Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess
by  Cassandra Clare
Date Read:  3/23/2013

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

Warning: Most of this review will be spoilers.  If you would like to read my review without spoilers, please read it here on goodreads where I am able to use spoiler links. Also, if you have the Collector's First Edition, do not look at the inside of the dust jacket, as it contains the family tree, which will spoil who everyone ends up with!

Ok, here goes the review:
Ok, I think I can compose a review now. I am wavering between 4 and 5 stars. I really want to give it 5 stars because of the roller coaster of emotions it made me have. But there were a few things that bothered me about the ending in this book. But is a few pages of disappointment worth losing a star? I can't decide yet. Maybe once I've finished composing this review, I will be able to decide.

EDIT: I had started out with 5 stars, thinking that I loved the rest of the book enough, that it still deserved 5 stars. But the more that I think about it, the more I am frustrated that Clare put that epilogue in at all. So I've lowered it to 4 stars. I hope that I don't have to lower it to 3 stars. I'm that frustrated right now. OK - back to the original review:

Alright, where to start? This book begins as Jem and Tessa prepare for their wedding. It is a happy time for the two of them, and things have been relatively calm over the past 2 months. But of course Will is in agony because he is in love with Tessa, and his feelings keep getting stronger, but he tries to suppress them because of his love for both Jem and Tessa. I have always been on Team Will. But I had fallen in love with Jem too, and I told myself that I would be happy no matter who Tessa ends up with. Though, I expected her to choose, and not just end up with both of them --- but we'll talk about that later when I talk about the epilogue,

I felt like this love triangle was handled very well - for the most part. It is the first love triangle that I have not just loathed. Both men were equally deserving of Tessa's love. And I understand why she had a hard time choosing. I'm not sure I could quite call it epic love, but it was definitely a beautiful love story.

Cecily, Will's sister, is a great side character in this book as well. Since we've never really gotten to know Will's family, this was a nice change. You got some more insight in to who Will was before he thought he was cursed. And she had some of the comic quirkiness that Will had, but she definitely had her own opinions. And I liked watching her character grow - even though we missed her first 2 months at the Institute. I think she was a great addition to the story.

We also got more perspective on the Lightwood brothers, Gideon and Gabriel. They have quite a story that spans Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess, and again, watching these characters make decisions that will alter their lives is part of what I loved about this story.It shows you that you can still choose your own life. Just because your relatives may have made some mistakes, and even you yourself made mistakes, that doesn't mean that you can't learn from them and turn your life around. You can still choose to be good, and do the best you can with the rest of your life.

And of course Charlotte and Henry are adorable as always. And Sophie. I love that girl! All the characters in this series have reasons to love them. And though we only get glimpses into their lives, we still love them. Something I noticed while reading Clockwork Princess, is that throughout this book, there was only one time where we got POV from Jem --- but yet, I am still utterly in love with that character. It made me start thinking, have we ever gotten POV from Jem? In any of the books? All the main scenes that I can remember were from either Tessa's or Will's POV? So now I need to go back and see.

The beginning was very emotional, because I was utterly attached to Will, and every time his heart broke, mine broke too. Watching Tessa and Jem was so bittersweet for me. I wanted Jem to be happy, and I knew he didn't have much of a life left, but it was so hard because Will heart was aching so badly. I should have known that when Jem and Tessa moved up the wedding that something was going to happen, and of course Tessa was kidnapped.

When Jem became so sick that he couldn't go after Tessa, I was ready to cry. When Will finally confessed his feelings about Tessa to Jem, I did start crying. That conversation between the parabatai was so emotional. Typical Jem - so understanding, so kind. But I don't know if anyone in the world would have been okay with his blood brother being in love with his fiancee - even if he was dying.

I was momentarily saddened when I thought Jem had died a little over halfway through. But I told myself I wasn't going to believe it until I had someone who was there as witness. And when it finally got to Charlotte, though she was sad, she wasn't as heartbroken as I thought she would be. And thus, I had the epiphany that Jem had become a Silent Brother. This would still sever the parabatai bond to Will. It would be the reason the Silent Brothers left so quickly. And it would be why Charlotte wasn't as sad as I thought she was.

Ok, we're now getting to some of the things that I didn't like. I didn't like the fact that when Will found Tessa, their reunion ended in sex. They had both just recently discovered that Jem had died. For the longest time Will had told Magnus that he could not be with Tessa if Jem died. So as soon as he dies, he sleeps with her? And Tessa? It is just not something she would have done. So it seems out of character. I expected them to make out. But there's where it should have ended - especially in the time period this takes place! So that is strike #1.

