret of Tessa’s identity. Tessa, already caught between the affections of Will and Jem, finds herself with another choice to make when she learns how the Shadowhunters helped make her a “monster.” Will she turn from them to her brother, Nate, who has been begging her to join him at Mortmain’s side? Where will her loyalties—and love—lie? Tessa alone can choose to save the Shadowhunters of London…or end them forever.
Book 2 in The Infernal Devices series
Wow! Amazing, brilliant, fantastic, wonderful.... can I give this book 6 stars out of 5?!
I absolutely love the way that Cassandra Clare writes. I love the Mortal Instruments series, and I love this series as well. All the books manage to be beautiful, exciting, powerful, and passionate and with a real emotional punch to them. But the thing I love most about these books is how clever they are. I absolutely love the witty humour about them- the bickering and the camaradery of the banter between the characters is so FUNNY. How can a book put a big grin on my face with it's jokes and then five minutes later break my heart with some emotional revelation? I don't know, but somehow this book manages it.
Actually, I change my mind- I think the thing I love most about these books is the romance plotline running through them. This side of the storyline is so well written and there is no insta-love or leap of the imagination to believe in it. I just adore both Jem and Will, and this book has left my head spinning so much that I honestly can't pick between them anymore! Tessa is swept up in their world, and caught up in all the drama of the scheming and demon-hunting around them.
There is a real "OH" moment in this book- one of those moments where suddenly everything is explained and everything fits into place. There is a reason why Will behaved like such a jerk in book 1 (and it's a really good reason!), and suddenly we see a completely different side to Will. A vulnerable and self-sacrificing side. We also see some of Will's history, and find out that he is not actually an orphan, but that there are family secrets hidden away.
All of them living within the institute have a real bond together, and they have created a family among themselves that was so heart-warming. We hear more about Charlotte and Henry's story, which made me love them even more. In this book Tessa really starts to feel like a useful and vital part of the team, helping to formulate their plans of attack and using her unusual powers for their benefit. She easily seems to fit in as part of the family of the Institute.
Having the book set in Victorian London just adds to the brilliance for me, as manners and conventions and dress codes must be followed, but there is a mix of traditional objects like carriages and this steampunk element of clockwork machines and mythical Victorian technology. It is also a world where warlocks and vampires exist but this secret other world hidden from the "Mundanes".
I think the reason it took me so long to finish reading this book isn't because it is too long or it couldn't hold my attention but because I didn't want to put the book down and move on to the next book. I love living in the world created by these stories- shadowhunters, demons, vampires, and clockwork creatures and the fantastic sense of emotional ties, and the drama of the plotlines, and I didn't want to walk away from it, or the constant sense of suspense wondering what will happen next.
With characters that are real and flawed, betrayals from within the Institute itself, curses, secret affairs, evil villains and a complex and passionate love triangle, this book is seriously recommended to anyone who loves a good fantasy story, a good tragic love story, or even just a good story!
Book 3 can't come soon enough!