Bibliomantic Book Club: “Clockwork Prince” by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Release Date
: December 6, 2011
Genre: Fiction, young adult, romance, magic, demons, steampunk

Summary: The second book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series sees a shift in power after the disappearance of the Magister threatens to remove Charlotte from her position at the London Institute. If she and her fellow Shadowhunters cannot capture him in time, the Institute will be forfeit to a dangerous family within the Clave.

Meanwhile, lead heroine and partial demon Tessa is on the hunt to find out how she came to be, struggling against her impulses to fall in love with the vile and handsome Will. Especially when kind-hearted and sickly Jem is right across the hall.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cassandra Clare’s books, they feature a band of people, hidden from regular society known as Shadowhunters, who are tasked with ridding the world of demons and protecting them from Downworlders (vampires, fairies, werewolves, etc.). Unfortunately for our characters, this is the second book in the series, and that’s where Miss Clare punishes her creations the most. Poor Shadowhunters, will anything go right for these repressed Victorians?

CASSIE-WA’S THOUGHTS

The following semi-drunk review may be replaced by a sober one in the near future:

I ended up reading Clockwork Prince almost entirely on Christmas Day–the rest Stephanie read to me in the car on the way home to our grandmother’s house, which was kind of really fun because we could laugh and angst together. Cassie Clare is the MASTER of capturing the perfect balance of laughter and angst.

DEMON POX. OMG.

This book was just so much fun to me. I enjoyed it a lot more than Clockwork Angel (although I love that book as well!) because the world and characters were already established. Even without re-reading Clockwork Angel it was so easy to just dive in and go along for the ride.

One thing I love about these books is how dependent the characters’ lives are on their relationships. Tessa is a single woman (but you know, teenager) and her only remaining family has betrayed her for EVIL. She has absolutely nowhere to go, but she remains at the Institute (which is kind of bizarre, considering she is a Downworlder) because of the friendships she has made. It seems perfectly natural for her to be there. Those friendships define where she is in her life right now. And where would she be without them? Where would they be without her?? It’s pretty adorable.

I have to say that even after reading this book I am TEAM JEM. Nothing against Will. His true predicament was pretty easy to guess once he explained himself to Magnus, and I did feel bad for him, but Jem is so genuine and wonderful. I knew he was going to sneak in somewhere, considering some possible foreshadowing in Clockwork Angel. Now I have no idea where these relationships will end up.

I also love Will and Jem’s relationship. I can’t wait to see where it goes in Clockwork Princess, considering what’s happened in Clockwork Prince.

Oh, and there’s some plot going on. Mortmain is still on the loose. The ultimate evil plan has not been thwarted. I anticipate some MAJOR action from Clockwork Princess, and of course some major relationship drama. Also a perfect balance Cassie Clare is able to achieve.

I don’t know what else to say. Cassie’s books are just so much fun to read. They suck you in, and you become so emotionally invested in the most ridiculous situations. I love it!!

STEPHANIE’S THOUGHTS

First I will just say that I didn’t remember anything that happened in Clockwork Angel – so before I started the sequel I did a re-read. So glad I did – I liked it even more the second time! Clockwork Prince though has to be my favorite Cassie Clare novel so far. It was absolutely awesome to read – I loved the characters and even stopped referring to Will and Jem as “Not-Jace” and “Other Not-Jace” by the end!

To begin the book I decided to establish myself as Team Other Not-Jace. But by the end  – oh man, I have never been so confused in my life! This love triangle is absolutely SPECTACULAR. What a crazy fun read! Cassandra Clare seriously is just….awesome. It’s like half the time this book had me rolling my eyes because something so ridiculous would be happening….but I would be loving it. I would describe it as fanfiction that you know is kind of bad and ridiculous, but at the exact same time IS SO COOL AND YOU CAN’T STOP READING BECAUSE AHHHHH!!!! Seriously Cassie Clare just took my heart and broke it into a million tiny pieces. And then did a dance on them. I really did think I was Team Jem, but then Will….oh Will…

I was not really into Will for most of this book. His whole revealed tortured past made me do a little eye-rolling and Jem is just so….Jem! Why wouldn’t I support Team Jem. But Cassie Clare just throws you for such a loop you don’t even know what team you’re on in the end. Although really I think I support Team Will AND Jem and they should just be an adorable threesome and be happy all the time. It’s the perfect solution, I cannot understand why they haven’t thought of it yet. Hopefully in Clockwork Princess! I officially declare Team Threesome!!!

Although as you may know….here at Bibliomantics we are really and truly Team Magnus Bane forever. Seriously I cannot even describe my love for Magnus Bane. He is hilarious, but also has a soft side as we see when he misses Camille. (And also a vindictive side as we see when he HILARIOUSLY makes Camille jealous when she returns!!) He’s complex, but always keeps himself together – and it’s fabulous. We also have a new character to love – Woolsey Scott. Oh my jeez Woolsey Scott! He’s a werewolf – with a monocle!! And he’s probably banging Magnus! And he has pornographic wood carvings!! I’m in love. Team Magnus/Woolsey forever. No matter how confused Cassie Clare makes me about the other characters – that can never change!

Anyway, in conclusion this book was amazing and I am way, way excited for more. Also I’m excited to see if everyone in the next book stops being so DUMB. I was glad to see a couple people get their acts together, but Tessa REALLY needs to get it together! I really can’t wait to see what happens next although knowing Cassie Clare I’m sure there will be some horrible tragedy…who will die?? I don’t know! But I’m crying a little already. Go Team Threesome! Life is short when Cassie Claire is in charge!!

