Clockwork Princess (CP for short) by Cassandra Clare is yet another disappointment. Given how strong the Mortal Instruments series started (but quickly faded and the series should have ended at the end of book three, before it jumped the shark), I had high hopes for the Infernal Devices series. While there were some good moments in this series, this latest installment really wasn’t worth the effort of reading.
Like in the PNR genre, many of these YA series are becoming so very formulaic and predictable. It is disappointing. I have started to venture into the Steampunk sub-genre in the hopes that I will discover something new and exciting, but it seems that as the YA authors also venture into that area, they bring staleness and predictability and they let that guide the plots, instead of finding a fresh take or the excitement that this new area should provide. (To prove a point, my next post will be a comparison of CP and Kady Cross’s latest since I read them back-to-back.) And CP suffers terribly from this. I think the only good news is that it appears that this might be the last of this particular series.
The other malady that this book suffers from is the romance. It is so over done and under done at the same time. The romance between Tess and Will is so boring. And the author’s desire to couple every character takes away from the romance of Wll and Tess and makes the romances pretty boring as they are not given time or page space that they need to develop and to make the reader feel invested and to want to root for them.
Then there is the silliness. About what, you might ask. Well, it is hard to read the story with a straight face when one of the two biggest battle scenes in the book talks about battling a giant worm. Yes, i said giant worm. Since the worm is supposed to be something one of the characters turns into, couldn’t the author have found something more original, more demonic, more menacing and scary, than a giant worm? Every time I read the phrase “giant worm” I chuckled. And not because I think it was intended as comic relief but because it felt ridiculous to imagine the scene in my head of the Shadowhunters and a giant worm. And something more demonic could have made the story so much better.
Finally, after the climax of the takedown of Mortmain, there were too many chapters of cleaning up the coupling. When the epilogue came around, my first thought was “what else can there be to tie up?” The only redeeming part, really, was the revelation of a few of the details including what the clockwork angel really was and its intention. It was a relief to get the details as to Tess, her origin, and why she is different. But even getting all these facts filled in couldn’t save the overall story and the predictability.
When all was finished, I was left with a sense of relief that I had finished what seemed like a silly master of time. I will be glad if this was the last we see of the Infernal Devices series.