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Hello Hello! How are you all?
YAY! We are finally back with a Shadowhunter Saturday post! Fiona from Fi’s Bibliofiles and I took a little break from our Shadowhunter reading mission as we had so much going on in the previous months and a lot of books to read, but we are now back on track and I’m so glad to be bringing you this mini-review from me, and discussion from Fiona!
If you want to know how these posts work, you can find my post about it here, and Fiona’s here! This book had a lot of things going on, like the usual final book in a series from Cassandra Clare. If you want all my spoilery thoughts on all the surprising plot points, head over to Fiona’s post and don’t forget to read her mini-review!
Disclaimer: The first part of this post includes a mini-review for Clockwork Princess, the third book in The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I will do my best to keep my review devoid of spoilers, but since it is the final book, it is bound to be spoilery in some way, so if you feel like reading this series, please head over to my mini-review of Clockwork Angel (book 1) or my review of Clockwork Prince (book 2) – but please remember not to read the spoilers at the end of the post! The end of this post includes all of Fiona’s thoughts on plot points from the final book, so keep on reading to find out what we both thought!
Title: Clockwork Princess (#3 The Infernal Devices)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: 19th of March 2013 – Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardback – 568 pages
“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.” – Clockwork Princess
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.
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare is the third and final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and the sixth book I have read with Fiona for our Shadowhunter books mission. Right from the start of this series, I have loved this world, setting and maybe even characters a little bit more than The Mortal Instruments and I can’t really put my finger on why. I thought that this whole series was so different and Clare really got her groove on in this series. It was fun, packed with action, shocking events and really clever plot twists, although some moments were not exactly what I was expecting and not always what I would have wanted! This is a YA fantasy series with historical fiction and steampunk vibes.
I thought that this book got going so quickly and I obviously can’t just waffle on about all the events because that would include spoilers and I just want to give you my thoughts quickly, instead of spoiling you. So many things seemed to succeed one another in this book and it was clear that Cassandra Clare was not messing about. From the third book in The Mortal Instruments series, we knew that she packed her final book with a lot of shocking moments and revelations, and there were definitely a lot of those here.
I loved learning more about Will in this book. He had a lot of moments where he was alone and we got more insight into his character, personality and thoughts. I actually found that the multiple POVs in this book made it go a lot quicker than previous ones and I thought that the author had added a lot more POVs than previously, which did make it a little bit hectic, but also hard to tear my eyes from. The characters in this story are ones that I really enjoy reading about and completely root for. I feel like Will really was the centre and I loved it. But besides Will, I also really liked Tessa, she seemed a bit more believable and I liked her a lot more in this book. I still love Henry, Magnus, Sophie, Charlotte, Jem and it was great to read about them all again, even though my heart died quite a few times!
I can’t say much more, but I will say that I found the writing style to be a little different in this book and I was more immersed because of it. One thing that still really bugs me is that the chapters are SO long, but because of the pacing and multiple POVs, the chapters didn’t feel so long and heavy. Although that final one was really long, as in usual Clare fashion. I listened to the last 150 pages or so on Scribd and I actually really enjoyed it as well.
“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.” – Clockwork Princess
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a fun, shocking, surprising, and action-packed final book in a really great series that I enjoyed a lot. It was a great experience reading it and discussing it with Fiona, especially over the last day or so with all our reactions, OMGs and gifs!
It was a great read, I still like Cassandra Clare’s writing style and I was more immersed in this book thanks to more POVs, more insights into characters, more fast and shocking events and just generally a very quick-paced and clever execution. However, I was not a fan of that ending (find out why in Fiona’s post) because of what happened because I just didn’t really get it, to be honest, I don’t think it was necessary and maybe the author trying to give everyone a happy ending. It just didn’t end in a way that I enjoyed a lot, but otherwise, I really did like this book.
