This review may contain spoilers of Clockwork Angel, and slight spoilers of Clockwork Prince.
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.
Clockwork Prince. That's all I can say as I'm still reeling from the awesomeness of it. This being my first Steampunk series, I'm so happy I encountered this one first. It's filled with dark intrigue, smokey London, and two lovely guys that I really can't get out of my mind. This novel follows the lovable gang on a race against time to find Mortmain and stop his army of clockwork devices before Charlotte losses the institute forever.
Cassandra Clare did an excellent job in Clockwork Prince. She set the stakes a bit higher, created a driving tension that made me unable to stop reading, and set up a love triangle that is believable and heartbreaking.
Tessa faces some tough decisions in this novel, and I appreciated her courage and growth. She did, however, make me a bit irritated with her confusion towards Will and Jem. Even as the novel draws to a close, I could see the emotional tug and pull of her heart as she tries to stand on her own two feet and choose the path most beneficial.
This whole business with Will, and his unrelenting doubleminded crankiness is finally sorted out and answered. I joined Team Will in the last novel, but in this one I can say it with more fervor, as the secret he holds justifies his oftentimes harsh demeanor towards Tessa. The only problem is now he has managed to push her away, and right into the arms of his parabatai, Jem. It's an awesome writer that can pose two sides, two choices, and have them both be so beautiful. Jem is the picture of a perfect gentlemen, always tender to Tessa (though we do see this idealist side of him pull away a bit, which makes him all the more sincere). I cannot foresee how this will end, but as much as I'll be disappointed if she doesn't choose Will, I can't even be sad about Jem. It makes me all the more disheartened if this triangle threatens Will and Jem's brotherhood.
Charlotte is particularly frazzled in this novel, and it was nice to see her tough exterior melt away as the reality that she may lose the Institute comes to a head. She and Henry are the most adorable couple. Henry literally warms my heart no matter what scene he's in. I only wish that those around him would stop selling him short, and I hope that in book three he creates an invention that will blow them all away!
This novel's also packed with some surprises that I loved. I was a bit disappointed that I could predict who in our lovable team would defect, but Clare packs so many other surprises that you never see coming. The end carries an especially awesome surprise that I can't wait to witness how it all plays out.
The only thing I didn't enjoy, was its oversaturaturation of demonic practices.
Bare in mind: This novel discusses demons, the occult, and witchcraft. This novel also depicts violence, and sensuality.
Clockwork Prince was an entertaining story, filled with such intrigue, suspense, romance...all of the good stuff!
I give Clockwork Prince 4 out of 5 cups of steaming Earl Grey in the library.