Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Book:  Clockwork Prince
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Date:  December, 2011
Source:  Christmas present!
My grade:  A++

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.

My Review

Oh Cassandra Clare!  How your very existence makes me happy!  I love your books so much.

I was scared to start this series when it first came out.  I didn’t think that there was any way I could like it as well as The Mortal Instruments, but I was sooooo wrong!  This series is just as great as The Mortal Instruments and the second installment is as fabulous as the first one was.  Even better in many ways, since we get to discover some more information and dig a little deeper into personal stories and the main plotline.

I’ve spent a good deal of time today thinking about this review.  Really, I was thinking about what it is that I love so much about Cassandra Clare’s novels.  There are several things and they all apply to Clockwork Prince, so I’ll just spell those out right now.

First there is the complexity.  There are family, friendship and romantic story lines taking place and intertwining with the main plot.  And the main plot is always layers deep and filled with surprises.  This makes for a wonderfully interesting read because every little bit of the book feels important to the story.

Second, there is the rich characterization.  Cassandra Clare’s characters are so multi-dimensional.  They are as complex as the story line.  They are not flat, one-dimensional characters.  They all have strengths and flaws.  This is true of the secondary characters as well.  In fact, at times it feels as if there are no secondary characters.  As a reader, I know a lot about all the characters involved and I get to see the good and the bad.  Also, trying to figure out what it is that motivates her characters is intriguing.  They always have some interesting stories to tell.

Finally, there is the way she tells the story.  I have heard people accuse her of purple prose, and perhaps there is some of that. ::shrugs::  I love the detail and the flow of her books.  Again, every word feels deliberate and necessary, yet the story keeps moving at a great clip.

This book is no exception to these things.  It picks up where it left off with everyone back at the Institute and we discover that Charlotte is going to have to prove that she can run the Institute or the Clave is going to give it to someone else.  Jem is still struggling with his illness and Will is still heartbreaking.  This book has some major, major reveals, but for every secret that is uncovered, it seems that there are always more to replace it.

I was thoroughly satisfied with this book.  There were developments that I didn’t see coming and there are developments that I don’t really know what to think of or how I really want to work out in the end.  What I do know is that I simply cannot wait to get my hands on book number 3!

My grade for this book is of course, A++!  I am still a crazy devoted fan and I wish I had a Shadowhunter too!

Of course, my source for this book was my fabulous hubby, who got it as a Christmas present.  He’s not a Shadowhunter, but he’s still wonderfu

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