Book Review: Clockwork Princess

6131164Title: Clockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. Elderly Books

Release Date: March 19th, 2013

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary: “Tessa Gray should be happy – aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.” – Goodreads

To preface this, I should tell you that I waited on the edge of my seat for an agonizing fifteen months for this book to come out. Why was I so anxious? The books were wildly entertaining and contained the most sympathetic characters I’d ever came across, but I couldn’t see a happy ending for anyone. I didn’t think it was possible for Clare to write a satisfying ending where I didn’t feel someone had been slighted. Thankfully, my fears have been put to rest. (My tears however, have not.)

The only part of this book that I didn’t care for was how slow it initially was. There was interest and plot progression, but not enough for my liking. Originally I was going to give the book a three out of five due to this factor alone, but the last third really ramped up the pace. And my heart rate.

The strongest part of The Infernal Devices is the character and romance dynamics. They are easily the best I have ever come across, be it in a novel, film, comic or otherwise. There’s much more at play than simply “Team Will” or “Team Jem”. They all love each other so incredibly much, and while it would pain them to rob someone else of their opportunity at love, they crave it for themselves.

The writing was lovely and fluid, keeping me moving along through even the slow bits. And as far as the writing itself is concerned, Clare’s strength has again showed itself in the dialogue, ranging from hilarious to heartrending.

The epilogue is by far the saddest part of the book. It goes through all of Tessa’s and Will’s years together, including his moving death. It goes through how crushingly lonely she felt after all of it. And finally, she and darling Jem get their chance together. Yes, it left me feeling conflicted about the nature of love, (in that while it may happen to you, it never truly lasts), but after reading it, I feel like that was the only way for it to satisfyingly end. I never felt that Tessa could have ended up with only Will or only Jem, without someone completely forsaking their character. For Will to let her go would be against his character, just as much as it would have been for him to “steal” Jem’s chance at love. Jem would never let his love-craving friend sacrifice his feelings on his own behalf, and yet loved Tessa more than anything. So he stepped aside, doing all he could to give them their chance together. Tessa loved them both equally. In the end, everything fit perfectly in a way I can only begin to describe. If you’ve read the book, you know perfectly well what I mean.

(I just have to add this in. I had predicted long before this book came out that Jem was Brother Zachariah and now I. Feel. Victorious.)

Clockwork Princess is a beautifully written and enjoyable book, rich with heartbreaking romance and characters that will keep you sobbing and rejoicing for weeks to come. Minus the initial slowness in the first half, the book is impecable, earning it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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