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.
I hated this book (60%), than I liked it (30%), and then I loved it (10%).
The most dreadful part of this series is the love triangle (which is, ironically, the most loved as well). I have an honest question, and I geniunely want to know the answer as well: Why do YA authors feel the need to include a love triangle? Why?
Back to Clockwork Prince; the Will-Tessa-Jem love triangle is quite possibly the worst I have ever had the misfortune of coming across.
There are several ways to make a love triangle in YA work:
1. Make the girl extremely easy to love and respect. To the point where it's plain as day why so many guys would find her attractive. [Successful example = Vampire Academy]
2. Make the girl romantically inclined towards one guy, but also seeing the appeal of the second. This works because that's pretty much how the readers will be viewing the love interests as well. [Successful example = Unearthly]
3. Make the girl independent, for Pete's sake! If she isn't as needy, the readers will most probably forgive her indecisiveness to an extent. [Successful example = The Hunger Games]
Needless to say, none of the above is the case here. Tessa is the most ordinary girl in the world, yet these two amazing, extraordinary guys fall instantly in love with her, of all people? And while I don't blame Tessa for being perfectly normal, I do blame Clare for not wooing me with her personality. If she's amazing enough to make two unflappable boys fall for her, why couldn't she make me at least like her? And in all fairness, I'm not a tough person to please.
So please, I beg you, omit the overdone love triangles. The girl will survive even if she doesn't have more than one boy besotted with her. I'm just so sick and tired of all these teenage boys being tormented by their past, those stupid normal girl coming and changing their lives, and everyone living HEA (sure, it hasn't happened yet, but this is YA, so it's practically a given, no?).
1. The plot is extremely unique and hugely entertaining. Pity it only appears after crossing the 300-page mark. All the drama and suspense regarding Mortmain and Benedict is thoroughly captivating, but again, I wish the focus had been more on the plot rather than the clichéd romance.
2. The characters also fit into this category. I like Will well enough, but he doesn't exactly impress me. His entire persona screams, "Been there, known him." In other lives, he's been Jace, Adrian, Patch, etc etc. So I like him, but I don't love him. I certainly won't be gushing about him anytime soon.
Jem barely registers on my radar. He's dull enough to be a side character, but Clare and Tessa are seriously determined about giving him a starring role. He's likable, but how can anyone be so blind? Tessa isn't the most subtle character in the book, and it's almost laughable that he didn't notice her feelings for Will.
And Tessa. Let's just say that the only times I've liked her are when she's quoting a passage, and end it at that.
1. The love that's usually reserved for main characters in books is devoted to nearly all the side characters in The Infernal Devices. Sophie, Charlotte, Henry, Gideon, are all fascinating characters, but we all know who the main delight is: Magnus Bane. How could I ever express how much I adore this mysterious warlock?
2. The writing is amazing! Clare has a real talent for bringing her story and characters to life. The quotations that appear at the beginning of every chapter also demonstrate how well thought-out and developed her books are. And despite the fact that I didn't enjoy this book all that much, I still can't stop myself from constantly thinking about it. Even if I don't like them, my mind keeps going back to the characters, wondering what problem is going to come up next. That alone says enough about Clare's writing prowess.
I feel myself diminished, parts of me spiraling away into the darkness, that which is good and honest and true—If you hold it away from yourself long enough, do you lose it entirely? If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?