Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Author: Cassandra Clare Website|Twitter
Published: 19 March 2013
Book Depository: Paperback
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I was so relieved to finally have this book in my hands. There was so much build up, from the cover reveal to the book trailer. It's been so hard to avoid spoilers especially, so this will be a spoiler-free review in that I won't give away the ending, or any plot twists or resolutions. I'll just recap basic plot points and state what I did and didn't like.
Clockwork Princess starts out with Tessa preparing for her wedding to Jem and with the threat of Mortmain still looming. There are two parts of this review because I need to cover how I felt Clockwork Princess worked as a book on its own, and how it worked as a conclusion to the series. As a book in itself it was fantastic, because within fifty pages there was a whole load of action and fighting which wrapped me up that Shadowhunter world and had that great sense of familiarity. It reminded me what I loved about these books and gave me all the action and excitement I was hoping for!
The story itself throughout this book was definitely full of suspense and drama. I really was fearing for a lot of the characters. So much was happening around them that there was that real sense of danger. The first two thirds of the book feel like everything is building up slowly and then suddenly the last couple of hundred pages go by in a whirlwind of action and emotion.
One of my favourite parts of this book was definitely the characters themselves and how they got a real chance to shine. In particular I loved discovering more about Cecily who showed herself to be a real fighter. Her relationship with Will and how they were rediscovering each other was very touching. I also enjoyed the challenging relationship between Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood. All the characters are put to the test and some people come out better than others, but they all had something to add to the story and even the smaller characters (Sophie for instance, who I was really rooting for!). Will's humour was a great presence in this book to lighten the tone which was brilliant, and I have so much love for Jem who has probably become one of my favourite characters over the course of the trilogy. And this book definitely pulled at the heartstrings! There were some really emotional moments and I felt myself getting all emotional for these characters I'd grown to know and love, or even grown to loathe!
Looking at Clockwork Princess from the wider angle of it being the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy also gives me a lot to say. In particular I loved how elements of the history of the world Clare has created are explored more fully (Henry's inventions for example) and this book definitely gives you a lot of insight as to how all the characters from this book link up with those in The Mortal Instruments. The copy I read had a family tree at the back which was fascinating to read, but only look at it once you've read the book. Luckily I'd been warned about that before starting so I knew not to peek because it gives a lot away. But I adored how the characters all interconnected with each other.
On the other hand, the thing I was most anticipating from this third and final book was the resolution of the love triangle between Tessa, Jem and Will. I'm not going to give away what happened but I will say that I wasn't particuarly happy with the ending. Nor was I happy with what happened during the course of the book. There was one scene that made me really lose respect for Tessa and from then on it somewhat tainted my enjoyment of the book. It was near the end so it was only about a hundred pages where it niggled at me, but I was very disappointed. I've discussed my feelings about it with other people and nobody seems to agree with me, so it's obviously a very personal opinion on the matter and something that probably won't bother everyone.
The climax to the book, though, was incredible. Not only was there action but there were huge twists I just did not see coming. You know when you have to text your friend in allcaps when something jawdropping happens? Yeah, I did that. My mind was completely blown away by some of the closing action scenes and I just couldn't put it down. I read this book in about three days which is super quick for me when it comes to a book of this size.
There was a nice sense of finality at the end though and I felt everybody had their own story wrapped up, so that when you finish it feels like a nice place to end. Overall I've really enjoyed this trilogy and it's one I hope to re-read in the future. The writing is so beautiful and the characters so funny and a joy to read about. I was hoping this would be a 5* book but I'm definitely leaving it with some sense of disappointment, although I know plenty of people thought the ending was the perfect way to leave it.
Books like this: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand