Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

8 January, 2012 Reviews 8 comments

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on December 6th 2011
Pages: 502
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

I think it’s time to admit to myself that The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series are just not for me. I suppose it’s not a secret I’m not a huge fan of Cassandra Clare’s work, but I won’t deny that there were some things I did enjoy with each series. However, this was a disappointing read for me.

I originally liked the premise of the first book in the Infernal Devices series, but this installment seemed to focus more on the character’s relationships rather than the plot. It’s the same problem City of Fallen Angels had, except I do think Clockwork Prince was LOADS better than that.

In Clockwork Prince The Shadowhunters in the London Institute find themselves in a serious bind. Due to the startling turn of events in Clockwork Angel, Charlotte is threaten to be removed as head of the institute unless she and the others can discover what the Magister  is planning and capture him. The Shadowhunters immediately get to work diving into the Clave archives, searching for clues to the Magister’s  past. Unfortunately, it is not just his  secrets that are exposed as the loyalties of the institute members are also revealed.

That sounds fairly interesting, right? So what’s my issue? Why couldn’t I love this book? Well, if I put it bluntly: It was boring. The beginning took way to long to pick up and if I had to guess, I’d say nothing exciting happens until around page 250. Um, I don’t know about you, but that is way too long to keep me hanging. It took me 15 days to read this book. 15 days. At one point I just had to put it down for a few days and read something else because every time I picked up the book it would put me in this kind of mood:

Sure the Shadowhunters did things, but every time they were about to go on a mission we are given unnecessary descriptions of what Tessa is going to wear or how Sophie did her hair or how silver Jem’s eyes looked that day. Who cares? The suspense leading up to the mission died while Tessa was taking her sweet ass time getting dressed. Speaking of Tessa, she is a pathetic heroine. She is good for one thing only: changing her appearance. She’s not a fighter and despite her being trained in this book, she was virtually worthless. Yet, they always had to take her along on missions. When they actually used her power she manages to screw it up. They attend a “bad guy’s party” (Just go with it. I don’t want to spoil it for you.) and Tessa screws up her disguise because she drinks some type of spiked warlock lemonade. Yeah. I don’t know about you, but when I’m crashing a bad guy’s party, I never drink the punch. So she’s walking around as herself and none of the evil dudes seem to notice or care. HUH? But she’s an idiot, so I don’t expect much from her. However, Will drinks it too. At that point I’m thinking, “You’ve been a Shadowhunter for how long exactly?” That scene made no sense.

Even though the book was boring, that’s not even my biggest issue with it. While I was reading I always felt disconnected to the characters. The only character I did care about was Jem and that’s probably because he’s the only one who didn’t seem like a direct rip-off from the Mortal Instruments series. I felt flashes of these characters in Clockwork Angel, but now I’m fully convinced that Draco/Harry Will is Jace, Hermione/Ginny Tessa is Clary, ect.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice–Nope. I see what you did there.

Will Jace. I hate this guy. He reminds me of the Jace in City of Fallen Angels. “I can’t be with you because it will kill you! So I’m going to act like the crappiest person on earth so you will hate me!” Sound familiar anyone? Seriously, there are only so many times you can recycle a plot twist before you become predictable. I’m not sure you can even call it a plot twist anymore. So not only is he a carbon copy of Jace, but he goes through the same tortured character issue too? No, I’m not buying that. He was the reason why I almost didn’t finish the book. He’s such a prick and Tessa knows it, but she still loves him “because there is just something about him!” *eyeroll* Yes, I’m well aware of the curse, but that entire situation never seemed real to me anyway.

So when I finally get to the “good part,” some things happen that are supposed to shock me, I guess. There is this big revelation made right before the fight scene. At that point I’m thinking, “WAIT. Didn’t you use that revelation is City of Glass, Clare??” Please stop putting you plot twists through the laundry wash cycle. It doesn’t make them new again. *sigh*

After the fight scene, there is still a good 75 pages left and I was hoping for more action. But, of course, there is none. Most of it is filled with more relationship drama that surprisingly made me happy. However, it will most likely piss off fans of the series. LOL. There is a cliffhanger at the end of the book, but by that time I was so through with it all, that it didn’t move me one bit.

The writing was difficult for me, but I’ve never really jived well with Clare’s style. Death to those bloody commas! My eyes are waving little white surrender flags! O_o Another thing I found strange was that Tessa is supposed to be American (right?), but it seemed like she still sounded English. In other words, all of the characters spoke very similarly. There was only one time when Tessa used an American slang term and it felt odd and out of place. And how many times must the word ‘quite’ be used? “Oh, you are quite right!” “This is quite uncomfortable.” “I don’t think you quite understand.” I’m pretty sure ‘quite’ is used every few pages and it’s annoying. The characters are trying so hard to sound English. It just didn’t work for me.

Will I read Clockwork Princess? I don’t know, maybe. The only reason I’m remotely curious is because I want to see what’s going to happen to Jem. I like that guy. Yeah, I know. The volcanoes in hell are freezing over because I actually really like one of Clare’s characters. Amazing.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

8 Responses to “Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare”

  1. Natalie @ Mindful Mu

    I have to admit, while I flew through Clockwork Prince, a lot of the things that bothered you (WILL!) bothered me as well. Though I do really like Jem's character. I don't like how the books are getting more and more relationship angsty. I'm going to continue the series, but I'm kind of apprehensive of how it will go.

    • cuddlebuggery

      I really like Jem too. He's interesting and I'll be a little sad if Clare kills him off. 🙁

      You are right. They are getting more angsty. I don't think I'll read the rest of the MI series (I stopped at City of Fallen Angels), but I may finish off ID.

  2. Kelly @ Radiant Shad

    I adore Clare's writing and both of her series (Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices) but I definitely see why other people might not find CP as enjoyable as I did. You'd have to be blind to miss the similarities of ID to MI, but I can overlook it because I enjoy the story so much. I'm usually so caught up in how Clare pulls at my heartstrings to notice plot holes, like the "bad guy's party" you mentioned. I will definitely be continuing with the ID trilogy (which I hope stays as a trilogy) – it's the MI saga(?) that I'm apprehensive about as I liked City of Glass' ending.

    • cuddlebuggery

      I really liked how City of Glass ended and was supremely disappointed with City of Fallen Angels. I'm just going to pretend it never happened! Lol.

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