Monday, 22 April 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: March 19th 2013
My rating: 3 stars
Audio-Book 


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.


My review for Clockwork Princess won’t be a conventional one.  I’m not going to re-cap a book when you’ve already read a million reviews on it.  If you’re reading this you’ve probably read book one and two and know what’s going on, or mostly anyways.  If you’re like me, the year and four months between books meant a lot of “what the heck?” moments trying to remember details. 

So I guess I’m the odd one out here, because there is a SEA of 5 star reviews for this.  I couldn’t bring myself to rate it above 3 stars.  I almost gave 2 stars after finishing because I was so ruined by the epilogue. 

Let’s start with the positive first:
The puzzle of Mortmain’s intensions and how Tessa fit in was satisfyingly revealed and resolved.  I loved the action and adventure, and all the secondary character stories.  I adored the sweet romance between Gideon and Sophie, and the cute and spunky one between Cecily and Gabriel.  Seeing how these played out was such a treat.  I had several giggles from the scones-under-the-bed scene, to Cecily’s rating of Gabriel:

“Five?” He echoed blankly.
“My rating,” she said, and smiled at him. “Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practice.”
“And you are willing to be my tutor?”
“I should be very insulted if you chose another,” she said, and leaned up to kiss him again.

Bridget surprised me with her kick-ass skills.  She was like a fiery-haired goddess!!:

The automaton went down under Cyril’s assault, as Bridget, a flying menace of red hair and steely blades, sliced her way past Cecily to Charlotte’s side, shearing the arms off two automatons with her sword before whirling about, her back to Charlotte, as if she meant to protect the head of the Institute with her life.
 
*****DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T READ CLOCKWORK PRINCESS. SPOILERS AHEAD*****

I LOVED Tessa and Will finally together.  Their piercingly sweet declarations of love stole my breath and brought tears to my eyes!!  The inscription Will wrote to her in A Tale of Two Cities, oh-my-heart!! Their intimate moments were full of longing desire and love.  I was swooning so hard!!

He kissed the side of her mouth. “I love you. God, I love you. I waited so long to say it.”
  
Now the “not-so-much” for me:
THE LOVE TRIANGLE!!  I DETEST love triangles!  One person flitting about between two others just drives me nuts.  If you can have feelings for someone else, you do not truly love either one of them as deeply as you should.  It’s a heart divided, so you are never being fair to either party.  Neither gets what they deserve: a person who loves them and ONLY THEM. 

With all that said, I have to say I never really truly bought Tessa’s romantic love for Jem.  I never felt it come through, it always IMO, read like a plot device.  Something contrived to keep your attention.  This is the reason I was always Team Will.  Not because I didn’t like Jem, but because I never thought Tessa truly loved him as she did Will.  She only agreed to Jem once she thought her love of Will would never be returned. After they were engaged it seemed like she treated it as a duty, rather than being so very happy.  On a side note, I don’t feel the same for the love-triangle between Adam, Juliette and Warner (From Shatter Me).  I detest it, but I do feel love/lust come through for both Adam and Warner.

I DID NOT CARE FOR THE EPILOGUE ONE BIT!! It basically ruined the romance between Will and Tessa for me.  The book ends with Tessa and Will engaged and meeting his parents, but we don’t see them after that.  We don't get to witness any of their time together, in love over the years. The epilogue begins with Will on his death bed.  Did I want to witness that?  No!!! Then what felt like two seconds later, Tessa is meeting up with Jem and they get together.  She tells him she loved him the whole time she was with Will, loved them both equally at the SAME time!!! What the heck?!! Why can’t you pick one person and be loyal with you WHOLE heart to that ONE person?!!  I don’t buy into this whole, you-weren’t-jealous-of-each-other-because-you-were-parabatai bit, AT ALL!  Will was jealous!! We read about it.  No Tessa, no Cassandra, I DO NOT LIKE how you cheapened what was supposed to be a love of a lifetime.  And Tessa and Jem meeting each other secretly each year did not sit well with me either.  It smacks of an emotional affair to me.  None of this was fair to Will or Jem!!

This is not my only issue with this series.  I didn’t care for the wait in between books, and I know that this may be a little unfair to the overall story.  But it did impact my enjoyment.  There was no re-cap whatsoever, so I felt a detachment to the story because I couldn’t remember half of what happened in the previous books!  Slowly things would come back to me or I would ask a friend (thank you Bethany!) to refresh my memory. 

In the end I mostly enjoyed the story until the epilogue, but I won’t be picking up any more books from The Mortal Instruments series or from The Infernal Devices for a very long time.  At the very least until they’re all published.  





