Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
Taken from back cover:
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy

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.
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Kat's Review
I'm a big fan of Cassandra Clare's books, and the final book in the Infernal Devices trilogy doesn't disappoint.  All the key players come together under the roof of the London Institute and find themselves fighting Mortmain, the man who would take down the Shadowhunters.  Tessa and Jem are planning a wedding despite Jem's failing health, Will is trying to hide his love for Tessa, Charlotte is being threatened with removal as leader of the Institute, and Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood are dealing with the aftermath of losing their father. 
A lot goes down in this book. 
Focusing on the minute details of the plot is kind of pointless, though.  The bigger story here is about love, loyalties, and sacrifice.  It's about doing what's right, even when there doesn't seem to be a right answer to your problems.  The love triangle between Tessa, Jem and Will comes to a head in this book.  I have to first say that I am not a fan of love triangles.  This is one of the few that I feel is done well, and not reduced to trite, jealous back and forth bickering between characters or selfish behaviour that results in one character taking advantage of the other two.  It's well written, with a heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful and satisfying conclusion. 
This book reduced me to tears several times.  The ugly kind.  The relationships are what drive this series, and those relationships are written so well that I really cared about what happened to the characters.  Besides romantic relationships, Cassandra Clare is an expert at writing relationships between friends, particularly males.  There is so much love between Will and Jem, yet there is no sense of embarrassment, or awkwardness in the telling of it.  That kind of friendship, the kind that runs so deep it touches the soul, is so often absent among male characters in novels, but flows so naturally in her books.  In fact, it was a particular scene between these two characters that made me cry the hardest.  
If you have not yet started these books, I highly recommend it.  They are set in the past, but the story and characters feel very modern.  I'm sad to see this series end, but this book really did close the door on it in a satisfying way.  
Rating: All Consuming
There's not much to say here that hasn't been said already.  This series has action and friendship, intrigue and mystery, romance and heartbreak.  It is suitable for teens and adults, males and females.  This series will stand the test of time. 

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