Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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4 out of 5 Infernal Stars
This is the 2nd book in The Infernal Devices Trilogy.
I really like the first book as far as worlbuilding went but I got a little disappointed in some ways in the plot. It felt like a set up book in a way. If the first one is set up this one is all about the revelation of secrets. This time our villain is a more human concern. Our Shadowhunter set has been called on the carpet by the … consul? Clave? I don’t know. There are too many levels of Shadowhunter business and I can’t keep any of it straight, but it’s because of the events of the last book – and it’s criticism mainly fueled by Benedict Lightwood. He wants control of the Institute, and bases his disdain of Charlotte’s performance on the fact she is a woman. So I hate this fucker. Charlotte is tasked with finding the Magister, the maker of the terrible automatons, or she will be replaced. And if she is replaced, Tessa is most likely out on the street, where the Magister will most likely snatch her.
The Magister always seems a step ahead. It’s Jem who thinks they should look to his past to unravel his mysteries- and they find it. He has an old grudge against the Shadowhunters and is exacting his revenge. Even his dastardly automata are things from his past. A trip to the York institute shows the dark side of the Shadowhunter world. You gotta give Clare one thing for her worldbuilding –she’s not afraid to show Shadowhunters as a culture as racist and privileged, while also showing that there are good individuals who aren’t so exclusionary. But for the most part, the way they treat Downworlder’s is pretty fucked up. Not alllll Shadowhunters, I guess.

And there is the romance. Love it or hate it, there is a love triangle in this one. Re-reading is so weird… I would swear the first time I felt it was all Will, Will, Will. But this time,  I see how Jem and Tessa’s relationship had begun to bloom. I am Team Jem, always have been, always will be, but I feel feel for Will. In this one we learn more about what’s behind his behavior towards the people closest to him (which is reprehensible at times.) And of course… Jem’s dying. If that doesn’t put a damper on a romance… and there is the fact that Tessa feels drawn to Will in that stupid YA heroine way, but kudos to Tessa for trying to deny it.I mean, there was that horrible moment when she confessed her feelings (in the last book) and he offered to take her as his mistress – basically, calling her a whore. It doesn’t hurt that Will is an otherworldly beauty. For once, I’d like a YA heroine to have an undeniable draw towards a really nerdy, average looking guy.

We still have the mystery of Tessa’s parentage rattling around. Downworlders immediately call her a warlock and seem to see her as one of them –but she doesn’t have a visible mark that would show she has demon parentage. We get little hints and things from other people, but most of them muddy the water further. For all the rules in this world, someone like Tessa shouldn’t even exist and yet there she is. And why isn’t Nate the same? He’s still causing mischief and generally being a prick, but he’s also a weak point the Shadowhunter’s try and exploit.

This isn’t as fast paced as the first one, but I feel like the mysteries of what is going on with everyone draws you through the book. What’s up with Will? Why is Jessamine sneaking out? What is Tessa’s true nature? What is Benedict Lightwood hiding? How is the magister always one step ahead? Who will Tessa wind up with???? Will the London Institute find the magister before the deadline so Charlotte keeps her job as head? And what does the magister want Tessa for??

Really excited to read the last one again. I really recommend this series.

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