Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

Lies. Betrayal. Danger. Deception. Anger. Adventure. Passion. Love. All of which await eager readers in Cassandra Clare’s latest installment of The Infernal Devices, Clockwork Prince. Clare flawlessly blends action, sci-fi/fantasy, YA, pararomance, and steampunk together magically.

While romance is a huge part of this latest book, it does not over power the adventure. For me, other YA sagas such as Twilight, the love story overpowered the action and adventure, especially in the second book making it less enjoyable but in this series….there was a delicate balance which made it exceptionally hard to put down!

In the midst of all the YA romance there is a richly satisfying mystery and adventure. Tales or betrayal, lies, deception, and unrequited love all cloak this book in a silky velvet darkness that  fully encompasses all the characters and plot not just a singular aspect of the story.  Add in the clockwork angels, automatons, and steam powered inventions and you have one perfectly constructed Steampunk novel! As most of you know, I am a sucker for a Byronic hero…I love the romanticism that goes a long with the agonizing gothic hero….there is just something desperately attractive about gothic heros and their tales of unrequited love and their secrets. One of my favorite quotes (which was also featured in this book) is by Charlotte Bronte: “The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.”

Thus this becomes the motto which Will Herondale has become accustom to…Will has locked away all his hopes, dreams, and desires to live a cursed life without love or companionship. Will has accepted his solidarity as part of his existence as a shadowhunter….much in the same way that his parabatai (blood brother) James Carstairs has learned to accepted the fact that he himself is dying.

There is only on thing that stands in the way of Will succeeding at living a life of loneliness….Tessa Gray.

In the previous book, Clockwork Angel, Tessa has met two very different men….Will and James (Jem). Tessa is strongly attracted to Will immediately. Will who is moody and hurtful….but Tessa senses the good in him. Deep down she knows there is more to him than meets the eye, more than just a sarcastic, morose boy…..passionate and wild, Will speaks straight to Tessa’s heart but he pushes her away….fighting every impulse in his body.

Jem, Will’s best friend with the silvery white hair and calming disposition is a stark contrast to Will. Jem is caring, compassionate, strong, and stable. Jem is constant, he is the rock….he is the lighthouse in Will’s storm and he is also dying. Posinioned by a demon when he was young, he is forced to live off yin fen (a magical drug similar to opium). He will die with or without the drug….with it he will die more slowly.

While Will is busy destroying everything he touches, Jem is hurriedly picking up the pieces left behind after Will’s destruction. One piece of that destruction is Tessa. Cast off by Will, she turns to Jem who warmly accepts her and they slowly develop a mutual friendship and affection but Tessa cannot ride herself of Will as easily as he is seemingly able to rid himself of her. As always there comes a time when Tessa must choose between the two boys she has fallen in love with….the dark, brooding, passionate….erratic Will, or good hearted, compassionate, loving….loyal Jem.

There is something to be said for loyalty….though I am a sucker for wildly passionate and impulsiveness….when I was reading this book, AJ Housman’s poem kept running through my mind: Halt by the headstone naming/ The heart no longer stirred,/And say the lad that loved you/Was one that kept his word.

Unlike Will, Jem wears his heart on his sleeve and he loves Tessa….period end of story, but with Will his feelings are always a mystery….as elusive and convoluted as a shadow. Will Tessa gamble on a sure thing or take her chances with a long shot?

Whatever her choice is, she knows by choosing one or the other, she will surly change Will and Jem’s relationship forever….and rip apart her own heart in the process.

One thing I loved most about this book was that Tessa wasn’t irritating. In Twilight and other books like the Sookie Stackhouse series….the heroines got on my nerves when it came to the love triangle…..Jacob or Edward, Edward or Jacob….Eric or Bill, Bill or Eric. Lord I just wanted to SCREAM….PICK ONE ALREADY!!! But not in this book which made me really respect Tessa as a heroine. There is of course the dilemma….Will or Jem….but again, it doesn’t over power the story.

While the teenage hormones rage on, there is a mystery that needs solving: The Magister has escaped Nephilim capture and threatens to destroy everything they hold dear. The London Institute of Shadowhunters must track down the Magister and stop him….but they have no idea where to begin. Their search will take them all the way to Yorkshire, searching for clues to his plan and location.

While they desperately search for the Magister, Tessa hopes to discover the answer to the questions of her past….is she a demon after all? Is she a warlock? If so why doesn’t she have a mark? Is she a changeling? A shadowhunter? Tessa knows she is the key to bringing down the Magister but she must know what she is before she can use that key.

It is full steam ahead from beginning to end!!! The novel keeps up constant action and moves forward without a break, leading up to the brilliant conclusion. Full of twists and shocking revelations this book will leave readers longing for the next book in the series. I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor when the book was over……I was SHOCKED!

I could NOT put the book down from beginning to end and I simply MUST read the books over again sometime in the near future. The next book isn’t due out until next year (Sept or Dec I think) and I simply don’t know that I can make it that long….I am literally DYING to know what happens next….I’ve lost sleep trying to figure out how the next book will work things out….though I have a theory I will keep it to myself :).

Escape into a world where we are all pulvis et umbra sumus (dust and shadows)….by the Angel you will not be disappointed in the least!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare 

  • Hardcover, Collector’s Edition, 498 pages
  • Published December 6th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • ISBN 1416975888 (ISBN13: 9781416975885)

This book counts toward:  Steampunk Reading Challenge 

Recommendation:5 out of 5 (it was AWESOME, a fun easy, addictive read)

Genre: Steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi, angel lit

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

4 thoughts on “Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare

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