TITLE: Clockwork Prince
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
SERIES? Book 2/3 “The Infernal Devices”
GENRE/ AGE RANGE: Fantasy, YA
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Death, whipping, murder, torture, injury, near-death experiences, loss of a loved one, fatal illness
PUBLICATION DATE: December 6th, 2011
Clockwork Angel | ★★★★☆ | review
You can find my reviews for The Mortal Instruments series here.
Character Guide ⇩
►Tessa Grey → Main character, American, Warlock/Shapeshifter
►Will (William) Herondale – Shadowhunter
►Jem (James) Carstairs – shadowhunter, (mother) Chinese (father) British, Bi-racial
►Nathaniel Grey – Tessa’s brother
►Sophie – servant/maid, has “the sight”
►Thomas – driver, servant
►Henry Branwell– older, inventor
►Charlotte Branwell – Henry’s wife, very nice,
►Jessamine Lovelace– vain, soo rude, angry
“It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”
So, I reviewed Clockwork Angel a few months ago and surprisingly really enjoyed it, so I was optimistically excited to start book 2. If you didn’t read that review then I’ll quickly preface my review for book 2, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Will in the first book and he was what I was least excited about for this book. That being said, I did try to go into this with an open mind and I will say that I hope I will grow to like him more in the final book.
“When Will truly wants something,” said Jem, quietly, “when he feels something — he can break your heart.”
I do want to stress that this was not a bad book it just entered around a character I don’t particularly care about, so while my “likes” list is smaller than all the bad stuff, I did still like this book.
So, what was good about this book?
- Sophie & Gideon made me smile, honestly, I think I just like Sophie??? Plus a strong soft boi?? I’m down.
- Henry is less 1 dimensional in this book so I have high hopes for him in book 3. I am rooting for him and his inventions and I hope he doesn’t die in the finale. 👌👌
- I’m finding that I’m learning a lot more about the Shadowhunter world through these prequel books, compared to The Mortal Instruments. For example, you can’t have a parabatai if you’re older than 18 which I found really interesting.
- I definitely have my critiques of Clare’s books but I do always find Shadowhunter politics really interesting. Like, you can’t have romantic relationships between parabatai because that’ll result in a major infraction from the clave. Also, I’m pretty sure Clare tackles this in a later trilogy so that should be interesting.
- OOOH, also we learnt about Shadowhunter spoils of war in this book and it was disgusting but so disturbingly realistic that I ended up writing down a bunch of notes about it. Turns out, Shadowhunter SOW are literal body parts of warlocks, vampires, werewolves etc (not mundanes or Shadowhunters). Totally disturbing and unfortunately, because the Shadowhunters are an overwhelmingly racist people, this is totally realistic.
“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite”
I know the entire reading world is going to hate me for this but for the most part I really can’t stand Will. I will admit that I’m warming to him, but for 90% of this book, I was not a big fan of him.
If you want to know exactly how I was feeling as I read the book here’s a fun extract from my notes on Will:
“I know he’s bound to have a dark and tragic past that for whatever reason excuses all of his atrocious past behaviours, but I absolutely can’t stand him and the whole off and on niceness is beyond irritating. If you want to hate the world then hate it, don’t play around with people and give them whiplash whenever you’re nice.“
And, you know what? I stand by this. I do feel sorry for Will because he’s believed this curse since he was 12 and that’s a long time to convince yourself that something you saw or heard was real, but as a reader I think this is ridiculous since I know CC’s writing pretty well at this stage of her career (so far) and I knew from the minute we learned about it, that this would turn out to be the big plot twist of the book. So, I do feel sorry for Will but only to an extent because I still think his actions speak louder than his curse, and if he’d really cared about the people around him like he says he does, then he would have tried to break it years ago, at least for Jem (that excuse only works to a point) and maybe Charlotte who are his family, and not for a girl he barely knows.
I also find Will to be a really confusing guy, I’m all for complex characters but he’s just being dark for the sake of it and it just hurts other characters. I knew there would be a tragic reason for his personality and actins but it came across weirdly and honestly in my eyes, everything he did in the last book and this one just hurt him. I really can’t understand why Tessa was the catalyst for him trying to break the curse when he says that he also loves everyone he loves with. I don’t know, y’all, I don’t know.
