Thursday, April 11, 2013

Series Pick: Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices, book 3)
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
2013
568 pages

Hauntingly beautiful,  fiercely passionate, steampunk inspired, Clockwork Princess delivers a knockout punch of non-stop action, troubled romance and intriguing mystery. Questions are finally answered: What are Mortmain's evil plans for Tessa? Can the Shadowhunters save Jem's life? Why does Magnus agree to help Will, a Shadowhunter? Who will Tessa choose--smoldering hot Will or good natured Jem? What will happen to Charlotte and the Institute if the Consul poisons the Clave against her? What secrets will be uncovered in Tessa's past? Can the automaton army be defeated by a handful of Shadowhunters?

New alliances and interesting romances develop and old friendships are tested. Gabriel  Lightwood arrives at the Institute in a state of panic asking for the Shadowhunters' help. His father has turned into a demon worm and is attacking servants and family. A battle ensues at Lightwood House and his father is defeated. Both Gabriel and Gideon are welcomed to the Shadowhunters' Institute. Jem's disease progresses and the drug that keeps him alive is nowhere to be found. Will enlists Magnus's help to find more of the healing (and addictive)  powder.

Charlotte continues to fight the Consul who insists that she is "just a woman" and as such, too frail to handle such a powerful position as head of the Shadowhunters. Henry is working on a new invention--a portal that the Shadowhunters can use to magically transport themselves anywhere in the world. Charlotte pores over Lightwood's papers and journals hoping to discover some clue as to Mortmain's whereabouts.

When Tessa is kidnapped, the plot races along  at a feverish pace...Will leaves Jem's deathbed in order to save Tessa. Charlotte begs the Consul to allow the Shadowhunters to go after Tessa and Will. The Consul refuses to let the Shadowhunters travel to Wales, but Charlotte ignores his orders and using the portal, the Shadowhunters, along with Magnus and the Silent Brothers,  prepare for a battle with Mortmain's automatons--the Infernal Devices.

Will finds Tessa and they both  mourn Jem's passing. Their true feelings are finally spoken aloud and their passion ignites. Clare is a master storyteller--she lets the reader see just a few kisses, then "fade to black." Magnus discovers the couple the next morning in a compromising situation  and warns them that the other Shadowhunters are on the way.

The Shadowhunters battle Mortmain's automaton army and Tessa finds her inner power and the secret to her strength.

The ending is poignant and promising.--true love can never be broken and endures no matter what happens.
I was sorry when the story ended but thrilled to have the experience of living in Cassandra Clare's world. The Infernal Devices is as satisfying a series as any reader could hope for. The relationship between Charlotte and her husband Henry develops into real love, and Charlotte realizes how much she loves him when he is injured.  Clockwork Princess is an exciting and brilliantly conceived ending to a remarkable YA series! Will is the steamiest, sexiest male protagonist in YA lit to date--Edward who? (wink, Twilight, remember)?

Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up but with caution. In the scene where Will and Tessa "hook up," Will's shirt comes off, kissing, fade to black, and the next morning Tessa wakes with her head on Will's shoulder. Magnus warns them to get dressed quickly.  Teens probably see steamier scenes on network television. If you have the third and fourth  book in the Twilight trilogy,  this novel is right for you.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)


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