I gave this book 4 stars, you can find my full ASPECTS rating below. I really liked this book, the focus on Will and Tessa, the action, getting to know more characters and all the little extra plot points that we were given as clues but only really understood during the reveals. I found this book to be really high-stakes and liked it, apart from that ending and a few little moments that were either unnecessary or weird. I would recommend this book to lovers of YA fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, historical fiction and steampunk as it has a little bit of everything and is really fun to read!
Thank you so much to Fiona for reading this book with me, I had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to read the next Shadowhunter book with you.
“Bright star,” Magnus said, and his eyes were thoughtful, as if he were remembering something, or someone. “Those of you who are mortal, you burn so fiercely. And you fiercer than most, Will. I will not ever forget you.” – Clockwork Princess
Atmosphere – 7
Start – 6
Pacing – 6
Ending – 5
Characters – 7
Theme – 6.5
Style – 7
Total = 44.5
This list includes some affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a book from one of my links, I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK – Amazon FR – Amazon US – AbeBooks – The Book Depository – Audible FR – Waterstones – Barnes and Noble – Audible UK – Scrib’d – Kobo – Blackwell’s – BetterWorldBooks
Now I’m going to pass the reigns over to Fiona so we can hear all her thoughts on the plot elements and spoilery events of this book! We have both answered the same questions, if you have not read these books and do want to read them, I would advise you against continuing reading this post as there are SPOILERS!!
Here are Fiona’s answers for the more generic questions about the book!
What was your favourite moment?
“Oh it’s kind of hard but I think It had to be the reveal that Jem was a Silent Brother. OMG I was not expecting that. I was still sad for his death and then for him to be there fighting beside Will again was just heart wrenching. It was just a satisfying shock moment I really liked that reveal.”
Who was your favourite character?
“I would usually say Magnus (and Church) but this one it really was Will. He really was such a strong character in this book and he has really grown as a character. Like Ellie I really started to root for him and I became more and more Team Will. We got to see him get a happy long life and I really really loved that.”
Have your thoughts about the series changed?
“Not really. I definitely prefer this series to Mortal Instruments. It just had a lot more depth to it. I do think she over egged the pudding a little and tried to pay fanservice a bit much with the ending and that was a little disappointing. But overall I really loved this. I went back and forth from team Will to Jem then back to Will. I was shocked and excited, there was moments I really didn’t see coming and that just made this a really fun book.”
Do you think it was a good end to the series?
“Ahhh yes and no! I am so torn I thought This book was jam packed with excitement. I really liked how it wrapped up, everyone getting together, Sophie getting to become a shadowhunter, Charlotte becoming Magister and then getting to learn about the happiness and sadness of Tessa’s immortal life as she was happy with Will and then him passing and her spending her days with Magnus too both of them understanding the pain of that loss.
But then I don’t know if I was happy with Tessa ending up with first Will then 100 years later getting to be with Jem too. It does make me wonder if Tessa will end up meeting her great great grandchild? In the next, it just seemed too perfect and a bit trying to please everyone sort of thing. books of the Mortal instruments. Esp as they now know Magnus pretty well and I am sure she kept in touch with Magnus so it would be interesting if they met up.”
And now for more spoilery, in-depth discussions about some of the plotlines!!
Giant Worm, the Lightwoods move in:
“I thought this was actually a slow start. I know it should seem like it was all action but I just through it was sort of slow and just set up a bit of the plot that I found boring. The whole Gabriel Cecily romance had no interest or heat to it so it just was to give a happy ending for everyone and I think it could have been done without him. It did wrap up loose ends from book two nicely but I think we could have just started with the return of Jess etc.”
Jem is out of his drugs and dying:
“I was kinda mad at Jem for this. I knew he would be low on reserve but the fact he chose to burn through it without telling Will or Tess was somewhat selfish as he knew he was leaving Tess to grieve for him before they managed to get married or just after they married. He could have rationed it and still had time with her.”
