Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: December 6th, 2011

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

THIS BOOK!  So awesome!  I'm not sure if I can properly articulate how much I loved this book, but I'm going to try...  

I love Cassandra Clare's writing.  After reading Clockwork Angel I was pretty sure I liked The Infernal Devices better than my beloved Mortal Instruments, but I wanted to reserve my final judgement until there were at least two books in the series; now I am absolutely convinced!  What a world!  I'm not typically a huge Steampunk fan, but these books are amazing, and if I thought Clockwork Angel was amazing, I had no idea what amazing was.  Clockwork Prince not only outshines Clockwork Angel, it blows every one of Cassie's books out of the water!  "Why was it so awesome?", you ask.  Well, if you have read Cassie's other books, you know that the girl has mad talent, but putting that aside...

There are three reasons I love this book- the characters, the world, and most importantly, the story!  The characters were great in Clockwork Angel, and we learn so much more about them in this book.  We find out what makes Will tick, we learn that Jem is every bit the great guy we suspect he is, and we further see what a kick-ass heroine Tessa is, but we get so much more from our other characters as well!  Charlotte and Henry become so much more real, we learn a lot about why The Magister holds such a grudge and why Nathaniel was willing to betray his only family for him, we see different side of Magnus Bane, we find out what lengths Jessamine is willing to go to not be a part of her Shadowhunter world, and we meet some great new characters like Sophie Collins and Gideon Lightwood.  I loved the good characters and truly loved to hate the bad ones!

As far as the world goes, Cassie Clare is an expert world builder.  Maybe it is the fact that she spent much of her childhood moving around the world with her family, maybe she has such superb research skills that it would be impossible for her to get it wrong, maybe she naturally has fantastic attention to detail, maybe it's all of the above... Whatever the explanation for Cassie's world building prowess, it's amazing.  It's no wonder there is such great fan art out there; Cassie's writing is a wonderful muse!

Best for last... The story!  I really don't like love triangles, as a rule, but the one in this series is one of the few exceptions.  I never had trouble choosing between Peeta and Gale, Jace and Simon, Edward and Jacob... I usually know which "team" I'm on pretty quickly.  After reading Clockwork Angel, I thought I was pretty much on "Team Will".  He seemed like an ass, but I knew he was this beautiful, tortured soul who had good reason to act the way he did.  Jem was wonderful, but dying, so really, what was the point?  THEN I saw the cover of Clockwork Prince, and DAMN if I couldn't decide anymore.  Jem certainly didn't look very sick... When I went to Cassie's signing at Little Shop of Stories a few weeks ago, she asked which team I was on.  When I told her I didn't know, she called me "Switzerland".  I can't even believe I'm writing these words, but I am STILL Switzerland.  I have never been this conflicted over a love triangle in my entire life!  I think Tessa needs to time-travel into the future, clone herself, and put me out of my misery!  Aside from the romantic element, this story had it all; action, suspense, mystery, betrayal, heartbreak, and laughs.  Perfect in every way!

Bottom line is that if you are already a fan, you probably don't need this review to know you want to read this book.  If you're not a fan, start with Clockwork Angel and then read this because I guarantee that you won't be disappointed!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★++

Grade Level Recommendation:  I think this series is a bit more tame than The Mortal Instruments, but I would still place it in the Middle School and up range; there's a good bit of almost-sex as well as drug use and violence.  Mature 6th-7th grade and up (ages 12+).


  1. Nice post. So cool that you get to meet Cassie. But I totally agree with you. Clockwork Prince outshines the rest of her book. Cassie makes jerks look hot. But I have no idea who's team I'm on this book ;)

  2. I absolutley agree with you!! Clockwork Prince blows all the other books out of the water! And I love Mortal Instruments. But this series is quickly becoming my favorite. CP is up there as one of my all time favorites! I can't wait for Clockwork Princess!!!!!


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