First of all, this is the third book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy. If you have not read the first two books in this series (Clockwork Angel & Clockwork Prince), do not read this book. For the love of God do not even continue reading this blog post, because it will completely ruin everything. Leave now, go get Clockwork Angel (you might as well just get Prince and Princess while you are there because you are going to blow through them like nobody’s business- trust me), read it/them and then I shall welcome you back with open arms!
Now that we are all on the same page, can I just say I absolutely loved this book. I had a hard time with The Infernal Devices at first, because when Clockwork Angel first came out I was completely obsessed with Cassandra’s Mortal Instruments series. I’ll try not to throw out too many spoilers from TMI, but hey- it might happen. Fair warning. However, this book totally sold me on the trilogy, she threw it right up there on the pedestal with TMI.
At the beginning of Clockwork Princess, we are fully aware of the Jem/Tessa/Will love triangle. And we all know exactly who we are rooting for. Let’s just get it all out in the open- I’m all about Will. I think I just have a thing for Herondales (or my love for Jace just likes to project itself into a completely different book). Either way, Team Will over here! That is not to say that I don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing if Tessa does end up with Jem. I’m just saying that the heartbreak I would feel for Will would outweigh the happiness I would feel for Jem. So Will wins. Let’s face it- Tessa would be lucky to end up with either really. And thanks to the brilliance that is Cassandra Clare, we can all stop arguing about it, because in the end- we all win!
Things that I loved about this book (in no particular order):
1. Charlotte and Henry Branwell. C’mon. Who saw Henry and freaking Magnus Bane inventing the Portal? Probably one of the best scenes in the whole book. Plus, Charlotte is a total badass.
2. Cecily. AHHHHHHHHH! I can’t even explain how much I loved her character. Her dynamic with Will is hilarious. After reading Angel and Prince, I had a hard time making connections from the Lightwood family. You immediately can’t stand Gabriel, and Gideon is one of the maybe-I-like-him-maybe-I-don’t-but-if-he-hurts-Sophie-I-might-die characters. I can’t even remember their sisters name, that’s how important she was to me. Then there is Benedict Lightworm, whom no words are needed. Once the Cecily/Gabriel thing happened it all clicked in my brain. I knew that Cecily would have some of Will’s qualities, but the more I read the more she became her own person. Although, that person still had this nagging sense of familiarity in my brain. All until she gave Gabriel a score for his kiss, then it all clicked. Isabelle. And my Shadowhunter world made sense again.
3. Finally figuring out what Tessa is. Geezus, that took long enough.
4. Jessamine dying. I usually hate it when characters get killed off in the last book of a series, but I thought this one was necessary. I think the intent of her character was to make the reader feel a little sorry for her and her situation. Not getting to choose her own path, being stuck in a life that she wanted nothing to do with. But, it just really didn’t do it for me. You can only betray the people who love you so many times.
5. The heartbreak. I think every good story involves a little bit of heartbreak (in this case, a lot), to make you connect to the characters on a human level. Even if the book does happen to be about a race of half-humans/half-angels that go around unseen protecting the Earth from demons and keeping the peace between vampires, werewolves, warlock, and fairies. Pain is universal. It allows the reader to feel for the characters, rather than just reading about it. This story has no shortage of pain. Most of this pain manifests in Will. Did anyone else become an emotional wreck when he threw his hands in the fire to get the minuscule amount of Yin-Fen out? Ahhhhh.
6. The Parabatai bond. TID has focused more on the parabatai bond than TMI ever did with Jace and Alec. To Jem and Will it such an integral part of their relationship, because they were all each other had. When that bond broke- I lost it.
7. Ithurial. Hey, I know you’re an angel and all, but for hell’s sake quit getting captured. Mkay?
8. The ruby necklace. I just love when stories come full circle.
9. That it wasn’t weird/awkward that Will got old and Tessa stayed looking like the was seventeen. Some reviewers didn’t like that she wrote Will’s death in, instead of just leaving it as an understood thing. I loved that we got to know their happily ever after. Well… Will’s.
10. The Epilogue. Pretty sure that was the best thing I have ever read. Not only does she bring Jem back in a way that doesn’t seem like she is just trying to please all the readers, but to serve as not only a cliffhanger for TMI, but also as a little hint for her new series The Dark Artifaces. At the end of City of Lost Souls, we know that Jem is still Brother Zachariah, and he credits the Lightwoods/Herondales for finding his cure when he is talking to Tessa, so this makes me even more excited for City of Heavenly Fire! Also, we know that the main character in TAD is Emma Carstairs, so I’m sure Jem will be showing his face in there as well.
Overall, I can’t say enough good things about this book, or this series in general. I can only hope that she ends TMI just as well, to make the grieving process a little easier for all of us when Clary’s story is all over. If that is even possible.