Magister asks Lightwoods to spy:
“Another part of the plot I really didn’t think was needed it was to kind of shoe horn Gabriel in and a weird justification for the Magister to be an arse to Charlotte. It did add a couple of comic moments but I could have taken or left Gabriel’s inclusion in this book.”
“I was kinda sad at Jessimine’s death. She wasn’t my favourite character but it seems like such a sad end for her. It does seem she was just taken in and duped to betraying her friends that she was in a life she really didn’t want to be a part of but to die almost immediately shocked me a little. This is where I started to see that Clare meant business with this one.”
Mrs Black kidnapping Tessa:
“Ms Black coming back in her creepy automaton body was a really dark moment. The whole discussion in the carriage really put a more creepy edge onto Mortmain’s plans. Like Ellie I had expected Tessa to give herself up to save Jem but the twist of her being captured was unexpected and made it a little more interesting.”
Jem finding out Will loves Tessa:
“I really liked the discussion the two of them had. I am glad they had a mature discussion both with the little bit of jealousy but also understanding and the love between the two boys didn’t falter because of it. I loved that Jem knew that he was dying but didn’t want to forbid happiness to the other two when they needed it. I could see Jem’s hurt that Will loved Tessa but also his understanding and it made this quite a beautiful moment.”
Will goes after Tessa:
“I loved the fairytale moment this gave to it. Speeding through the country on horseback to save her, not only for himself but for Jem as well. I also liked that he stopped and rested, that there were so many times he and Tessa were right next to each other and missed each other as well. I was rooting for Will in that whole journey that they would find each other on the road and that Tessa would have half saved herself but I also liked that Will got to be a bit of the saviour.”
Jem is dead!
“Oh this crushed me. I was a little sad that he had an “off screen” death but then we find out why later. But the way Will crumbled was just a really beautiful way to represent it. I felt so much for Will in that moment. It also made me realise that this book was really about Will. We have all the other characters but we got so much of Will, his life, his feelings that it really became about him and I was not mad about it.”
Mortmain creates undefeatable automations using Tessa:
“I wish we had spent more time on this. This was such an interesting twist and such a dark plan and I really wish that there had been more devastation and more display of there power before they were defeated. It was such a powerful moment as we were locked in Tessa’s mind as she was forced to create something so dark that had the power to destroy what she loved. I am disappointed it was so under utilized.”
Gideon proposes to Sophie:
“This made me so happy! Sophie gets to become a shadowhunter, finally accepting who she is and the power she has. That Charlotte and the house don’t see her as just their maid but their friend. The way she sassed him when he just declared it and made him give her a proper proposal was so awesome it really made me smile. She really is one of my favourite characters in this series.”
Will ‘rescues’ Tessa / danger sexy times:
“I totally agree that this was weird. I was like dude Jem just died! And all you can think to do was sexy times! Maybe take a moment to grieve, maybe more than five seconds. Also you are in the mountain layer of the bad guy, maybe it is not the best place to be getting it on Possibly just try to escape, just one attempt before you get your kit off? Just felt their priorities were a bit off. Loved the Magnus sass when he found them though. I do love my Magnus sass.”
Magnus and Henry invent the portals:
“I loved this about this series, all the tools of the trade that we were so used to from the first three Mortal Instrument books made a sneak peak in these books and to see how they all came together was awesome. It also explains why they were constantly calling on Magnus to make portals in that series. Is he the only one that still knows Henry and his secrets? It weirdly gives Mortal instruments so much more depth in retrospect. I think if you were to read these in Chronological time order you would get so much more out of Mortal instruments because of all the moments with Henry and Magnus building the world for you.”
Jem is a silent brother:
“AAAAAAhhhh this got me. I sent Ellie like all the GIFs with this one. It hit me hard. Having accepted his death, wondering when we would pause in the action to recognise Jem was gone, BOOM there he was and he was a Silent Brother, something he had sworn he didn’t want. It really surprised me. Will’s reaction, him fighting alongside him was so sad. Jem turning away from them at the end of the battle was heartbreaking. It kind of was like Jem died a few times and that really packed an emotional punch.”
