Monday, 25 March 2013

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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'm finding it hard to know what to say about this book, the final instalment in Clare's Infernal Devices series. I wasn't a huge fan of the first two, I thought they were pretty poor in comparison to the first part of her other series The Mortal Instruments, but I went out and bought this on the day of release so that it wouldn't be spoilt for me by anyone else. So obviously there's something in this series that I like. Or I'm a crazy person, one of the two.

I could sit here all day trying to figure out what it is about this series I don't like - the characters, the writing, the really inauthentic London setting, the odd amalgamation of modern and old language (it's set in the 1800s) - but I won't. I'll settle for just saying a bit about this book. The description at the top of this review is taken from the back of the book. Now, doesn't it seem like the whole Mortmain having an evil plan plays a big part here? I thought so, but when I was reading the book, it felt like that whole plot line was sidelined in favour of the love triangle, a love triangle that I've never really liked. (My theory is that you have to like at least one of the participants in order to care about a love triangle, and I don't particularly like Tessa, Will or Jem). In terms of pages, it takes up a lot of the novel, but it never really seems important. It's more like set-dressing - you'd notice if it wasn't there, but you're not really paying attention to it. Also, Mortmain's plan is kind of dull, since we've pretty much known it for three books now. Only the final part needed to be revealed, but even that wasn't especially shocking.

The other major issue I had with this book was the ending. If you haven't read the book and plan to, stop here, because there will be spoilers. Basically, we've all known for three books that Tessa is going to have to choose between Jem and Will. Now, this is a risky strategy, because you risk upsetting around half of your fans with whichever choice Clare settles on. So what she's done is create a really false-feeling ending that makes everyone happy. Tessa lives a long and happy life with Will. When he dies, she lives a long and happy life with Jem. Because she's immortal, so she can do shit like that. And it just...it ruined it for me, I think. I didn't care which of the boys Tessa chose, as long as she did actually choose one of them. It was a real cop-out of an ending. I didn't need the epilogue at all. In fact, it reminded me of the pointless epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There was a really good ending, but then the author decided to tag an extra bit on. Sure, it was nice to know that everyone did end up marrying who we thought they would, but I for one didn't need it confirmed. Either in Harry Potter or Clockwork Princess

Like I said before, I've never been a huge fan of this series. It was something I read because I quite liked Clare's other series, and I wasn't even that great a fan of those books (liked the first three, didn't like the next two, although I will have to read the sixth one to find out what happens). Naturally, if you've read the other two books in this series, you'll want to read this one. And from what I can see, it seems to be getting five star reviews across the board, as well as a lot of tears shed over it. So maybe it's just me that didn't really like it and you might love it. Who knows?



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