Clockwork Prince by Casasndra Clare is the latest installment in the Infernal Devices series. And like the first book, Clockwork Angel, I am really wondering what all the fuss is about. I adored the City series – at least the first book – and have been slowly become less interested in that series as Ms. Clare stretches the stories well beyond their breaking point. Here, my issues are different. Since we are only 2 books in, it’s hard to ague that she’s stretched the story arc past it’s useful and interesting life. Instead, we have predictable characters, predictable stories, and a very misleading title (again). Not to mention where the title comes from… well, I am left guessing as to that. Because while I have an idea it isn’t exactly crystal clear. Of course the importance of the Angel from book #1 is still a great big mystery.
We pick up after the events of Clockwork Angel with Tessa living at the institute, Will still his angry full of teen angst self, Jem as caring and vulnerable as ever, Sophie learning to be at home with new employers, Charlotte and Henry up for replacement as head of the Institute, Jessamine self absorbed and hating anything to do with the Shadowhunters, and the Lightwood family causing problems. We know that the Magister is Mortmain but we don’t know where he is or really what he is up to. And Nate is on the run. What ensues is a chase to find Mortmain and saw Charlotte and Henry’s position.
There is a “twist” with Jesse (although when you can see it coming that far away, it’s hard to categorize it as a twist); a “twist” with Benedict Lightwood (see previous parenthetical – and this one was even more obvious); some blackmail, a little itsy bitsy tinee tiny bit of clockwork (really, I would love to see more steampunk like the titles suggest, the books are let downs in that respect) and not nearly as much romance as with the City series. The love triangle of Tessa, Will and Jem is the most predictable part of the book and it feels like a waste of words at this point.
We do get introduced to Will’s family, sort of. And at the end, it’s clear that at least one member of that family will play a big role in the next book. And Mortmain is still at large. And while we know a little about his history and the Warlock’s who were his adoptive parents were, we really aren’t any closer to getting to him.
The writing is, as mentioned above, predictable. Ms. Clare seems to be having some plot development issues. The writing is “ah” like with the first installment. I think the author is attempting to write the dialogue in a style reminiscent of Victorian England. But it only works about 30% of the time. I would rather just have her skip that and write more natural dialogue even if it doesn’t quite live up to Victorian standards.
Don’t get me wrong, the book isn’t terrible. It was an entertaining few hours reading it. But I won’t exactly be lining up on the release date for the next installment. On a brighter note – lovin’ the series cover art!