Series: The Infernal Devices
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi (Steampunk), Paranormal, Romance
Published: December 2011
The Blurb: 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.
Ever since finishing the last page from ‘Clockwork Angel’, I have been yearning for ‘Clockwork Prince’ to be published! The Victorian world, the realistic characters, the elaborate story-telling, the witty dialogues, the thickly woven plot, the subtle romance… they wouldn’t let me go! A few weeks after the book was delivered, I finally had the time to get reacquainted with my old friend(s) again. Oh… how I love the Institute, Tessa’s quest to find herself, Wills sarcasm, Jem’s gentleness, Henry’s absentmindedness, Charlottes stubborn care, even Jessie’s shallowness. There were a couple of times I had forgotten what happened to whom and why in the previous book, but those questions were answered quickly and it was like I never left.
My only small point of critique, or rather a fact I noticed (maybe because it’s been pointed out in several other reviews already) is the abundance of book referrals. Yes, Tessa loves to read. Yes, Cassandra Clare knows her classics. Big deal. Perhaps it’s plastered on a little too thickly. Yes, I recognize some of these books/passages, but not all. Mind you, I’m not English. I’m Dutch. Still there are times I wonder whether I should be ashamed for not knowing these books, not having reads the classics, not comprehending the referrals. Should I?
Like these well-placed literary interludes, every single word in this book is in the right place. Everything happens for a reason, is part of the grand scheme which unfolds while eagerly turning page after page. Wheels are clicking into place, sometimes unravelling surprising information, making room for heart breaking scenes at other times. Every detail about the Victorian Steampunk-pimped era adds to the feel and atmosphere of the book, whereas every detail of the world of Shadowhunters seems to be based on real facts and truly existing ‘cultures’, not a poorly thought-through imaginative world.
Though Tessa’s quest for finding out who or what she is, is sort of the central theme of the book, the reader gets more: a grand tour of the world of Shadowhunters, and all its participants. The switching narratives give the reader a great insight in all characters, remaining true to each and everyone’s voice the entire time.
Finally we learn WHY Will treats Tessa (and the rest of the world) the way he does… Oh my… Poor Will… Which, in turn, makes the natural way the friendship between Tessa and Jem develops into something more meaningful -no matter how sweet, realistic and understandable- even more bitter.
Even more so than the previous book, this book contains the perfect mix of action, character depth and surprising character growth/ change, unexpected plot twists, mysterious developments, very sensual and subtle romance, a gorgeous and realistic setting, laughter and tears.
CC’s writing style never seizes to amaze or bore me, it’s all done extremely well, elaborate and in a style suiting the setting. Even the dialogues are written accordingly to the era. The awkwardness of discussing matters of one’s own heart are handled correctly, distant and in an appropriate manner. A bit like the politics of nowadays, where big sentences tell an enormous story, hardly expressing an opinion or stealthily avoiding the subject at hand.
The eye-candy that is the gorgeous cover of this book, continues on the inside as well. There’s no judging this book wrongly due to its cover. No shallow inside. For example, many beautiful poetic prose lines keep grabbing the reader’s attention, such as:
‘“No,” Tessa said. “I haven’t broken his heart at all.” Just torn my own in two.’
‘Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off.’
It is very hard for me to express the ‘why’ of the deep love I harbour for ‘The Infernal Devices’ world and its characters. It’s just there. Most characters have earned a place in my heart, thanks to all the little details about them that bring them to life, as well as their big issues. Though I understand that certain choices had to be made the way they were made, I am curious how CC is gonna mend my shredded heart in ‘Clockwork Princess’. Let alone Tessa's torn heart... A huge sacrifice has to be made either way...
I cannot believe I’ll have to wait an entire year before finding out what will happen to these characters I have come to love so dearly. I do not wish to leave my friends behind, yet. I am not ready for such a long goodbye.
This series has swiftly become one of my favourite series ever. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, I’ll forgive you for not knowing, but strongly suggest you pick it up as soon as possible. You have no reason to postpone this any longer. Do yourself that favour…
Parting is such sweet sorrow…
P.S. I apologize sincerely that various efforts on my behalf to keep the repulsive, obsessive fan-girl inside me caged and silent did not pay off entirely. Ever since the Masked Ball scene she has been going at it without any sort of dignity. I can hear her screams bouncing off the walls of my head, pulsating in my brain… Her fists pounding at my insides, her hands grabbing hold of my intestines, rattling my entire being, begging to be set free… I fear for my sanity if I do not admit her to speak freely, even if only for one time... After which we shall forget all about this outburst and I shall gladly stow her away into eternal oblivion once more, where a proper lady is supposed to reside... Let’s have it out then, shall we, fangirl?