Title: Clockwork Prince
Series: The Infernal Devices (Book #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Summary: 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.
Review: I…I suppose I’ll just start by saying that this was much better than Clockwork Angel. And I regret having ever dared Clare to make me feel the same types of emotions with this series as she did with Mortal Instruments. Because she has succeeded–big time.
My best friend read this book before and warned me that my heart was going to break. But I don’t know if I really, truly believed her until I found my heart cracking into pieces, feeling my very soul being stripped away from me. I finished this book early this morning (around four!) and couldn’t even get my eyes to close until at least an hour later. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, that my entire world was going to crumble; mixed with the fact that we have to wait until December to resolve all of this, to fix what has happened. It’s like it’s crushing me, and that, my friends, is not a feeling I have had since I read ∙the Mortal Instruments.
Usually, I can keep my reviews rather spoiler-free, although I always have a spoiler warning for the more detailed review to follow this smaller one. However, since I will focus mostly on all the feelings that attacked me while reading this, I strongly recommend not reading past this point until you have read the book yourself. Even if you don’t care about spoilers. The only way to find out is to read it yourself, because that’s when it knocks the breath out of you and feel as if you’re suffocating. It’s a surprisingly beautiful feeling, actually.
What I Liked: Spoilers.
- I retract everything I said about Will being a copy of Jace in my review of Clockwork Angel. I don’t believe it anymore, and Clare has definitely proven that Will is his own character, capable of ripping my heart out all on his own. I always like how in Clare’s books, by the second book you get to read more from everybody’s else’s point of view, rather than the main character (Tessa, in this case). We got to see Will’s point of view, Jem’s sometimes, Charlotte’s, Magnus’s, even Sophie’s. And because of this, we got to see into Will more than we were able to before, when the first book was written mainly from Tessa’s point of view. Everything about his story is not because he wanted to be alone, wanted to push people away, like Jace seemed to sometimes; but because he feared for them, because he couldn’t bear to lose somebody like he lost his sister. And, as Clare says in the book, because nobody around him died was his own proof that they didn’t love him, and that was the first blow to my soul reading this book. Will is actually loving, charming, and is able to be sensitive and not sarcastic at all times, and only does so to protect those he cares about. He has his own story now, his own reasons, and his own feelings; and I have lost any inclination that he might be similar to Jace in any way whatsoever.
- Despite the heartache this left me with, Clare still manages to make me smile. I can’t help but laugh–like when Tessa asks what color Will’s soul his and his response is “Mauve”, like it’s totally natural–even near the end, when I was on the verge of downright sobbing because I felt so distressed, she still managed to make me laugh. I call that true talent, when you can feel so many things at once, and such entirely, separate emotions, when reading one story. When your heart is breaking and then you still can’t stop yourself from managing a smile, regardless.
- Alright, we’ll get on to the heartbreak I keep referring to. And beware, this might become less “professional” than what I try to have in my reviews (I generally try to keep my favorite pairings and all that out of my reviews), because I’m feeling much too emotional to try and censor anything I might say, hahah. Let it be known that I do prefer Will over Jem. All day, every day, regardless of almost any circumstance. Especially the “new” Will, as they call him, the one who is unafraid to show affection, unafraid of loving after so very long. That Will is almost everything Jem is, with more. Protective, caring, sensitive; the thing that separated Will and Jem is how opposite they were, but now they are very near to each other. Don’t get me wrong; I love Jem, and I want him to be happy. Just not with Tessa! As I said, my heart first shattered when you read of Will’s curse; how he’s been doomed to a life of solitude. And every time Tessa and Will were together during the book, every time they brushed hands, or shared a kiss, and every time Will had to push her away again, I felt more of myself cracking. But when Jem was with Tessa, I didn’t feel any of those same things; I think Jem probably cares of Tessa, but I don’t feel as though she loves him, not the way she loves Will. I feel as though she only said yes to Jem’s proposal is because she had given up hoping Will could love her, even though he already did, and possibly much more so than Jem could. And