Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Just finished reading Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare which is the 2nd in the Infernal Devices series of books.  The second book picks up immediately where No.1 left off.  It’s quite possible that this review will include spoilers and although I usually try my best to avoid these I don’t think I’ve succeeded this time!  So be warned…

I don’t want to go into great detail about the plot but this particular books focuses on the trouble faced by those at the Institute for what is seen as their error in the whole ‘Mortmain’ affair and his subsequent disappearance – and more importantly the lack of confidence that the other Shadowhunters/Clave now have in Charlotte’s ability to continue running the Institute – as such she is given an ultimatum which if she doesn’t fulfill will have severe consequences.

Strangely enough I hadn’t really fancied becoming involved in this series.  I’m not overly fond of going back in time and reading about earlier events once I already know what’s going to happen in the future.   Plus I wasn’t sure how Victorian England would lend itself to shadow hunters, particularly from the female’s point of view – couldn’t imagine all the bustles, long skirts and stays and corsets being terribly helpful when you’re fighting a demon (or more to the point trying to run away from one!)  However, I was very pleasantly surprised with the first novel – it had a steampunk feel and Victorian London really lent itself to the story with it’s foggy streets and dark alleys, it was packed with action, demons and mechanical objects with automatons playing a very large role and I enjoyed it.

The second book I didn’t enjoy as much.  I know I’ll probably be beaten with a big stick now by all of CC’s massive fan base but before you all rush out with your pitchforks baying for blood let me just qualify that remark.  I don’t think it’s a bad book but it certainly wasn’t as good as No.1.  It didn’t really seem to have much action, there was no real shadowhunter business, it had a definite ‘middle book syndrome’ feel and I felt it was all more about setting up this whole love triangle thing between Will, Tessa and Jem.   I suppose bluntly put it wasn’t what I was expecting and so whilst it’s not a bad book, and I have to hand it to CC because she can certainly crank up the tension between these players, she knows how to create a drama and she can write a bit of a steamy scene between two people (within the constraints of YA that is!).  But, personally, I was hoping for more of the action, chasing bad guys, demons popping up and waving tentacles, automatons chasing people, gadgets, fog, you get the picture – that I enjoyed in the first!  Plus, I’m not overly fond of this whole love triangle thing that is so popular at the moment.  It made me feel bad for Jem.  And it made me lose some respect for Tessa.  I didn’t think she treated Jem very well.  He’s a great guy, he’s really lovely and I don’t think he should be treated as second best – come on girl, stop acting like a two faced mare!  Just because you don’t think one relationship is working doesn’t mean you just accept the next thing that comes along – her heart isn’t really in it and I just don’t think it’s fair on Jem who seems to have no idea of the real feelings that Will and Tessa have for each other.  Enough said!  Mini rant over.

So, on the whole, whilst I think the majority of CC fans will  not be disappointed and I think the romance elements will be eagerly read I was hoping for a little more along the lines of the first novel and I felt a little disappointed that it was less about the action and more about the emotional web.  Just not what I was expecting I guess.  I imagine No.3 may throw us back into the thick of things (or at least I hope so).  I wouldn’t like to think that the Shadowhunter series is simply going to become about Jem loves Tessa, Tessa loves Will, Tessa likes Jem, Will loves Tessa, etc, etc.

Forgot to mention that Magnus makes his appearance again in this story – I love that guy – he is a real character and enjoyable to read.  I certainly would not object to him being given more air time!

Not a bad read, quite enjoyable, not what I was hoping for though and hoping that No.3 gets back on track.

Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince

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8 Responses to “Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare”

  1. TBM

    I have this series on my shelf but haven’t started it yet. It seems more often than not the second in a series is a little bit of a letdown. I hope No. 3 picks up for you and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

  2. lynnsbooks

    Did you read the other series – City of Bones, etc?? I will still read No.3 but I thought the idea of this series was to tell us the story of what came before the Mortal Instruments and so far we’re not really moving towards this. Oh well, we’ll see.

    Lynn 😀

  3. Genki Jason

    Okay, I’m bookmarking these as potential Christmas gifts for someone who is into steam punk.

    • lynnsbooks

      Hello Jason
      If your friend really likes steampunk I very much enjoyed the Parasol Protectorate series of books by Gail Carriger – think the first is called Soulless – brilliant humour excellent writing and bits of everything going on – vampires, werewolves, dirigibles, automated parasols with so many weapon attachments that they put 007 to shame and even Queen Victoria gets in on the act! Really worthwhile. Five books altogether in the whole series.
      Lynn 😀

  4. jenclair

    I truly enjoyed the first one, and I agree that the second one wasn’t as good. Not bad, and I did enjoy seeing the characters again, but not as interesting as the first one. I’ll be looking for the third one, though.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’ll still be reading the third – I need to see how it all works out. I am enjoying the series and the 2nd didn’t put me off but I just felt it focused too much on the relationship at the cost of everything else.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Tanya Patrice

    I’m on the fence about reading this. For me, the 1st one was just okay. I had problems with the setting mostly – it seemed like it could have been happening anywhere, and it didn’t even seem that the events were happening in a past time.

    • lynnsbooks

      I didn’t mind the 1st one but the second was disappointing to be honest, so, if you didn’t like the first I’m not sure what you’ll make of this one!!
      Lynn 😀

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