I had no idea how they were going to take out Mortmain. Obviously they were going to have to kill him to kill his infernal devices. But I had no idea how. I didn't know until Tessa started changing into the Angel. When I discovered that, I thought this would be awesome. But then it just become very anti-climatic. She picks him and and squishes him, and he's dead. What? That's it? Strike #2.

I loved the ending. I loved Tessa saying good to Jem. I loved that Tessa and Will didn't just react right away and get married. I am glad that they grieved and grew as people, and then took that step once they realized they still loved each other very much. I loved that he got to take her to his parents. I loved that they had a long and happy life together. But then came the epilogue.

The epilogue is what everyone is talking about. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I have a little in between. I liked that it brought us to present day - to the events of The Mortal Instruments. I liked that we got glimpses into Tessa and Will's life together. The family that they created. That they got to see Jem a few times. And that it addresses that there comes a time when life must end. I was tearing up the entire time I was reading these memories. And then Jem comes - to their annual meeting on the Blackfriars Bridge. Jem is cured - which I thought was neat to give a clue as to what will happen in City of Heavenly Fire - to mention the new Lightwoods, Herondales, and Fairchilds. I wish Clare had just ended it with Jem being cured - that Tessa would have a friend in Jem until Jem's life ended too. But no. She had to go one step further and screw the ending up for me. She had to please both Team Will and Team Jem and have Tessa choose to be with Jem romantically too - strike #3. Tessa had a wonderful life, children and everything with Will. It bothers me that she still ended up with Jem too. I think they should have just been good friends. And it did cross my mind, "What if Tessa and Jem have children too?" But in looking at the family tree, I don't think they did, thank goodness. That would have definitely dropped this to 4 or even to 3 stars.

So overall I really enjoyed this conclusion. I thought all the characters had a lot of development. I thought the action was great. The love triangle was so emotional. I was an emotional wreck the entire time, and I couldn't put it down. There was also a lot of conclusion to this book. She took the time to really tie up all the loose ends. We basically get to see everyone's ending. Clare's writing just sucks me in. Before I know it, I'm 100 pages in and didn't even realize it.

OK, this is now an additional part of my review that was not originally in my review. I am adding this because I just dropped my rating to 4 stars. Here's why: The epilogue has really made me mad. The story would have ended perfectly if Jem had stayed a Silent Brother (and alive) and Will and Tessa had a beautiful life together. That would have been an amazing love triangle. But Clare had to take it a step further, and make us see Will die (though it's bittersweet to me, because I did like getting a glimpse in the happy, beautiful, loving life that Will and Tessa had together), but all I see now is elderly Will on his deathbed, instead of the vibrant, sarcastic, handsome Will that I loved. And I am mad with the decisions that Tessa and Jem made when they meet on the bridge. Firstly, I am frustrated that Clare told us there was a cure. I would have rather found that out and made all the connections in City of Heavenly Fire when it happened, rather than going into that book knowing that will happen. Second, there is no way Tessa would still have the feelings that she had originally had for Jem. She would have changed so much after being married to Will for so long. After having and raising children. Dealing with death. She wouldn't be the same. And there is no way she would be able to jump back into a relationship with someone she had barely talked to in the last 150 years. Third, and most importantly, Jem would have never asked Tessa for that. He would not have stepped over that line with her. Once Tessa married Will, there is no way that Jem would have them tried to have a life with her too. Friends, absolutely. But not a romantic relationship. And if it were the other way around, Will wouldn't have done that either. And basically this was just to please both Team Will and Team Jem. And it made the choice to be a Silent Brother have no consequences. Jem got to sit around and live until a cure was found and still got the girl. Who wouldn't choose that? There needed to be a consequence for such a choice. And of course, it was the only choice for him at the time, and it was so very fitting, but to just be able to walk away from the brotherhood when he got a cure. It just makes me mad. And I wish Clare had just not written the epilogue. Or had just left it that Tessa met him and he was cured and they had each other until he died. We wouldn't need to know that there was any romantic feelings there - leave it up to each reader. I would choose to believe that they were just friends for the rest of his life. But others might have chosen to believe that they rekindled the relationship. UGH. Ok, that is my rant now and the reason why I've dropped my rating to 4 stars.


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