Review #18: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

a forwardsandbookwords review
Author: Cassandra Clare
Details: Third book in the YA The Infernal Devices trilogy
Publishing Information: Released March 19, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 568
First Sentence: “I’m afraid,” said the little girl sitting on the bed.
Related Reviews: Clockwork Angel (TID #1), Clockwork Prince (TID #2) 
Barnes and Noble          Amazon          IndieBound          Goodreads
Warning: The following synopsis and review contain spoilers for the first two books in the Infernal Devices trilogy. The “final thoughts” section contains no spoilers for any of the books and is a great place to go for my summarized feelings and rating of the book.synopsistaken from Goodreads

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: 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 thought 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? 

pros and cons

“life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book, and admired and recollected anew.”

Cover Review: At first glance the girl on this cover really looks like Jennifer Lawrence in my opinion, which bothers me because she already hijacked the way that I picture Katniss and there’s no way that I’m allowing her to take over my imagining of Tessa Gray’s appearance. Other than that, I like the cover. It matches and all of these covers have been stunning in my opinion.
Out of all of the books, this one definitely had my favorite storyline. The whole “Will and Jem are friends and Will likes Jem’s fiancé Tessa and Tessa also has feelings for Will” scenario reminded me of the Jim, Pam, and Roy situation in The Office. It makes for a drama filled book and tons of ship opportunities. Personally, I’d been Team Jem since the beginning but I consider both boys pretty good options. Not only was this love triangle totally intriguing and fun to follow, but this concluding book in the series also introduced many more side characters and lots more shipping opportunities between them. I found myself just as – if not more – invested in the side character’s relationships than I was in Tessa, Will, and Jem’s. I was always so excited to see how they would develop.
And speaking of developing, the character development in this entire series was incredible. All the characters changed significantly throughout the series (Charlotte, Sophie, Will, etc.), but Tessa’s character development was my favorite of all. In the first book she was a very weak female protagonist who didn’t think she was capable of doing anything, yet by this concluding novel she was totally kicking all sorts of butt.
I also completely loved the writing style in these books. I almost feel like the old-fashioned way of speaking was more pronounced as the books went on, and to me that made them so much more enjoyable. It was cool to read a modern-day book that not only takes place in the olden days but is also written that way. It felt as if I was reading a classic.

“Oh, dear,” said Cecily. “How decidedly unpleasant.”
“Do you not wish to enter?” Gabriel turned to her. “I could go instead-” 

“And leave me standing about on the cold pavement? How ungentlemanly. Certainly not.”

Despite all of the amazing things about this book, I did have some of the same issues as I did with the other ones. There were so many dramatic monologues within  these 550+ pages that it really started to get old. It seemed as if no old could just say something, they had to perform it. This brought about a lot of the dramatics that I complained about in my review of the second book. There was also so much planning that went on in this book, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes the conversations seemed awkward and forced.

Ahem,” Gideon interrupted, before Gabriel could pick up something and throw it at Magnus. “Regardless of Will’s personal qualities and failings or anyone’s inability to tell one Lightwood from another, the question remains: Do we go after Will?”

Instead of having a typical conversation where things are discussed and things are revealed over time, questions were thrown out and asked completely out of the blue as if they were the only hope of keeping the story moving.
This is quite obviously the longest book in the series, but I didn’t really have an issue with it. So many things happened within this book that I’m glad that it was so long so that Cassandra Clare could provide more of the gorgeous descriptions and moments that she is clearly very good at creating. My biggest issue with the book’s length is the fact that despite it is such a long story, there is so little foreshadowing in the beginning of the book (or series for that matter) that would suggest any of the things that happened in the end. Some of the reveals were so blatantly obvious and predictable, while others seemed to come out of nowhere, as if she was just completely making it up as she went along.

Spoiler-y Bonus Thoughts!
(contain spoilers, obviously)

Though for the most part I didn’t find the love triangle in this book annoying, I was so frustrated with Tessa’s decisions in the second half. She clearly got over Jem pretty darn quickly. I mean, even though she thought she was about to die I really think the choices she made caused all of the romantic things with Jem seem less genuine in a way. She switched sides so many times within the last one hundred pages, and I had a really hard time buying the whole “loving two people at once” thing. That’s not being with one person and caring deeply for another, that’s emotionally cheating. Still, that epilogue was so beautiful. It’s definitely my new second favorite (after Harry Potter of course).
Also, I was almost disappointed with how perfectly everything worked out in this book. It’s the end of a series, people! How did none of the main characters die in battle, yet two came back from the dead? Obviously it was still completely heart wrenching, but it almost worked out too perfectly. 
final thoughts

I would definitely recommend this series. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my absolute favorites, but it’s not very often that you find a trilogy that contains three books that are all good. The characters are so fun and the books are such a great adventure. You’ll probably cry. 
I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments yet but I now plan to. I think I might recommend actually reading the books in publication order now, because after watching a few videos and reviews by other people it sounds like the surprises in these books are even bigger surprises if you read them in publication order because they correspond with the other series. Just a thought, if you’re planning on read them. 
4/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

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