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 love a good Cassie Clare book, but The Infernal Devices have been my favourite of hers by far, to date anyhow. So to say I was eagerly anticipating the release of Clockwork Princess is an understatement. I pre-ordered it from Amazon, and then freaked out for three days waiting for it to ship after it was released. I am not a reasonable creature about exciting books. When it arrived I quite literally threw my current read over my shoulder and left it to moulder in a corner. Sorry review book, you were fine, but there just wasn't any comparison.
Now before you go further, let me say, this is a spoiler free review, HOWEVER, I make no promises about previous books, so if you haven't read the first two, consider carefully before reading ahead. PS- also, beware of the slip jacket when you dive in. Us book lovers like to remove it before reading, which has lead several people to experience MAJOR spoilage, as that's where they tucked the extra content, which in Canada at least, was a genealogy tree of characters. So don't look as you remove, unless you're one of those crazy people who like to find all their Christmas presents, in which case, enjoy.
I was going into Clockwork Princess fully prepared for tears and sadness, and the very real possibility of heart crushing. Clare was frank that people would die, and she was going to MAKE readers cry. She seemed quite gleeful about it, which is all the more reason she's my kind of lady. I am a blood-thirsty reader, as the hubby so frequently points out, and I respect an author who can rub her/his hands together and giggle evilly about breaking people with words. Break me in your capable hands. In fact, I challenge you to do it as thoroughly as J.K. Rowling, the only author to leave me positively inconsolable. I was never the same after you killed Dumbly J.K., I think you damaged me.
Tessa craned her head back to look at him. "You know that feeling," she said, "when you are reading a book, and you know that it's going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing close around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage, and you cannot let go or turn the course aside." His blue eyes were dark with understanding- of course Will would understand-...Amazingly though, all my cries were happy cries, and not the teeth gnashing, ugly cries I expected. She killed people, but I was left surprised by her mercy, she wasn't even slightly evil. In fact, I'll go so far to say, she has put together one of the most plausible and satisfying endings I've read in quite some while. It will be a very strange fan who isn't happy with it.
As per usual, all the tension, intrigue and mystery between the characters was top notch. There was full satisfaction on both Tessa's background and Wills family situation. The love triangle, oh here we go, ended up surprising me. This is what a love triangle is people, everything else is a poser trying to be a love triangle. Honestly, authors take note, Clare has really hit the only believable notes I've ever read in the love triangle business of YA. The full and final explanation, coupled with how each of the characters handled things until the end, was both compelling and believable. Instead of making me think of wishy washy teens with undependable emotions, Clare left me feeling like Will, Jem and Tessa are some of the most generous people who ever did love each other, sincerely and utterly. This looked like what I want true, lasting love to look like, hard, complicated and yet natural, not tarted up as endlessly passionate or full of angst.
Even better there was set up that trickles back into The Mortal Instruments, and of course The Bane Chronicles. Church! Brother Zachariah! Tessa! Magnus! It has left me twice as excited about the forthcoming City of Heavenly Fire, the Bane Chronicles and the new series The Dark Artifices.
"A very magnanimous statement, Gideon," said Magnus.There is nothing quite as addictive as a series that snakes back and tangles up in another story or series, tying them all together but in no way requiring you to commit to all the books to feel like the story is complete.
Magnus waved a hand. "All Lightwoods look the same to me-"
Now I want to talk all the spoilage! So make sure to come back tomorrow and spoiler dish with me, because trying to explain the in's and out's to the hubby is doing nothing for me.
Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, March 19th 2013