I’m pretty sure Clockwork Prince is a lot of people’s favourite and I’m pretty sure that’s because of Will and I honestly don’t understand the attraction. I’m so over the tragic bad boy with a sad and traumatic past so Will just really doesn’t do it for me. I honestly wonder what I ould have thought of Will had I not assumed from the get go that curse wasn’t real. BUT I really do think that Will, if he really believed he was cursed SHOULD have done something about it. If it was such a big deal that has affected his life for so long and affected his relationships with people then he should have gone to the high warlock and at least asked about it. And, if it was real and it was dangerous enough he should’ve moved far away or really made an effort to uncurse himself. I just don’t understand Will, as a person, and considering this book is largely focused on him and that there’s only one book left, I can’t imagine that I’m going to like him much more in the third book, but a gal can hope, right?
“We live and breathe words.”
Jessaine. Oh, Jessamine, thou art… a brat.
So, you might think I’m totally heartless because I criticise Will but sympathise with Jessamine. Jessamine is a brat, but you have to admit she really is in a corner. If she left the Shadowhunter world she would have nothing. She would literally have to start at ground zero and no doubt she would not have a good or long life. So, I do sympathise with her, I think this world has made her bitter and afraid and lonely. She does not want to be a fighter or to die young and alone, but she is constantly being told that she doesn’t get a say and that she doesn’t have a choice. So, yes on the surface she seems completely awful, and that’s because she is, but I think there is more to her. She’s grown up in a world that she doesn’t want to be a part of and been raised to be someone she doesn’t want to be, so why should she be happy? I know we like to laugh or scoff about how she clings to the thought of any men with no ties in the SH world, but they really are her only ticket out of that world, so I do understand why she tries so hard.
Jessamine says some absolutely brash and horrible things but I think it’s mildly understandable, but in no way excusable. I can’t stand here and say that Will’s behaviour and comments are inexcusable and then come along and excuse Jessamine. They both have pasts and they both have bad attitudes, and I think they both could have done things better, but Will had more choice in the matter, which is hilarious since his problem was a curse and Jessamine’s was her autonomy.
I don’t excuse her actions or stand by them, but I do understand them. ‘Nuf said.
“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
In my review of book 1, I recommended the audiobook because honestly, it was really good, so I can’t believe I’m about to say this but the audiobook for book 2 is awful. It’s not as bad as the audio for City of Fallen Angels but it honestly was awful and I think it played a big part in me never wanting to pick up and continue reading this book.
I also didn’t love the American accents (but I don’t love that accent anyway… lol burrrrn) and I also thought all the characters sounded WAY older than they actually are. For example, Charlotte is a 23 year old character but sounds like she’s in her late 50s which felt super weird to me and if I didn’t have that in the back of my mind, it would have totally changed her storyline for me.
“God knows we’re all drawn to what’s beautiful and broken.”
RANDOM & OVERALL THOUGHTS
- “all the downworlders seem sinister EXCEPT FOR MAGNUS” because Cassie needs you to like him and also he’s gay and obviously you can’t be gay and evil duh. Honestly, I don’t love how downworlders are portrayed in any of these books.
- The moment Tessa finally realised that it can’t be easy for Jem to be so kind and optimistic all the time I was like YES FINALLY THANK YOU I mean he’s legit a dying teenager who is still expected to fight (physically and mentally) every day. He must be exhausted.
- Shadowhunter politics are confusing – you’re not supposed to marry mundanes, or even really talk to them but mundanes can become Shadowhunters and then you can marry them?? I’m so confused.
- If book 1 was Tessa and book 2 is all about Will then I’m really hoping we’ll see more of a focus on or at least MORE of Jem in book 3 (I’m assuming he’s going to die, or come pretty close to, and Tessa will end up with Will because the bad bois always hail victorious) because I really do like him but he’s presented as more of a background character for most of this book which felt ridiculous because he’s a love interest and also Will’s best friend. #JusticeForJem
- This was kind of predictable. Going through my notes to write this review was a wild ride because I predicted SO MUCH of what happened in this book, and also not that much actually happened in this book??? Not only was it predictable but it was mostly a focus on the characters and primarily the love triangle that’s only kind of a love triangle, between Tessa, Will and Jem.
Overall, I found this book completely unmemorable and it took me absolutely too long to read AND I do not recommend the audiobook.
So, my review is finally over and I don’t want to keep you here any longer. So, I’ll leave you with these two questions that hopefully, someone can answer for me in the comments.
- Why are all the Silent Bros men???
- Do all these kids just go around memorising book quotes to randomly spit out in conversation all the time?