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.
Hardcover, 568 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Five stars: An outstanding finale to a solid series!
Tessa is enduring another fitting for her gold wedding dress. Without warning, chaos erupts as Gabriel Lightwood arrives at the Institute screaming for help. The elderly Lightwood has turned into a giant demonic worm and is eating people. Tessa jumps into action without bothering to change out of her gown. She, and the other Shadowhunters,flee to Lightwood manor and engage the deadly worm. This is just the beginning of the danger that awaits the inhabitants of the Institute. Mortmain and his terrifying clockwork army are still on the loose and one of the Shadowhunters in power seeks to remove Charlotte as head of the Institute. Then there is the matter of Jem. He is growing ever weaker despite Tessa's love. Time is running out. Can Jem be saved? Will the inhabitants of the Institute endure?
What I Liked:
- I hesitated to review this book as there are nearly 5,000 reviews posted on Goodreads at the time of this writing. What could I possibly add to the discussion? Yet, I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this book and series so here it goes. I admit these days more often than not I don't continue with series. Mostly because few compel me to keep going, and I get bogged down with the newer releases that crowd out the old. This is not the case with this series. I immediately wanted to drop everything and read this despite my teetering TBR pile. Instead, I settled for reading it in snatches which is extremely hard, considering the suspense was killing me. Needless to say, I went into this with a bit of trepidation hoping that it would end satisfactorily, and thankfully, I was pleased with the conclusion. So if you are a fan of this series, don't hesitate any longer. Get it read!
- At the heart of this book is a touching love triangle that was so endearing and heart wrenching at the same time. Everyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I am not a fan at all of love triangles. However, this triangle was so beautiful and believable and well done that I found myself eating it up. I think the reason this one works is because all three of the players: Jem, Will and Tessa genuinely love each other so deeply and profoundly, and all three are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to ensure the others' happiness. How often do you see that kind of altruistic measure whether in fiction or real life? These three characters are so endearing that they manage to completely burrow into your heart and head. I am still wrapped up in their story after finishing it, and I am certain that I will be thinking about them for days to come. I won't share the details of how the love triangle resolves, but I will tell you this, at times it is absolutely agonizing reading this as the suspense will kill you. Through it all, it does come to a satisfying close. Trust me, it is so tempting while reading this to skip to the end, but try and be patient and not peek! My heart broke several times, but at the end I had tears streaming down my face as I bid goodbye to my friends. They fought hard and they deserve some peace and the chance to love.
- I enjoyed the many story lines that this book incorporated, and while I was completely invested in the resolution of the love triangle, I also enjoyed the additional romances between the Lightwood brothers and Cecilia and Sophie. On top of the romance, there is plenty of thrilling action and danger. There is rarely a dull moment. Aside from all the action and romance, there are plenty of exciting revelations as all the secrets are finally exposed. Such as: the true purpose of the clockwork angel and how it came to be, the source of Tessa's powers, and so much more. I loved finally uncovering all the answers to my lingering questions. I highly recommend setting plenty of time aside when you dive into this one, you won't want to put it down!
- I am always a fan of books and series that show marked character growth, and this series does just that. It is amazing to see the progress of all the characters through the series. Will especially grows up and changes. I have personally always liked Will, even though I know he isn't appealing to everyone, but by the end of this series, I think most readers will be pleased with the change in him. Tessa and Jem, too, make some significant changes. Basically, all the players undergo a significant metamorphosis, which is very satisfying for the reader.
- Finally, after a heart pounding and thrilling climax, this book slows and takes the reader through a somewhat drawn out ending. Even though the action was absent in the final portion of the book, I appreciated that Ms. Clare took the time to explore and explain all that happened after the final showdown. I am often disappointed in that I don't feel like most books take time to give me a satisfying conclusion. This is one book that excels at giving us everything we want, and we have plenty of time to linger in the good times.
And The Not So Much:
- One problem I have with Ms. Clare's writing style is that she has a habit of writing cliffhangers within every chapter, and then just when it gets to an exciting point the story shifts jarringly to another view point without any warning or indication such a chapter change. I am not a fan of this approach as I find it very jarring.
- I think I have said this with every review in this series, but I still want more Magnus Bane. He is one of the most fun and fascinating characters, and I never feel like he gets the appropriate amount of the spotlight. Even though he has a strong showing in this book, I still wanted more. I think that Ms. Clare just needs to write an entire spin off series with Magnus as the main character!
- I felt a bit hollow at the end of this one, knowing that the story was over, and I once again felt a rush of disappointment that the Mortal Instruments series faltered so much with the fourth book. I am still not feeling compelled to continue that series, and that is such a disappointment as I want to somehow recapture the emotion and enthusiasm I felt for this series.
Clockwork Princess was everything I hoped it would be and more. It is a riveting read that will have you reading late into the night. It is full of beautiful emotion and it should leave you satisfied. I truly cared about these characters and was happy to see that they all earned a bit of happiness. It is always bittersweet to reach the finale of a beloved series, but I can honestly say that I am happy that I went on this journey. This is an astounding series that I hope to one day visit again. This book will take root in your soul and make you feel. Don't hesitate to read this series!
Now for a ridiculous amount of quotations:
"Perhaps, but you would not exist without a woman, would you? However little use you may find us, we are cleverer and more determined and more patient than men. Men may be stronger, but it is women who endure."
"It is a very strange thing, to be in love," he said. "It changes you."
"No one understands what you feel but me, and no understands what I feel but you, so can we not feel together?"
"Part of her wanted to rush to her feet, to put her arms about him; the other part of her wanted to do nothing to stop the music, the lovely sound of it. It was as if he had taken his bow and used it as a paintbrush, creating a canvas upon which his soul was clearly displayed."
"It was like I saw your soul in the notes of the music. And it was beautiful."
"Every heart has its own melody," he said. "You know mine."
"We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us."
"I do not know who to be without him."
"You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it."
"You are as dear to me as another half of my soul, Jem. I could not be happy while you were unhappy."
"There are so many worse things than death," he said. "Not to be loved or not to be able to love: that is worse."
"It was a near incomprehensible tangle, the three of them, but there was one certainty, and that was that there was no lack of love between them."
"Every meeting led to a parting, and so it would, as long as life was mortal. In every meeting there was some of the sorrow of parting, but in every parting there was some of the joy of meeting as well."
"Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you, as many as I can before I did---"
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.