Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices: Book 2)

In my previous review of The Clockwork Prince’s predecessor, The Clockwork Angel, I left no doubt that while I don’t like The Mortal Instruments; Clare has won me as a fan of her brilliantly written prequels about the Nephilim in The Infernal Devices. Clockwork Angel was a pleasing read of contemporary fantasy and I liken it to the works of Philip Reeve, whose novels will always be special to me. I preferred the dark, brooding, handsome William Herondale to his dark, brooding, handsome descendant Jace Wayland and the heroine, though highly improper in a society of proper ladies - where abovementioned Will is concerned… ahem - is a plucky, Victorian era American chick who kicks ass, or at least tries to. And I ADORE Jem! Enough said.

Naturally, the second book was welcomed with open arms. I read all the hype going around, especially since Cassandra Clare is quite diligent in answering questions from her adoring public no matter how long it takes her, bless her heart. From the first few pages I was sucked in. One thing I greatly admire in Clare is her ability to create rich, poetic prose. The kind you will only find in the classics of old but makes you feel superior for reading it. Of course, I don’t want to give spoilers though I’m dying to, but the anguish that Will goes through because of a certain something, is described in such vivid, wet, backstreets of London, colour that it captures you and you find yourself rooting for Will to find his way out of that mess, even though you’re in the other team!

The character development is equally fantastic. Clare has taken aloof, sarcastic Will, caring, kind Jem and even the other characters out of their singular, two dimension into a fully, functional pack of flesh and blood, feelings and conflicts. I especially like how she brings out the unseen side to both the boys. It took my breath away. Maybe Tessa could use a little building up too because although I liked her in the first book, she has started to get on my nerves. I understand that she finds herself in a difficult position at the end of the book but I think she could’ve handled it better. (Can’t say anymore without spoiling.)

Also, if you’re looking for any action that was abundant in Clockwork Angel, this book is lacking. It’s like the calm before the storm, like the sixth Harry Potter book where even though there was tragedy, the tone was light-hearted and carefree as if the characters were taking a breather before they plunged into the catastrophe. Most of the book details the relationships between the main characters and the rest of the clave more than advance the story. On its own, the book might seem stagnant but it all depends on how Clockwork Princess turns out and completes the trilogy.

Whatever said and done, I’m sure whether the last book flops or flies I will rush to get it and read it in glee, guiltily giggling or crying as I egg on Tessa, Will and Jem, whose lives and decisions seem to matter more than the mundane questions of reality.

9/10 Rich, poetic prose and the character development is fantastic.

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