Oh…did I mention Will has really, really blue eyes? Just in case anyone forgot.

KELLY’S THOUGHTS

Cassie Clare is a master manipulator, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I felt myself being pulled along with Tessa, as she learns of new betrayals, explores her feelings for Will and Jem, and starts asserting herself. Even more than the romance (which I adored even as it kept making my heart soar to great heights and then come plummeting down to earth in the harshest manner possible), I loved the theme of Tessa coming into her own. The way she takes charge and decides her own fate even as the odds seem stacked against her made my feminist-self beam. As the boys fall to their own emotions and fail to communicate, Tessa steps up and kicks ass.

Also loving the Sophie developments! The friendship she and Tessa continue to develop rings very true. And the way Sophie self realizes is authentic as well. When thinking about a certain boy, she muses, “she had loved him for such a long time, she thought. How could she not know him at all?” This theme works itself into the book, as the characters must examine who and why they love the others around them. As for Sophie, I have IDEAS about what’s going to happen to her. And if I’m right, it would tie really well into the present-day Shadowhunters. *secret smiles*

As with all Cassie Clare books, I always look forward to the snarky dialog. Few authors make me laugh out loud like she can. The inclusion of a dandy werewolf with a penchant for naughty pictures, the fabulous warlock-with-a-wit-drier-than-a-good-martini Magnus Bane, and  the bloody ballads sung by the new cook Bridget which punctuate serious scenes with perfect comedic timing make this one of Clare’s funniest books yet. Will just kills me: “’so perhaps not an opium den precisely’, said Will, ‘but still a den. Of vice!’” Mix this dramatic, overblown wit with a tragic backstory, and I can’t help but root for Team Will. And how could I not love a boy who saucily quotes Donne “license my roving hands, and let them go?” even though he knows it’s not the piece Tessa is referring to. So much looooove.

I can’t wait for the conclusion of this series. Though I know it’s probably going to break my heart, Cassie Clare gives us real emotions. There are no false choices to be made; whatever happens is going to have real effects on the characters, and I this is something I appreciate as a reader. And the last chapter leaves the field wide open as to what’s going to happen.

CASSIE-LA’S THOUGHTS

What makes Cassandra Clare’s writing so much fun is her unique blend of romance, humor, and mystery. In other words, perfection. This book, and the Infernal Devices series in particular is my favorite, and not just because the characters get to wear bustles and ascots.

For this novel, I finally picked a team. Rather than Team Threesome like Stephanie, I have chosen the much more sensible Team Jem (Other Not Jace for those of you keeping track). Why shouldn’t he live the last remaining years of his life being blissfully and utterly happy? We learn something that makes Will (Other Jace) less Jace-like, much less Jace-like in fact, but I’m still rooting for Team Jem. What’s not to love? How can you not fall for the terminally ill boy? LOOK AT THAT COVER! LOUD NOISES!

I would also like to thank this book cover for showing a whole human body rather than just pieces of one or a close-up on a face. I’m looking at you every other young adult novel cover!

The trope of saving oneself works better in these books than in Clare’s other series, mostly because it’s improper for Tessa to be giving into her impulses due to the era it’s set in. Jace and Clary can get it on (even though they don’t) because birth control exists. And Clary can just invent a birth control rune if it doesn’t already exist. Tessa cannot (even though she’s infertile) because it would be strictly improper in the Victorian Era to go around having sex with every Shadowhunter she falls in love with. So instead she gives them blue balls. Oh Cassandra Clare, you love giving your characters blue balls, don’t you?

One of the most fun scenes for me, other than the Dirty Sexy Bedroom Scene and the Dirty Sexy Balcony Scene (MORE BLUE BALLS) is when Jem and Tessa travel to the Demon Opium Den. DEMON OPIUM DEN! Think how much more fun From Hell could have been if Johnny Depp frequented a Demon Opium Den instead, complete with demons, werewolves and other creatures of ill repute.

The other fun section involves shape-shifting and a masquerade ball. I love everything about that ball. Especially when Tessa thinks about how, “In Jane Austen’s books the characters were constantly waiting for there to be a ball, or arranging a ball, and often an entire village would be involved in the planning and location of a ball.” SO TRUE! Especially Kitty and Lydia. Part of me wishes there were still masquerade balls today, or I was rich enough to be invited to some masquerade ball somewhere that probably exists.

In addition to all this, I learned some fun new words. First up, genuphobia, which is an “unreasonable fear of knees”. I don’t know if this is a real word and I refuse to look it up in case it ruins the magic of the phrase. Like that time my fellow Bibliomantics and I learned our friend’s brother’s name wasn’t Steve Magic Wong. So much disappointment! I also learned some fun British slang such as “faffing about”, which is similar to mooking about with seagulls, because it means wasting time. Urban dictionary doesn’t seem to know the correct definition for mooking FYI. I’m sure Cassandra Clare does.

Overall, this novel shows us everyone’s true colors, gets our hearts tangled in a painful love triangle, involves some intriguing plot twists, and features a story that had me up reading all night. Cannot wait for the conclusion! If only it weren’t a year away.

WHAT WE LIKED MOST:
-Dirty Sexy Whatever/Whenever scenes
-Tessa takes charge!
-TEAM MAGNUS BANE!
-Combination of romance, action, and humor is love.
-Team Jem (the Cassies), Team Will (Kelly), and Team Threesome (Stephanie)

WHAT WE LIKED LEAST:
-The torture of not knowing what happens with Tessa, Jem, and Will
-Wish that Cyril was given more development rather than just comparisons to Thomas
-BIG GIANT WORDS

Join us next month when we review our January Bibliomantic Book Club Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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