This post contains reviews of both Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare and may contain spoilers!
I was a bit on the fence about starting a new series by Cassandra Clare. I wasn't entirely convinced that I would like to read a book set in Victorian London, as I am not usually keen on very many historical books. Other reviews and the excitement of other bloggers is what pushed me over the edge and forced my hand into acquiring copies of these books.
And oh, why was I doubting? I'm sure that I love this series, this story and these characters more than I loved those of the Mortal Instruments, which I didn't think possible. Cassandra Clare has an amazing ability to write fascinating and addictive stories that demand to be read in as few sittings as possible and in such a way that reading these books took over my life.
Despite my misgivings about the era of these books, I really loved Victorian London as a setting. Together with the addition of descendents from angels battling against demons and other cool characters, these books have a wonderful tone and atmosphere to them. Once I started, I really couldn't put this book down. I wanted to know more about Tessa Gray, our main character, with her unusual gift of transforming into others. And while this book isn't as fast-paced or as action-packed as the Mortal Instruments, I preferred it. I loved the descriptions and the gathering of knowledge as well as a great foundation for the different characters that we encounter.
Kidnapped by two evil sisters on her way to meet up with her brother, Tessa is thrown into a world she has no idea of. When Tessa is rescued by two Shadowhunters, Will and Jem, she faces the truth of her own identity, and begins to dig deeper into the dealings of The Pandemonium Club, which seems to hold the answers to her kidnapping, several murders about town and also the disappearance of her brother.
The only criticism of this book that I have isn't down to the book at all but to the way in which it is marketed. I was under the impression that there would be this huge tension and struggle early on in this book as Tessa contemplates her feelings for these two best friends, Will and Jem. For that sort of love triangle angst, I didn't think it really properly began until Clockwork Prince. Still, I was fabulously excited to carry on with this series and I dove straight into the sequel, Clockwork Prince...
While I really liked Clockwork Angel and really enjoyed the story, I absolutely LOVED Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. It took the beautiful writing and the addictive quality from the first book and exploded into the sequel. I couldn't bear to be parted with this book and I read it as quickly as humanly possible.
I really liked the continuation and the development of both the story and the characters in this book. Having that greater knowledge in backstory for everyone, including the villian of the series, the Magister, but also that of Will and Jem ramped up the emotional impact of this book.
I found myself fascinated by every single detail that Clare through my way and still I want more. The love triangle that is hinted at in Clockwork Angel is put into full-force within this book. And while I finished the previous book with a pretty clear favourite in mind, Clockwork Prince had me veering wildly between both Will and Jem. I've always loved the self-destructive and aloof nature of Will and I've found myself being very attracted to Will as a character, so I loved hearing more of his past and of his reasons to keep those that he cares about at arm's length. But Jem was a huge surprise for me. In the first book, I really thought of him as just 'the nice guy' without much more substance to him. I loved seeing him in a new light in this book and at the end, I am genuinely torn between the two.
What made these relationships that much more emotional for me, is seeing the power and the strength of the relationship between Will and Jem. There is so much history there and I loved learning the true meaning of them two being parabatai. It makes it heartbreaking that one of them will suffer to see the other happy.
Of course it isn't all love interest conflicts in this book! Someone close to them is a spy and the leader of their Shadowhunter gang is under threat of being dismissed! Tessa is still dealing with the treachery of her brother from the previous book, there are still creeptastic clockwork things to battle! Honestly? I can't even put into words how much I love this series. I need Clockwork Princess, and I need it now!