A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 26, 2011}   The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Plot: Tessa and her Shadow Hunter friends at the London Institute have survived dark magic, betrayal and an army of ghastly automatons but the man behind it all has gotten away. Now they must track him down or risk the loss the Institute and the destruction of the clave of Shadow Hunters. Meanwhile the feelings between Tessa, Jem and Will only grow deeper and more complicated.

This second book in Clare’s Infernal Devices series (a steampunk prequel to the long-running Mortal Instruments series) is mostly about Will: about his past and his emotional turmoil. I admit it, I’m team Jem. I thought Will was interesting in the first book: he is intelligent and his dialogue sharp. But I have trouble loving a jerk, no matter how handsome and witty (and makes cruelty into an art). In spite of that, Clare made me really feel for Will. His story is absolutely heartbreaking.

But Clare has not forgotten about her heroine, Tessa. Tessa is as troubled as Will. She must deal with her brother’s betrayal, with the mystery of her powers and her origins and with her conflicted feelings for two gorgeous Shadow Hunters. Clare handles it well (including some very sexy scenes with Tessa’s beaus). She is clearly good with characters: she has created a wonderful, diverse cast with their own passions and problems. My favorite remains the warlock, Magnus Bane: he is a real delight.

If you are looking for combat and adventure, this isn’t the right book. There is only one real fight, though it is a good one with a giant robot and demonstrations of love from all sides. That doesn’t mean the book isn’t exciting: it is full of mystery and betrayal and it’s a real emotional roller coaster. I read this through the night, finishing at dawn.

I’m looking forward to the final volume, Clockwork Princess due out in November 2012.

Simon Shuster really put a lot of work into the trailers so they deserve to be watched:

Challenges: GLBT Challenge (17), The East and South East Asian Challenge (4)


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