31 comments:

  1. Rachel, like you, this one fell flat for me. Honestly, I didn't enjoy it all that much at all and it completely ruined the entire series for me, which is a shame. I did love the way that the Mortmain plot thread wrapped up and I just ADORED all the secondary romances, but the main love triangle did NOT end well. Although I was Team Jem during CA, I switched to Team Will after CP and even if I wasn't Team Will, I think it's obvious that the love Tessa feels for Will is so, so, so different from what she feels for Jem. And although I appreciate that Cassandra was trying to convey the fact that people can love more than once in their lives, the way she wrote this book - and especially the epilogue - really did ruin the romance and disrespected these characters I'd come to love. *sigh* I'm glad you enjoyed it more than I did, at any rate, and great review! :)

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  2. I loved Sophie and Gideon, and Cecily and Gabriel! And Bridget was definitely surprising! But like you, the epilogue was a bit... strange for me. It didn't affect me as severely as it did other readers, but it was still difficult to wrap my head around. It seemed a bit too cheap. However, I enjoyed this one more than you did, probably because of how much I loved the series initially. I'm so sorry parts of this disappointed you, Rachel, but I'm glad you liked parts of it overall!

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  4. For some reason I couldn't even finish Clockwork Prince. It got too slow in the middle and I dropped it, so when I read the spoiler for Clockwork Princess and read just the epilogue (I know, bad me), I didn't like it. I was Team Jem but I wasn't happy with how Cassie created a HEA for both guys with the same girl. But I didn't read the whole book, so I won't judge it.
    Thanks for the review :) Atleast you enjoyed something.

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  5. Oh God... I was thinking of giving this series a chance, but nevermind. I've changed my mind. x_<
    I'm sorry the love-triangle ruined it for you! :( I think there are very very few love-triangles that actually work. It seems this series just wasn't one of them.

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  6. I've lost my sight for a moment! 3 stars? Really? WOW. But yes I do understand you. All people from team Will won't be so happy about some things but then again I was never either team Will or Jem - I was both. I don't like love triangles at all but this one is working for me somehow. I guess because I like both guys. Great review Rachel. :)

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  7. I've never read a Cassandra Clare book before but unlike, say, Ilona Andrews, there doesn't seem to be a general consensus of "You must read her books now!" Clare seems like a divisive author -- and after reading her bio, I get why. Yikes. But never say never. Do you think her other books are worth reading?

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  8. Fantastic review Rachel. You put into words so well what I couldn't after finishing. I needed to process lol. But I agree that you can't be in love with two people equally, and I also always felt she was "settling" for Jem, because she couldn't have Will. And I really felt it cheapened her life long love and relationship with Will. And I agree about the jealousy, and meeting every year. And I also felt my enjoyment was hindered by not being able to remember what had happened previously. I felt like this about City of Lost Souls too and it took me a long time to get into that one. They're long books with a lot going on, a little recapping is not a lot to ask for. The time for re-reads just isn't there.

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  9. *wipes tear from eye*
    It's kind of good to know that I am not the only one who feels that way. With everyone out there giving this book fives I felt miserable because I was so disappointed by this one.

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  10. I enjoyed this book immensely and I agree that Tessa and Will finally together :D Though, it's a shame that you didn't like it as much as I do. I admit! It's an emotional roller-coaster. Especially the love triangle. Thanks for the honest review, Rachel.

    -Dannielle

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  11. I haven't read any of the books in this series but it is so nice to see a more grounding review of this novel. I don't think I have seen one review below 5 stars which is really surprising. For some reason these ones never really appealed to me too much though I do have to say that the cover for this one is one of the prettiest covers ever. I love it and every time I see it in person I pick it up and look at it. LOL. Happy that you were able to get some giggles and did enjoy the novel overall, Jasprit!

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  12. I adored the stories of the secondary characters, I was shipping Sophie and Gideon so hard. I wish for novellas about all the characters. I'm just not ready to let go of them. I loved Clockwork Princess and I was pretty satisfied with the book.

    I was practically rooting for a polygamous relationship. I liked Will and Jem and I didn't feel like the epilogue cheapened Will/Tessa though I agree that it was difficult believing Tessa loved Jem the same way she loved Will throughout the book. I think she loved Jem differently. At least you enjoyed the other romances.

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  13. I will admit that I only skimmed your review because I only just started the series, but it's actually good to see a low rating for a book that seems to have only 5 stars. I can see why the love triangle ruined it for you though.
    Sorry this didn't work for you, Rachel. :(

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  14. Well, I only read the positive part despite the dislike of the epilogue because I haven't read yet and can't do with the spoilers :)
    But I too will prob be grasping for details because it has been a while and LOTS of books since I read the last one. Maybe I can find a full out of the previous books before reading.

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  15. Okay, I skimmed your review as well Rachel because not only have I not read this book, but I haven't read Clockwork Prince either. I AM BEHIND! But you know what I need you to do? I need you to write me and email and explain this epilogue to me so I can be prepared. I've read so much about it and how people are super disappointed in it and I need to know what I'm facing before I pick the books up. PLEASE WRITE ME!

