When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
Clockwork Princess is the third and final book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, following on from Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince. My view of the series was merely consolidated rather than changed by my reading of the finale – Cassandra Clare is excellent and writing characters and worldbuilding, not so great at pacing.
What I liked
The characters. I adore Tess, Will and Jem and I felt the way their story was developed in this final volume was very well written and very touching. I really felt for all the protagonists in the book. We also get to see the development of Will’s relationship with Jem from their initial meeting through flashbacks. I know some people disliked the epilogue, but personally I loved hearing about what happened to the characters after the ending of the story. I also loved all the secondary characters – Charlotte, Henry, Cecily, the Lightwoods. Writing characters and their interactions is clearly Clare’s real strong point. I enjoyed the fact that certain characters were not necessarily evil, believed they were doing the right thing, but were still major hurdles for our protagonists.
The narration. Yet again the trilogy switched narrator. All four narrators did a wonderful job, but I do much prefer it when the narrator is consistent across a series. Daniel Sharman took the reins for this final book and did an excellent job. One thing that did bug me, however; Will suddenly develops a Welsh accent! Admittedly, there is ample justification in the story given what we learn about Will’s background. I would have preferred it to have remained consistent with the neutral British accent he is given in the previous two books. It’s hard enough adjusting to a new narrator without a main character’s accent changing. It’s also interesting when the narration gives away a plot point. At one point, a character enters a place and says a few words. His identity is not revealed at that point in the book, but due to Sharman’s excellent voice work he was immediately identifiable to the listener.
The letters. The plot was developed through the use of letters. I thought this was a particularly efficient way of moving the plot forward without having to develop more secondary characters.
The action scenes. There are definitely a lot more action in this book before and during the confrontation with Mortmain. The London Institute Shadowhunters’ attacking Cadair Idris reminded me of Aragorn’s attacking the Black Gate in Return of the King or Lan’s defending the pass in Memory of Light. I would have LOVED to have seen Henry’s face when that first automaton came to life “oh… crap!”
What I didn’t like
There was nothing I specifically disliked about the book. It did enjoy it and was touched by Will, Tessa and Jem’s story. However, for me it didn’t quite pack the emotional punch of A Memory of Light or Emperor of Thorns. I suspect that was because I had been spoiled so certain fakeouts lost their impact when I knew they were going to be reversed later on.
All in all, I gave Clockwork Angel four stars out of five.
"My test of a good book is dreading to begin the last chapter." - Thomas Helm
Loved the series, loved the writer, enjoyed the narritor. All characher voices represented well.This wraps up the 3 book trilogy very well. Also sheds some light onto The Mortal Instruments Magnus Bane.
Will, Jim and Tessa are such strong characters. Charolette, Henry are perfect together. I was not sure I would like this kind of book, but Cassandra Clare has won me over. The narrator, Daniel Sharman does a terrific job bringing the characters to life. I could not hardly put these books down.
Sure. It was good. It was hard to keep track of who was talking sometimes since it was a guy. He had amazing accents though.
I don't know. It kinda runs together in my mind.
Sorta. I wish he read faster.
Daniel Sharman really made me feel the characters and I really liked the love triangle that was not a betrayal. It also gave me a little bit of where the Shadow Hunters came from in the Mortal Instruments series.
I don't think there is another book to compare it to.
Daniel Sharman really made me feel the emotions of the characters and connect with them.
I wish Daniel Sharman would've narrated the other books in the series. He is awesome!
This is one of those cases where having the book in print could save a lot of time. There seemed to be way too much heartfelt angst, doubt, redemption, etc. that could have been skimmed. Alas, the ending saved it. I don't usually cry over a book but the last couple of hours kept me in tears. What a great ending for the series!
The same scene plays out over and over and over again - Tessa, Jem & Will. Whoa is me. Whos is Jem. Whoa is Will. We are all 17 pretending to be great romantics, great wordsmiths and great martyrs. I started rooting for the Magister.
With constant quotes and references to "classic literature", the author tries to ride piggy back on Dickens' and Bronte works but falls completely flat. This is a case of not knowing (or caring) who your real audience is. If I had to guess, I'd say the author was given more creative freedom with this series because of the success of other series. Turn back!
Often with young adult series, I feel cheated by not having been given the full novel experience. But with this trilogy, the waiting was worth it, because the ending was absolutely perfect and satisfying.
I already have. I enjoyed this series more than I am enjoying The Immortal Devices series- but I am biased as I love historical fiction. This book in particular, was a pleasure because it did not disappoint as a compelling finale to the trilogy....an unusual find.
The epilogue. I can't stop thinking about it even today. I'm note sure everyone will feel the same way I did-Spoiler AlertI was annoyed, 1st off because Tessa is demon enough to live forever, but shadow hunter enough to have children- yet, she never adequately explained that. But mostly I was surprised that she chose to allow a bittersweet ending where the heroine...sort of has her cake and eats it too? I mean, how often does a gal get to have both men she loves? At first I couldn't decide if I was completely touched at the possibility of sharing two lifetimes of love...or angry at the possible betrayal it should have been. But then I realized that both men were constantly painted as being selfless toward each other and both would have gained comfort in knowing the other was happy. So, In truth it was the best outcome to any love triangle where you root for each member. But every once in a while I think...well crap...It'll just be the boys anyway in the "afterlife" often mentioned- so, I think they get the better end of the deal. Sucks to love a half demon that lives forever, eh? Or...will Tessa be shadow hunter enough to join them? That would be awkward.
I loved the narrator in this story. Particularly because his accents were so good- Welsh, English, American- all excellent. Great voice too. Loved him. And that's saying a lot- usually I prefer female narrators because male narrators usually botch up female voices. Daniel did a decent job- would definitely look forward to any books he narrates in future.
When Will suffers the loss of his parabatai, and the appearance and farewell of Brother Zachariah.
I would because it takes me to a world far different from my own. Being set in London and in a different era brings a charm that I can't resist.
He has done such a fantastic job that I could follow the characters before it said who was speaking. I honestly kept forgetting that it was one man doing all the voices. Fantastic!! I can't emphasize enough how much I enjoyed listening to him. His accents for the different characters from Wales, USA, or the different areas in England were all clear and concise. Such a fantastic job, I'd listen to him reading the phone book for hours on end if I could.