Thursday, May 24, 2012

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Title:  Clockwork Prince
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Narrators:  Heather Lind & Ed Westwick
Series:  2nd book in The Infernal Devices series
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry (hardcover)/Simon & Schuster Audio (audiobook)
Publication Date:  December 6, 2011
Source:  purchased hardcover & publisher provided audiobook

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.


I actually read Clockwork Prince last December when it was released because Cassie Clare is on my auto-buy/immediately read list.  That, and I absolutely loved Clockwork Angel when I read it the previous year and was eager to transport myself back to the Shadowhunter world.  However, I dwelled on it for a bit and never wrote a proper review of the book.  Then, recently, I was provided the opportunity to review the audiobook, and I can honestly say this story was just as good the second time around.  And now it's time I write a more appropriate review of the book I currently deem "my favorite Cassie Clare novel thus far".  So, here goes...

I think it's fair to say that the common thread throughout Clare's work is that "to love is to destroy" and vice versa.  (I think Jace even says as much in one of The Mortal Instruments books.)  In Clockwork Prince, we finally find out why Will is so tortured and why he treats his closest companions the way he does, even when it's clear that he cares about them.  But let me tell you, Will in love is kind of a stark-raving lunatic, though I love his character even more now that I know what he's suffered.  Of course, Jem is still caring and attentive, as always, and it would be impossible not to like him.  I think it speaks volumes that the author was able to make me fall for both boys.  I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite character in this series, though Tessa's strength and honor and courage definitely keep her in the running.

If all love triangles were written like this one and that of Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series, I might just have to reconsider my previous feelings concerning the over-use of this particular plot device.  A lot of time is spent focused on the various relationships in this novel, but if you ask me, it's time well spent.  The relationships -- and their consequences -- only serve to propel the story further and provide a background for the time period and how social interactions were handled at the time.

However, the great characterization and relationship-centric plot did lend an air of predictability to the novel.  But even though this was my second time experiencing this story, and I already knew what was coming, that ending still felt like a punch in the gut.  When the journey is as captivating as this one, though, sometimes you can overlook the obvious and just enjoy the ride.  And I'm sure I'll be enjoying this one again and again.

As far as the audio goes, I couldn't have asked for more perfect narrators for this story.  Heather Lind is phenomenal as the voice of Tessa, and although Ed Westwick's accent had me swooning long before I started this audiobook, he was even more perfect as the voice of tormented Will than I could have imagined.  And to hear Chuck Bass providing the voice of a flamboyant werewolf was just priceless.  Also, hilarious.  I was wary of how this novel would be split into a dual narrative considering the story is told in third person and from several viewpoints throughout the novel, but it was handled beautifully.  The transitions between narrators were always clean and consistent.  I may have enjoyed the audio more than actually reading the novel myself, but I'll never tell.  I hope that Heather and Ed return for the third book; I just don't think it would be the same without them.

Rating:  Photobucket for both the text & the audio




8 comments:

  1. You make me want to read this all over again, but I can't cry my heart out at the moment! It's so nice to hear that the audiobook version is good, too. I love what you say about "to love is to destroy" being a theme in Infernal Devices--it's harsh, but it seems very fitting! She does like to torture us. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. She does, but I'm a glutton for punishment, I suppose, because I keep letting her do it to me. :P

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  2. WOW, I love this book it is so AWESOME ... happy you like it as well ... GREAT review :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it, too! :D

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  3. Oh man, I really have to get around to reading this one. her books tear me apart though.

    Plus I'm nervous to read this one. I have a personalized authographed copy, so I dont even want to breathe on it. lol

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    1. Nice! I think my copy is signed, too, so it's nice to have the audio if I want to revisit it so that I don't destroy the hardcover. :) You really should read this one, tho. It's my favorite yet. For reals.

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  4. how do you feel about cucumbers?

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    1. I'm assuming this is the obligatory raunchy comment you forgot to add to your other comment? :P If not, well, I like 'em. I like 'em alot. :D

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