*Warning: This review may contain spoilers for the first two books in the Infernal Devices trilogy if you have not already read them.*Genre: Steampunk (Fantasy)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
"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."
Summary from Goodreads.Clockwork Princess is one of the most heartwrenching books of 2013 so far. The plot, while containing plenty of action, mystery, and suspense, is definitely emotion driven. The characters in this book just captured me so completely that I had to step away many times simply to collect my thoughts before plunging ahead. I laughed, gasped, and sobbed (ugly, ugly tears) and by the end was completely emotionally drained. All series' ends are emotional, but Clockwork Princess... it's something else.
It wasn't just saying goodbye to characters I'd grown to love that had me so teary. It was seeing how they've grown and how they face the tragedies that are thrown at them. Will and Jem's friendship is developed even more in CP2, and Cecily is a very prominent character, one that is very hard not to love. Even Gabriel Lightwood is shown to have depth. All of this contributed to my complete investment in this story. The only character, oddly enough, that isn't featured as much is Tessa. This is a bit disappointing; as the protagonist, and one I adore, I was counting on seeing a lot of her. Instead, Cecily seems to narrate more than Tessa does. Towards the second half this does improve, but I still wish there had been more of Tessa at the beginning.
A lot of the beginning of the book focuses on the love triangle between Tessa, Jem, and Will. Anyone who follows this blog likely knows that love triangles are a major pet peeve of mine, yet I feel this one is brilliantly executed. Even if one has a preference between Jem and Will (Ah, Jem), one still feels sympathetic of the other. With the exception of one scene which made the progression of one couple's relationship feel rushed (desperately trying to avoid spoilers; sorry for the ambiguity), I was fully enraptured in the tangled mess that is this love triangle.
There's plenty of other romantic arcs in Clockwork Princess. Gideon and Sophie's relationship progresses at a perfect pace; it's sweet and awkward and basically just adorable. Even though there aren't any major developments concerning Charlotte and Henry's marriage, it's lovely just to see how they dote on each other. There is one new relationship that, while enjoyable, did feel like too much. I couldn't help but wonder: Does everyone have to be paired up with a significant other? Can't anyone just be friends? Other than this, though, Clare is masterful when it comes to the relationships in her books.
To step away from romance, let's talk about Mortmain. He's back and more evil than ever. His Infernal Devices are even worse than before, which attributes to the many fantastic action scenes throughout the novel. They're suspenseful and gritty, with high stakes and some gore (for squeamish readers, please note that these scenes are realistic, not unnecessarily graphic). They will definitely have your pulse pounding.
Clockwork Princess is an amazing end to a fantastic series. While it isn't perfect, it's pretty damn close. Fans of The Infernal Devices will not be disappointed.
For Fans Of: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
What did you think of the conclusion to The Infernal Devices? If you haven't read it yet, are you Team Will or Team Jem?