the “new” Will, how he goes to Tessa, how he’s near gentle with her, and the way he was so unafraid to tell her how felt for her, to explain it in every detail why he loved her so much. Because they were alike, because he loved her words, her thoughts, the way she looked at the world. And what did Jem have? Saying the world melts away when you see her is a good line, Jem, and probably honest, but really, it has no comparison to the things Will has done, has said, for and to Tessa. And had she waited, just a little while, just a little bit longer, to say yes to Jem, she would have known how Will felt. And then all would be right with the world, and I could sew my soul back inside myself and it would be okay. Will’s feelings are so pure and maybe Jem’s are, too, but Jem has not struggled as Will has. Will has never let anybody loved him, never believed and had proof, that nobody did, and wanted to change everything for Tessa. And Jem has never had to fight to get somebody to love him–he’s just been able to show it more freely, and it seems so very unfair that Will has had to hide all this time, and lost the girl he loves more than life itself because of it; because he loves Jem too much to hurt him, but knowing he can’t live without Tessa either. My goodness. How can one stop their heart from just exploding? The last three chapters of the book, I felt like my stomach had come loose from wherever it’s supposed to be tethered and was floating right up against my heart. I had a stomachache, and could hardly get words out of my mouth (remember I read everything out loud; made it entirely more painful than had I just read it in my head, as I could hear my own voice breaking whenever I cried), force myself to read what I didn’t want to happen. It was heart wrenching, but one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. I love to feel for the characters I read about. And Will. Perhaps I’ve felt more for Will Herondale than any other book character. And that is quite the accomplishment.
- I’m just going to give a shout out to Gideon. These side characters in books I’ve been reading lately have really kept me hanging on, even when I feel like I’m about to shatter. He and Sophie managed to make me incredibly happy at all times, and I’m glad Sophie’s found somebody to finally love her.
Though now watch him die or something in Clockwork Princess. That’d be just my luck.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Am I allowed to say that I didn’t like the outcome? That I didn’t like Tessa’s decision because it destroyed my very being? That I wanted to slap Jem for thinking Will had saved Tessa for Jem’s sake and not because Will was capable of loving more deeply than any of them? I don’t suppose any of those are legitimate ‘What I Didn’t Like’ statements that Clare could improve upon, are they? I’ll just give up on writing anything in this section, as there’s nothing I can think of noting.
I must amend my comment that I can think of nothing wrong with this book. I have found something. Tessa and Jem’s “scene” in Jem’s room. Jem is not even acting like himself, the self that Tessa loved to be around, the happy, sensibile, sensitive, sweet Jem that he is painted to be, that is his character. You’d think his great revealing of his love for Tessa would be more Jem-like, and less like something you’d expect Will to do. And of course Tessa drove me a little crazy here. She doesn’t even think she has feelings for Jem in the slighest, and she’s always worrying about what is proper and doesn’t let Gabriel Lightwood touch her arm during training because it’s “improper”, and then she goes throwing herself at Jem, practically tearing off her clothes for him. And this is a girl who frets constantly about proper behavior? This wild, dramatic display of affection had nothing of Jem in it; not the sweet, kind, and understanding man Clare painted him to be. In the heat of the moment, we lost Jem and he was replaced by somebody else entirely. Not to mention the way Tessa tells herself constantly that she loves Jem, she wants to marry him. If you have to convince yourself of these things, you shouldn’t accept somebody’s proposal. Especially since it’s very obvious that Tessa loves Will, and accepted Jem in an effort to destory those feelings for Will. Those feelings that will never die and, I predict now, will only end up severely hurting Jem in the future.
Overall: I…I don’t know what to say. I’m sure I must have convinced you to read this book. You need to, especially if you’re a fan of heartache, as I am. Of one of the most achingly beautiful masterpieces to ever grace the world of fiction. Just do yourself a favor and let yourself feel all these things. Let yourself drown in this beauty and the sorrow and the tragedy. It’s so very worth it. It’s so…perfect. There truly aren’t words to describe my emotions right now, and I’m doing a very poor job of it. You’ll just have to read it and find out for yourself what this feels like!
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