Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:00 AM
Title: Clockwork Princess 
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Infernal Devices #3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 570
Source: Purchased
Rating: 2 stars
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*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince*
“A very magnanimous statement, Gideon,” said Magnus.
“I’m Gabriel.”
Magnus waved a hand. “All Lightwoods look the same to me.”
― Cassandra Clare, 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. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
No. Just no. This is like Breaking Dawn all over again except I loved the Infernal Devices series so much more than I ever loved the Twilight series. Now one of my favorite series has been ruined for me. I am in denial. Nope. This did not happen. Cassandra Clare, what could have possessed you to end the Infernal Devices the way you did? I was hoping that Clockwork Princess, with that breathtaking cover, would be a stunning finish to this popular series, but it left me reeling with disbelief. I will admit I foresaw some of what happened, but besides the predictable parts, I could not believe how this love triangle unfolded. It was another wtfery moment for me. HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?

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You can see how Clockwork Princess has messed with my mind. I am so disappointed with this book. First off, there's just way too much going on. I felt like every character in Clockwork Princess shared their POV which was unnecessary and overkill. Also, Clare packs way too much romance in this book. Newsflash: every last one of your characters doesn't have to find their soulmate in a span of 500 pages. That's what companion novels are for. I'd much rather read a well-written book heavily focusing on two people than one that's broken up into so many POVs. Sure, everything came together but it almost read a little schizophrenic to me. I was much more interested in reading from Tessa's POV because wasn't she the protagonist originally? I will say that the book read much better near the end when two POVs took the main stage for the most part.

When I started the Infernal Devices series, I was hoping and praying that there would be no love triangle, but all my hopes were shattered when I saw signs of one forming in Clockwork Prince. This has to be one of the most screwed up love triangles to date. Tessa loves both Will and Jem, and they both love her, but they are also parabatai, meaning they fight together and they are closer than siblings. So basically, this whole situation is fucked up. Extremely fucked up! Everyone loves each other and it's causing them considerable pain because they all want everyone else to be happy, even at the expense of their own happiness. But how can Will, Jem and Tessa all find happiness when two of them are hopelessly in love with the same girl? Life is not all rainbows and flowers and little furry kittens. Not everyone is going to walk away from this unscathed. It's inevitable. But Cassandra Clare tried her darnedest to keep everyone happy. Which is entirely unrealistic!

There were some definite jaw-dropping moments in Clockwork Princess that rendered me speechless. Beloved characters shocked me with their unpredictable actions. These characters have professed their moral beliefs time and again, but then they acted completely out of character, and did exactly what they swore they would never EVER do. Honestly, I was appalled by their actions. I can't elaborate on this anymore without spoiling the plot. But I was sorely disappointed with this hypocrisy and I felt that transgressions were just overlooked.

As for the plot, just as things were getting interesting, there would be more drama or another romantic interlude. Clockwork Princess started off slow, and even when it picked up pace, I felt as if the plot relied too heavily on the various romantic attachments forming. I wanted more historical background and conflict and suspense. Or FIGHTING! Anything but dramatic scenes building upon each other until this felt like a soap opera. Closer to the end, I finally felt invested in the story and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And then the unspeakable happened, as I mentioned above, and these characters read as a shadow of their former selves. I could not wrap my head around certain plot developments and then the ending was less than satisfactory. I would have never predicted that ending, not in a million years, but that's not necessarily a good thing. I just couldn't believe that Clare would end a promising series in such a mindfucking way.

Despite all of the frustration this book has caused me, I refuse to end this review on a negative note. Clockwork Princess was as witty and humorous as any other book Cassandra Clare has written. This was most likely due to Magnus Bane's presence, and that is why he is my favorite character. This book also gives us a larger glimpse into Will and Jem's undying friendship, and I really enjoyed the touching flashbacks. While the heartwarming scenes cannot make up for the book's deficiencies, they were still lovely to read.

I procrastinated a great deal before finally forcing myself to write this book review. I knew it would be a challenge to adequately express my thoughts on Clockwork Princess, and I don't know if any of this review was actually comprehensible. I hope so. I know there are plenty of readers who thoroughly enjoyed Clockwork Princess, and I wish I could say the same. I once preferred the Infernal Devices series to The Mortal Instruments, but I now know, without a doubt, that the first three books of The Mortal Instruments were far better than this series. At least I can rest assured that the Infernal Devices series is definitely finished, as the ending left no room for doubt.


  1. This is one of the rare reviews. I do understand your points, Courtney. Even I am quite disappointed by how the triangle is solved. I haven't finished Clockwork Princess yet although I am shamefully spoiled by now =))

    1. Awwww yeah spoilers are everywhere. I hope none of my review spoiled it for you! It was so difficult though to write it without spoilers because I couldn't fully explain the issues I had with it without wanting to spoil it. I hope you enjoy it more than I did, Gellie! :D

  2. YES! I AM NOT ALONE! *hugs* Courtney, I just LOVED this series as you did and this book left me SO DISAPPOINTED. I think, as you mentioned, there was too much going on. I felt as if the ultimate showdown with the bad guy was a little lame and the romance kept getting in the way. And even though I liked - no, LOVED - the romance in these books, this book was just...UGH. It was fine until shortly after the second-half when characters began making split-second decisions and ALL these crazy things just HAPPENED and then that EPILOGUE. Yeah, I didn't enjoy it at all. I know most people did, which is great, but this book ruined the whole trilogy, unfortunately. *sighs* Very well-written review, though, Courtney! :)

    1. Thank you, Keertana! I'm glad my review actually made sense because it was so difficult for me to transfer my jumbled thoughts to writing. This book was just all over the place and I felt so let down. I'm glad I'm not alone either, and I just wish we could rewind time and this book could be completely rewritten with a whole new outcome. I was also a HUGE fan of the romance and that, above all else, was such a crushing disappointment in Clockwork Princess. I have to come to terms with this, but I'm having trouble doing so. :/ But at least you understand. *hugs back*

  3. From what you've mentioned here, I'm pretty sure I won't be a fan of Clockwork Princess. But then again, I wasn't really a fan of the first two books in the series either. Few things are more frustrating than an author who feels the need to cater to her audience and essentially become a crowd pleaser. Still, I am sad that you weren't able to enjoy this book as you hoped. At least she has the final Mortal Instruments book coming out soon - maybe that'll end on a better note for you?

    1. Yeah, I don't think you would enjoy this book. I really hope her next book is better, even though I think The Mortal Instruments series should have ended the first time around when it was supposed to. The first three books were ended perfectly and I don't see any reason for continuing the series. But I still have hope for the next book. :D

  4. Aw. So this was not the book for you, I see. It's interesting to me that a lot of the things that you mention hating about this book were some of the things that I loved most about it, actually. Chacun a son gout! It sucks for you that the series ended on such a poor note. I enjoyed reading your point of view though!

    1. I know, Aylee! i was really hoping that I would love this book, and it was so disappointing that I didn't. But I'm glad you loved it! But like you said, everyone has different tastes. :D


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