Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices #3)
Published By:  Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Page Count:  568 pages
Source:  Purchased by Reviewer
  Audience:  Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy/Historical

I have never cried so hard, nor rejoiced so much, nor laughed so often, nor hugged a book so fiercely in all my life.  There are so few examples of truly EPIC and gush-worthy endings in the YA literary world...but Clockwork Princess is hands-down one of the best!  The final book in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices trilogy is an example in perfection...a perfect example of how a book series should end.  If you're looking for anything critical for me to say about this book, you will not find anything here.

In Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare earns her stripes as a literary goddess in the way she tells a story.  How she can seamlessly juggle handfuls of characters without making their own stories feel trivial compared to the main characters is beyond me.  This story was so multifaceted and complex but never felt overwhelming.  Ms. Clare boldly inserted humour through her wonderfully developed characters in just the right places to make a particular scene just perfect!  The relationships between the characters induced MUCH feelings in me that I truly came to care for each of them...not just the three main characters...Tessa, Will and Jem.


I will admit that when I first started reading Clockwork Angel way back...I had a bit of a mental block in my mind.  These characters were not Jace, Clary and Simon.  And these characters lived in a time over 100 years before the events of The Mortal Instruments.  Stories set in Victorian England, I thought, were never really my thing...but Cassandra Clare made HER story MY thing.  For Cassie has a wonderful talent for pulling you in, if not immediately, but eventually.  Her characters grow with you and for me, the characters of the Clockwork series have practically become dear friends.  And it is because they meant so much to me that by the time I finished the book, I was an emotional mess.  Giant sobs, red-rimmed eyes, runny nose and all!

But it wasn't all about just being sad, and being sorry to say good-bye to these beloved characters...it was about being happy and hopeful for them as well.  I wanted each of them to have their happily ever afters in the worst possible way.  Of course, that would include solving the seemingly impossible predicament of perhaps best love triangle I have ever read.  For in a love-triangle, one will surely be cast out, and then I would feel sorry for the one not chosen, and that would spoil, just a bit, the happiness of the two that end up together.  You will have to see for yourself how Cassie tactfully and sensitively handled this impossible situation.  I was completely torn for both Will and Jem.  Both boys were absolutely perfect for Tessa and the love they each had for her was epic in their own individual ways.  And I never felt that Tessa didn't deserve their love...never ever.

Tessa has been a favourite heroine of mine since the series began.  She has grown so beautifully and gracefully into the woman she has become in Clockwork Princess, and she has become a top favourite of mine.  Tessa was courageous and selfless and had the most lovely sense of humour.  It was easy to see why both boys loved her so much.

We also got to see Will at his finest in this part of the trilogy.  His selfless love for both Tessa and Jem defies adequate explanation.  His convictions and determination to do the right thing just set my heart soaring and I wanted so desperately for him to be happy because he truly deserved it.  I might not have thought that way at the beginning of these books...but I surely did by the end.

And then there's Jem.  I have to admit that I was *Team Jem* at the beginning of the series, and I only wavered because we got to know Will so much better as his story unfolded throughout the installments.  Jem has been strong and true all along, despite his terminal illness. His parabatai bond with Will was unique and special.  They were more than blood-brothers...they were soul-mates if ever two best friends could be.  I felt their bond so deeply in this book--it was just beautiful.

Charlotte, Henry, Sophie and some of the others that we came to know throughout this series became more than complimentary characters.  They shared the spotlight with Tessa, Will and Jem and I never minded one minute of their stories too.  In Clockwork Princess, we also got to know Cecily Herondale, Will's younger sister, as well as Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood, a lot better and I really enjoyed their parts in this story as well.  As for the main villain, Mortmain.  I would have said that he lacked some TEETH half-way through these books, but in this final installment, we saw his true colours and he was beyond redemption...self-admittedly so.

And finally...Magnus.  He has truly become a favourite character of mine.  The powerful warlock is a major player in both series.  His time in London served as a time for his own self discovery.  Magnus came to some of his own personal revelations through his dealings with Will and the Shadowhunters that set him on the path we already have witnessed him in, in the present times of The Mortal Instruments.  I loved his contribution to this story...immensely!

The revelations in this final installment were staggering even though they were highly anticipated.  Some things I had guessed and I felt truly vindicated...while others were totally jaw-dropping!  The ties to the present-day story were so well mapped out, I cannot fathom how Cassandra Clare had all this in her mind.  I loved drawing the connections and seeing the history of some key issues played out between the two series.  It just further illustrates how truly talented Cassie is in creating this incredible world.  The Herondale, Carstairs and Lightwood family tree on the inside cover was the icing on the cake!  Just be sure not to look at it until AFTER you have read the story!  Again, I don't think any of us could have asked for a better conclusion to this trilogy.  And so it is with a heavy heart that I turned the last page and let it truly sink in that this part of the story is over.  It was bittersweet.  Conversely, and with some hope, there were a few threads left for us to pick up in the last installment of The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire, due out in March 2014, of which I cannot wait!




Summary:

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy

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.





10 comments:

  1. I loved the ending! I was rooting for it the whole way, and Tessa rocks:)

    Lovely review:)

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    1. Me too, Christina! And Tessa DOES rock! She's definitely one of my most favourite heroines ever! Thanks for your comments!!

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  2. Wow, this is some review. :) I haven't started on the series yet and feel like kicking myself now. I've missed out on such a god series.

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    1. Thanks Ashfa! You definitely need to read this series! I loved it MORE than TMI! It's really, REALLY all kinds of awesome! The last book IS EPIC!!

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  3. I've seen so much hype and love for this series that I'm sort of afraid to start it. I don't want to raise my expectations too high. Anyways, great review!

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  4. My favorite book of the saga, love special de ending, bittersweet but perfect, I want more of Tessa

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  5. This whole series sounds completely gorgeous!

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  6. I've read the first book in The Infernal Devices and I am so excited to finish the trilogy off - that is once I've finished with The Mortal Instruments!

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  7. Ok wow. Excitement. I didn't know TID was a trilogy. Whereas TMI is a 5 book series. I have not started this one but just knowing that it's a trilogy with a great ending, I'm pretty much sold. Thanks for the review!

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  8. Thanks for all your comments! It's an amazing trilogy! My favourite!

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