Thursday, May 30, 2013

Read - Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare
2013
568 pages

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

*** CONTAINS SPOILERS *** 

This is the third and final book in the popular Infernal Devices series, which is a prequel series to the equally popular Mortal Devices books.  Over 500 pages, this one took me a while to read and was a roller coaster of emotions.  This was probably my favorite of the series, because it dealt so much with the emotions and relationships among all the familiar characters as they raced to stop the evil Magister from setting his plans in motion.  There weren't a lot of new storylines or plot twists, which always makes me happy. 

Although I did like this book in the end, I will admit there were many times it seemed to drag and I found myself skimming pages at some points.  And once again, I found myself really liking some of the lesser characters because the pressure is not on to make them as cool or perfect as the main characters.  I loved Cecily and Sophie, Gabriel and Gideon.   Tessa, Will, and Jem were awesome too but sometimes you just want to slap them, or you get sick of the endless passages about how beautiful one or the other is, or how deeply one loves the other.  It seemed the same heartfelt/heartsick conversations were being had over and over and over.

I knew this was going to be a hard story to read when, early on, the supply of Jem's life-prolonging drug was running out.  In the first two books we'd known that Jem did not want anyone searching for a cure.  A short chunk of this third book had him changing his mind about that and everyone racing to find that cure or at least some new way to keep him alive.  That was exciting and nerve wracking, but then it just switched back to 'Oh, sorry, no ... just let me die,' and it was like ... whaaaat?  That portion of the story seemed pointless.  I was dreading reading when it would be his eventual death, feared I'd be a sobbing mess even though Jem was not one of my favorite characters.  Then it came and went, and again I was like ... whaaaat??  He meant so little to the story???  This book jumps around from the perspective of several different characters.  While the scene where Will 'felt' Jem's death was sad, to not really cover the event from any other character's point of view seemed really odd.  I was kinda mad about that, wondering what the heck was going on?!  But then later we find out the twist and understand why it was done that way.  Ahhhhhhh, ok.  But still, I didn't like that twist either.  It added a few more opportunities for heartbreaking scenes but seemed really unnecessary overall.

I was disappointed in one thing about Will and Jem's goodbye scene, the one after the twist reveal.  I had soooo wanted there to be a tearful, clinging embrace.  I wanted Will to be much more of a wreck, crying even, and have Jem assuring him he'd be ok.  And it just didn't happen.  Oh well.  Later on, in the epilogue, the description of Will's death had me sobbing like I would have been if the goodbye scene would have gone my way.  *sniffle*

Will has grown on me over the course of this trilogy.  I was loving him by the end of this book.  I did like Tessa pretty much all along, and I did like Jem, but I *never* felt a connection between them.  So much had been set up for the Tessa-Will storyline that it sometimes seemed like the author was trying to backtrack and make up lost ground in trying to convince us there was ever a chance between Tessa and Jem.  I liked Jem for Jem, not as an attempted match for Tessa.  I loved Jem and Will's relationship though.  That tore me apart like nothing else in ANY of Cassandra Clare's books so far.

I was never into the automaton part of this story, and never really understood the whole background on that.  (Probably because I didn't care.  Doh!)

There was one glaring flaw in this book.  Or maybe I just missed something.  If Henry and Magnus were rushing to invent a Portal because there was no time to get from one end of London to the other in a day (this was 1873, remember), then how the heck did Shadowhunters from all over the world gather for the mandatory, extremely short notice council meeting there in London???

I've also wondered all along about Church, the cat.  I thought his immortality would be explained in this book but it wasn't.  I'm assuming he is the same Church we know in the Mortal Devices books, and we see how he gets from the London Institute to the New York one in this book, but there is still no explanation of just what he is.  I had even wondered more than once if Magnus IS Church, because it always mentions Magnus's cat-eyes.  Maybe something will be said in the final Mortal Instruments book, which comes out next year (I think).

In the end, while I thought this book could have been shorter and with a quicker pace, I did enjoy it because of the time it spent on all the emotional relationships.  I'm glad this is the final book, and really hope the author does not decide to continue the series afterall, as she did with the Mortal Instruments.  There is a family tree on the inside of the book's dust jacket that sort of fills the gaps and shows us how we get from the characters in these books to their descendants in the Mortal Instruments.  I'd heard everyone screaming that there are spoilers in the family tree so I made sure to never look at it.  Well, once I finished the book I finally allowed myself to look and the only spoiler I could see was who Tessa ended up with as far as Will or Jem.  But really, I think it was clear all along how that was going to end up, so I'm not sure what the 'spoiler screamers' were upset about.

So anyway, yeah, quite an emotional journey, and I'm glad to be finally be finished.

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