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  16. I only read the first part bc I'm one of very few (it seems) who hasn't read the series yet O_O. It's too bad this one wasn't as good as the other I'm curious to read the epilogue now >.<

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  17. I know where you are coming from with the love triangle, but this is one that I believed. The characters all seemed to truly care about it each other. No I wasn't the biggest fan of the Epilouge but on the other hand I was glad that Jem got his happiness too. I so agree about the wait in between books and the fuzzy memory. CC is not one of my fav authors she drives me nuts. I am sorry this wasn't a better read for you, Rachel.

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  18. I know what you mean, Rachel! I liked this more than you did, but I could have done without the epilogue entirely. It didn't work for me either, and for the longest time, I couldn't understand why, but then I realized it was because I didn't have time to process. She made so many things happen in like, twenty pages and that didn't work for me.
    Sorry you didn't care for it, hon!

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  19. I can see why you find the love between Tess and Jem unconvincing but overall I'm glad that you enjoyed the parts where Will was present. I like Bridget too :)

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  20. I knew I was holding out on reading this one for a good reason. I am not anti-love triangle, but this one has never set well with me. I never, ever bought Jem and Tessa as a couple and I absolutely hate that epilogue. I believe someone can have feelings for two people at once, but not that you can love the equally and justly.
    Just, UGH!

    Great review!

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  21. I can completely understand why the epilogue ruined everything for you! I wasn't a fan of it either, but that was mostly because I didn't want to read about Jem and Tessa walking off together... not when I knew Will was dead. Like Maja said, there wasn't enough time to process it all. I still loved this book overall, though, but I do wish it hadn't ended the way it did. Sorry it didn't work for you, Rachel!

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  22. Super honest review, Rachel. I get what you say about the emotional affair aspect, but I loved the way it was all handled. I guess the idea that Will had been deceased for quite a while when Tessa sees Jem back in his mortal form, that worked for me. It didn't hurt that Jem was my favourite all the while anyway, and I'd hate to have seen Tessa become lonely which I think she would have become, considering that Magnus is a playboy because he can't emotionally attach himself fully. Tessa gets a chance to have two loves...and I doubt that even covers her full life time, but maybe her next two centuries alone will be full of fond memories of her Jem and Will's lifetimes.

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  23. I have not read past book one but I went ahead and read the epilogue and I cannot believe it, I feel like Clare was trying to get the best of both worlds but that can never be when there's a love triangle involved!

    It's great to read a not-so-glowing review of this book!

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  24. So I didn't read the entire review cause I still have to read the book but I wasn't a HUGE fan of book #1 and I forget stuff as well so now my expectations have lowered :)

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  25. Yes yes yes yes! I also gave it 3 because even though it had some action, the love triangle stole the moment and I hate love triangles. The best love story is between Gideon and Sophie and that's all I cared about.
    The ending was puke-inducing, I may have diabetes.

    She better not fuck up TMI ending.

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  26. Recapss are so helpful, I always appreciate them too, especially since I read so many books that it's hard to keep them straight.
    I love reading your reactions, book good and bad. I like how the side characters have interesting scenes.

    I have read any of Clare's books, but I feel you. The epilogue should be left out so Tess could just stay with Will.
    Fabulous review!

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  27. Ohhhh nooooooo! 3 stars!

    That being said, I understand about the epilogue upsetting you--it upsets me too, after all this time. I have complicated feelings about it, because like you I think her relationship with Will IS the stronger, more passionate one--but I think my reaction isn't as negative because in some way, I always felt like what happened was a possibility. Tessa is mortal, and I do think it's interesting that the book shows that it's possible for there to be different kinds of love that you experience in your life. It's not what I want for my HEA young adult books, hah, but her including that did make the story sort of more epic in scale, even though it FREAKING BROKE MY HEART.

    Does it make you feel better to know we see more Will and Tessa as a married couple in this new series she's got coming out, along with their son? I'll guinea pig it for you, Rache. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  28. While I enjoyed Clockwork Princess more than you, I completely agree about the epilogue. I thought it undermined a lot of the romance between Will and Tessa. Perhaps it would have been better if we'd seen more of Tessa and Will together in the epilogue as well. I do think I would have been ok with Jem and Tessa getting together again, because Tessa is going to live as long as Magnus, and I understand that even in a mortal life you can have more than one love, so immortal life would naturally have more than one too. Just something about the presentation of it irked me though. Great review!

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  29. Haven't read this one yet. I have it waiting for me. Very curious about it. I loved how honest your review was, Rachel. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. Best. Series. EVER! And I completely agree. Will really should NOT be fictional. He needs to just come to life!! :D

    I agree with practically everything in this review - the writing was exquisite and the characters, even though they near enough had me crying on every page, were perfect.

    Beautifully written review.

    regards,
    monique of Movers San Antonio

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