Title: Clockwork Prince (#2 The Infernal Devices)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA – Urban-Fantasy
Published by: Walker Books in 2011
Synopsis from the Book:
“In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while 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 to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…”
Clockwork Prince was so much better than its predecessor, Clockwork Angel. Straight away I could visibly see that, not only had the writing gotten stronger, but practically every criticism I had for Clockwork Angel had been rectified in this sequel.
First off, much more focus was given to character development. This was a very ‘character-heavy’ book that I felt was absolutely necessary after having not explored the depths of the characters’ profiles in the first instalment (which happened to focus more around the acceleration of the plot than anything else).
I found our heroine, Tessa, to be a lot more likable in this instalment. For some reason I found her almost unbearable in Clockwork Angel and I was really worried that she’d end up ruining the entire series for me – I mean, if you can’t connect to the MC, you’re just not going to enjoy the reading experience as much. But I thoroughly enjoyed her characterisation here. She felt stronger, more determined and focused and also much more believable, particularly when it came to her feelings surrounding her brother, Nate. I also really liked how blunt she was; she certainly held nothing back and she didn’t sugar-coat anything either:
“You cannot buy or drug or dream your way out of pain.”
The relationship between Jem and Will is something I’m really glad was explored more in this instalment. I found the way they cared for one another to be incredibly touching (and, at times, heartbreaking).
I loved Jem in CP even more than the first novel (which I didn’t think was at all possible considering how deep my love went for him in CA!) But the following line pretty much sums him up:
“Jem put the full force of himself into each smile, so that he seemed to be smiling with his eyes, his heart, his whole being.”
He is so kind and good. And I love that we got to see a few of his flaws around the half-way mark, too. It brought a deeper sense of realism to his character.
And I really grew to care for Will, too – and that’s saying something about Clare’s storytelling, considering I couldn’t stand him in Clockwork Angel!
I mean, I even had sympathy for Jessamine, of all people! And her actions in this instalment were quite morally questionable (at best). That again shows how talented Clare is at developing characters and eliciting emotion from her readers.
I really adored Sophie in this novel, too. I found her to be very perceptive and observant and so strong. Even though her position as a servant could have been jeopardised, she would still do what was necessary in order to protect those she cared for and I really appreciated her will-power here.
I’ll talk more in depth of the characters in the spoilery section!
The writing itself flowed quite wonderfully. The way Clare casually drip-dropped little hints of a character’s past was genius. And incredibly aggravating (but in the best possible way): it certainly left me desperate to know everything all at once and, therefore, kept me glued to the pages. And Clare certainly knows how to tug at the heartstrings. She uses the perfect formula: the right amount/sort of information will be revealed at exactly the right time, thus creating an intense field of emotions within the story, as it is told (and also leaving its readers a pathetic, babbling mess, too 😭).
As for the plot, it was clear to me that this instalment focused more around the mysterious elements of the Shadow World and, indeed, drags the readers down far deeper into Victorian England’s underworld. I found the plot to be wholly engaging and compelling; it sucked me in right from the get-go.
Just before I move onto the more spoilery section of this review, I would just like to say that I am very glad to have had my opinions of the first novel turned completely on their head in this one. I think the fact that I had had not-so-high expectations for Clockwork Prince made me enjoy it even more. I’m very glad that I decided to keep on reading this series and I can’t wait to get my hands on Clockwork Princess and devour it in its entirety (as emotional as I know it will inevitably be 😭).
Spoilery (In Which I Fangirl – apologies in advance):
First of all, I need to eat my own words. In my review of Clockwork Angel, I pretty much concluded that Will’s behaviour was completely unwarranted and totally inexcusable. I always wondered why people liked Will so much – I used to think, ‘ugh, why would you? HOW could you?’ But I stand corrected. And now I feel a bit silly for hating Will so much 😂 The only possible thing that would perhaps make Will’s words/actions excusable and BAM Clare did it *round of applause.*
But seriously, Will is such a heartbreaking character. You can’t help but feel really bad for him; he seems so lonely and so desperate, you find yourself really rooting for him and you kind of just want to give him a hug and tell him ‘there, there.’
And I really wasn’t expecting to feel this way about Will. At all. I was fully prepared to hate him for the rest of the trilogy. It was a sneaky sort of unpredictability. It wasn’t unpredictable plot-wise, but it most certainly was unpredictable when it came to my own thoughts and feelings surrounding Will. I had no idea I’d ever feel quite as sympathetic as I did towards Will and I love Clare for that. I love the way she decided to screw with my mind and what I thought I knew 😂
Now I don’t even know who I want Tessa to end up with! I mean, Jem will always be one of my favourite characters (and love interests) in fiction but, on the other hand, I do think Will and Tessa complement each other quite well. I certainly don’t envy Tessa in this regard! And usually I hate love triangles and find them completely pointless and ridiculous, so the fact that I feel as confused as Tessa does and can’t make up my mind over who she should be with makes me feel great empathy towards her character.
Can I just quickly mention that scene with Tessa and Jem . Ya know, that scene *fans self.* I literally had butterflies in my stomach and shivers snaking down my spine reading it. It’s been a while since I felt that way about two characters getting it on in a book 😂😍 But I did – no shame felt here!
Also, the conversation between Charlotte and Henry was so sweet and adorable and they’re such a cute couple. I’m really glad they finally addressed all those rumours. And Charlotte’s baby news! Already, I feel really anxious for her when I move on to Clockwork Princess – I’m going to be so unbelievably sad if they don’t make it out alive. Or if any character dies really. I’m so connected to all of them! And I feel really protective of them, too. But everyone says CP is really sad and that they were in floods of tears whilst reading it so, basically, I’m doomed.
My only criticism for Clockwork Prince would be the fact that the big-bad wasn’t at all present during the entire story. I kind of expected him to be so felt a little let down by that, but I’m sure it’s all working up to something massively devastating for book three *wails.*
I’ll be reading Clockwork Princess in two books time so wish me the best of luck! 😂