Sunday, March 17, 2013

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

 "Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts."

Just a note before I get into my review. I'm killing two birds with one stone here. Clockwork Prince was read as part of two challenges: Mundie Moms Read-along and The 2013 TBR challenge. And dammit, I just really, really wanted to read it. So, here goes...
Why, oh why did I put off reading this sequel is beyond me. Timing? Life got in the way of my TBR pile? A number of reasons, I guess, but Clockwork Prince sat among several beautiful hardcovers just begging to be read and gathering more and more dust, since it's release. I had even pre-ordered an exclusive edition. And yet there it remained all shiny and pretty on the bookshelf. We regularly granted each other quick longing glances. The gorgeousness of the cover- ok, JEM, did not escape my daily admiring gaze. I did indeed yearn to dive in and devour it.
Lucky for me the amazing Katie at Mundie Moms was having a read-along for the installment just prior to the release of the last book of the trilogy. So I thought here's my chance to catch up. I immediately signed up and chapter by chapter I drank it all in.
First off, I'm so glad I waited. It's only a few short days before Clockwork Princess or as it's been affectionately coined, CP2, will be released. There is NO WAY I could have survived the torture of waiting such a long time like most of fandom. We all know Cassie is the freaking queen of cliffhangers and heart stopping surprises, right? A few days after completely it my heart is still broken, weak and weary.
Second, if you've read any of our reviews before, you also know there is NO WAY I'm spilling ANY beans on this one. I cannot go in to any of the storyline without giving something away. So how am I going to give you a decent and worthwhile review? Simply by offering my 100 percent honest opinion. That's what you really want anyway, isn't it? The whole point is for YOU to discover and experience this awesomeness yourself.
I know the suspense is killing you. You can admit it. And what I do reveal may leave you worried, a little scared, and a bit apprehensive. Don't let that stop you from diving in all on your own. You will not be disappointed. You'll only regret it if you don't.
Clockwork Prince takes off right where Cassie dropped us off. She wastes no time sending us directly into a hurricane of mischief and mayhem and opens up the torrential emotional floodgates. It does not matter if you are a Will/Tessa or Jem/Tessa fan. Or whether you root for someone else entirely. No one's heart is shielded or spared. And you will love every agonizing moment. I most surely did. That's not to say I didn't have moments of anger- I threatened more than once to throw this book across the room. Countless chapters left me sobbing like a lost child- ok, it may have been even worse than that. And others left me elated, excited, bewildered, intrigued, laughing out loud, and completely captivated. I had a very difficult time sticking with the read-along schedule. I wanted to plow straight through. And yeah, I cheated with the last two chapters. So sue me.
Having not been back to Tessa's London for quite some time I had forgotten how much I truly loved this world. As much as I love The Mortal Instruments, I adore this spinoff- and WILL more. What sets it apart for me? Well the setting for one. I love the artistic license Cassie takes with the history and architecture of 1800's London. I love the time period. The clothes. The literature. The dialogue. For me this is Cassie's perfect element. And this installment oozes perfection.
From the quotes at the top of each chapter to the literary references throughout the tale, and all the quirky bits, CP showcases Cassie's eloquence and unequaled talent. The language is... breathtaking. The timbre of each voice so clear and real. Each emotion so raw and unyielding. I closed my book night after night in physical pain. My heart torn and arching, my eyes swollen and sore from bucket loads of tears, and my mind reeling from unexpected and sometimes shocking events. And I could not get enough. I inhaled every word like air I was desperate for. I anticipated and speculated- sometimes on the mark and others so far off it send me on another tailspin. Undeniably and completely immersed. Braced to take on whatever Cassie threw my way.
Now don't get me wrong. It's not all gloom and doom. It's a LOT of gloom and doom, but there are moments that will leave you pleasantly surprised and make your heart soar. You will relish them and tuck them away for safe keeping as the little treasures they are.
Clockwork Prince reaffirmed my undying love for Will. My care and concern for Jem, and my love/hate friendship with Tessa. These characters have taken up permanent space in my heart. And though I'm truly not willing or near ready to say goodbye, all the suspense, and more intriguing and fetching side characters, CP has me tied in knots and anxiously waiting to follow this tale to it's stunning- and I'm most certain excruciating end. Take another little piece of my heart, Cassandra Clare. Ah, hell... take it all.

1 comment:

  1. There was definitely crying for me. HOWEVER, I didn't love the epilogue. I just felt like it was a bit of a cop out. I did give the book 5 stars, b/c this is my FAVORITE series and I just love Clare's writing. BUT I just felt like the ending was put there to satisfy everyone. At first I loved it, but the more I brooded over it, the more upset I was. This is the only series I can see myself rereading.

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