Release Date ~ December 6, 2011
Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster) ~ Simon & Schuster Audio
Personally purchased: Audible audiobook & signed hardcover
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart
The Infernal Devices is the Shadowhunter series that has really captured my attention and held it; there are so many things to appreciate in this fascinating story, and I find that the world Cassandra has created in it blends very well with the elements she includes.
Clockwork Prince is an excellent follow up to Clockwork Angel, provided some much needed back story and focuses on developing the relationships between the characters making a very enjoyable story. And as always, some shocking twists.
- A more in depth understanding of character relationships:
One of my favourite things about Cassandra's writing and her books is how well she fleshes out the relationships between her characters; they're fully three dimensional and each is unique in its own way (much like relationships in real life). The Infernal Devices, in my opinion, is where this is best scene in her stories, particularly the deep friendship and bond between Will and Jem. She is able to include subtle intricacies that are so hard to include in books, but they're plentiful in Clockwork Prince and really allow you to pick up on exactly how each character stands in relation to the others.
- Flawless character development:
First of all, you need to understand that I'm a Will fan. Don't get me wrong, I love Jem as well, but I have a soft spot for desperately broken boys like Will. But I also wasn't overly impressed with his actions in Clockwork Angel, so I was curious to see where he'd end up in the sequel. And I was positively thrilled to get to see some of the layers lurking beneath his cold and hard heart. Will is such a fascinating and complex character because there's so much hidden inside him from his past and I loved getting to learn more about that aspect of him.
- There isn't a perfectly happy ending:
It really should be considered torture having us read these books, get close to the characters and then watch as these terrible things happen to them. It's heartbreaking, and makes everyone I know in real life wonder if I'm crazy for caring about fictional characters so much (possibly). But I appreciate that Cassandra incorporates a sense of realisim into her stories, and that is especially clear in Clockwork Prince. People die. People get hurt. Not everyone is happy. But this gives us a chance to see their inner strength and get to know them even better. I wouldn't trade that for anything. The reality is that bad things happen, and you either learn to survive or give up.
Thoughts on the audio:
Ed Wistwick and Heather Lind do a wonderful job for the audio. Both had excellent voices, and Ed in particular was superb. The one thing I really liked about him is that he was able to capture the different voices and make them sound effortless, but without doing any funny voices or accents. Ed clearly stole the show, and while Heather was good her voice could come across as a bit bored and emotionless. It's a long audiobook, and it took me a while to get through, but definitely worth buying.