Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare – Review

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Audiobook reviews, Book Reviews
Tags: , ,

Clockwork Princess is the third and final book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, following on from Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince.  My view of the series was merely consolidated rather than changed by my reading of the finale – Cassandra Clare is excellent and writing characters and worldbuilding, not so great at pacing.

What I liked

The characters.  I adore Tess, Will and Jem and I felt the way their story was developed in this final volume was very well written and very touching.  I really felt for all the protagonists in the book.  We also get to see the development of Will’s relationship with Jem from their initial meeting through flashbacks.  I know some people disliked the epilogue, but personally I loved hearing about what happened to the characters after the ending of the story.  I also loved all the secondary characters – Charlotte, Henry, Cecily, the Lightwoods.  Writing characters and their interactions is clearly Clare’s real strong point.  I enjoyed the fact that certain characters were not necessarily evil, believed they were doing the right thing, but were still major hurdles for our protagonists.  

The narration.  Yet again the trilogy switched narrator.  All four narrators did a wonderful job, but I do much prefer it when the narrator is consistent across a series.  Daniel Sharman took the reins for this final book and did an excellent job.  One thing that did bug me, however; Will suddenly develops a Welsh accent!  Admittedly, there is ample justification in the story given what we learn about Will’s background.  I would have preferred it to have remained consistent with the neutral British accent he is given in the previous two books.  It’s hard enough adjusting to a new narrator without a main character’s accent changing.  It’s also interesting when the narration gives away a plot point.  At one point, a character enters a place and says a few words.  His identity is not revealed at that point in the book, but due to Sharman’s excellent voice work he was immediately identifiable to the listener.

Here’s a sample

 

The letters.  The plot was developed through the use of letters.  I thought this was a particularly efficient way of moving the plot forward without having to develop more secondary characters.

The action scenes.  There are definitely a lot more action in this book before and during the confrontation with Mortmain.  The London Institute Shadowhunters’ attacking Cadair Idris reminded me of Aragorn’s attacking the Black Gate in Return of the King or Lan’s defending the pass in Memory of Light.  I would have LOVED to have seen Henry’s face when that first automaton came to life “oh… crap!”

What I didn’t like

There was nothing I specifically disliked about the book.  It did enjoy it and was touched by Will, Tessa and Jem’s story.  However, for me it didn’t quite pack the emotional punch of A Memory of Light or Emperor of Thorns.  I suspect that was because I had been spoiled so certain fakeouts lost their impact when I knew they were going to be reversed later on.   

All in all, I gave Clockwork Angel four stars out of five.

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