Tessa becomes an angel:
“This was so interesting. I would not have seen that coming at all. I had almost forgotten that Tessa shapeshifted and I would have never have thought about the Angel round her neck. So many pieces slipped into place when that happened all those little bits of information that had been hinted at all made so much sense and it was just a great way to defeat the big bad. Again I do wish we had had a bit more carnage and devastation before this moment a bit more all is lost feeling would have made this even more powerful.”
Goodbye to Jem:
“This was sad and lovely but also just a bit out of place. While I loved the Silent Brother reveal I kinda wish Clare had had the courage to leave us devastated at the loss of Jem. That Tessa and Will could have grieved for him properly and that we got there lives with the memories of Jem. It was nice they both got the closure but it seems like poor Jem ended up with a life he didn’t want and that was sad.”
Charlotte is magister/Sophie is a shadowhunter/Will proposes:
“I am in two minds about the ending. This seemed a bit they all lived happily ever after. Everyone paired up perfectly, everyone was happy and smiley. Even Ghost Jess (really what was that about) got in on the action to be happy with everyone. I did find the Will being awkward and trying to ‘Woo’ Tessa funny and I like how she slapped him down for it. But after trying to hit us with big emotional punches this ending just seemed a little twee. Not that I would have changed it as I was firmly team will.“
Epilogue: Tessa’s life with Will, Wills death, her life in Paris and new york with Magnus, Jem is mortal again they have cured him Tessa and Jem.
“Again like the ending I am in two minds about this. I totally forgot that as she was part demon that Tess would be immortal. So when it jumped to 2008, Mangus’s last line of tell Tessa i’ll be seeing her was just so sadly ‘chef’s kiss’ gorgeous. I loved that we got to see Tessa and Will’s life that we saw Will grow old, be happy, have children and grandchildren. That Tessa mourned him, that she and Magnus consoled each other understanding that loss of love. Then Jem get cured and everything is ok again. It just seems like so much fan service and a bit of a cop out. I would have liked it so much more if Jem had remained a silent brother and that we could have seen a friendship and love between Jem and Tessa that endured that Tessa could turn to instead of everyone getting a perfect happily ever after. Again its that twee tied up with bow that just makes me sad as it could have been so much more powerful.”
This was such a fun post and I loved all of Fiona’s thoughts. I really enjoy reading these series with her and discussing them together because we have such different thoughts. I find it really interesting to see what she thinks and that usually makes me think more about events or characters, so it’s a great reading and discussing experience!
This was a really enjoyable book with so many things happening. I found the ending maybe a little weird and not what I wanted or would have expected, but overall, this book was jam-packed with so many events and shocking moments, and I love the setting and the characters! I feel a little sad leaving them all now, but I know The Last Hours series is based on these characters descendants, so I’m excited to get back into this world, and I hope that we will meet Tessa again!
Head over to Fiona’s post to read all about her own thoughts in her review of this book and to find my answers to the questions and plot points!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post, see you soon, stay safe,
Great review! I’ve only read The Mortal Instruments so far, but I definitely like Clare’s writing style as well! Her vivid imagery always gets me. I’m looking forward to reading this series too.
Thank you so much Noelle! Yes, I do like it a lot and this series is so different from The Moral Instruments, I hope you love it!
Totally agree, I find it a different ending to the love triangle between the three. Tessa ending up with both of them at different times across ages seems a bit strange. Granted, she got a happy life with Will but she’s going to have the same issue down the road with Jem. He’ll age and die while she’ll continue on alone even after her children with Jem move on.
Yes exactly, it just seems a bit too much like a big giant happily ever after bow, still a great book though! Just hope we don’t have more endings like this!
I stayed away from the spoilers because it sounds like a good book. 😊
Ahaha, you should read this series, it’s so fun!!