ID 2: Clockwork Prince

Characters:

Will Herondale – still passive aggressive with everyone.  It’s the curse which he believes will lead everyone around him to die.  He is in love with Tessa though.

Tessa Gray – an unmarked warlock, we thing.  She has the power to Change.  She is living in the Institute and helping the shadowhunters.  She’s in love with Will, but by the end loves Jem too and agrees to marry him.

Jem (James) Carstairs – still sick and dying because of his addiction to the demon powder.  He is in love with Tessa.  He is Will’s blood brother (paranatai).

Jessamine Lovelace – such a girl.  She doesn’t want to be a shadowhunter or have anything really to do with them.  She falls in love with Nate and turns spy for Nate and Mortmain.

Charlotte Branwell – running the Institute.  Although when that is challenged she nearly falls apart.

Henry Branwell – still a mad scientist.  Invests a great little machine which disrupts the clockworks.

Nate – Tessa’s brother.  Although we learn right before he dies that he was actually her cousin – Aunt Harriet’s son.  Works for Mortmain.

Mortmain – the big bad clockwork inventor.  He hates the shadowhunters and the Clave due to some ugly family history (his parents were the Shades).

Sophie Collins – new maid at the Institute.  She was scarred while dealing with the Dark Sisters.  She forms a friendship with Tessa, a relationship of some sorts with Gideon and she adores the Carolette.

Magnus Bane, Ragnor Fell, Camille, and many of the downworlders from the first book and our Mortal Instruments books.  We also see Consul Wayland and Inquisitor Whitelaw as well as the Mortal Sword and Cup.  We see the Silent Brothers a little too.

NEW CHARACTERS:

Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood – they are sent to the Institute to train Sophie and Tessa.  Gideon ends up siding with Charlotte and her cast while Gabriel sides with his father.  Gideon and Sophie have a relationship of sorts. He saw the way other Institute’s are run and does not agree with some of his father’s methods – or the alliance with Mortmain.   We also hear of their sister Tatiana but we don’t meet her.  We do meet Benedict Lightwood too, who wants the Institute for his own and gets in with Mortmain to do it.  But it seems that he really doesn’t want to be Mortmain’s partner, he simply wants the Institute.  So, he eventually backs Charolette.

Cecily  – Will’s younger sister.

Alousius Starkweather – the head of the York Institute.  He is old and set in the old ways.

Locations: London England

Main Premise:  We find that our band must find Mortmain in 2 weeks time or Charlotte will loose the Institute.  Tessa, Will and Jem head to the York Institute to learn about his history while Jessie is sneaking off during the night, turns out to meet Nate and provide him with info on the Shadowhunters (she even marries him secretly).   What we learn is that Benedict Lightwood is tied to Mortmain (we learn this at a party), Mortmain’s hatred for the Shadowhunters and Clave is personal and Jem and Tessa end up engaged.  Meanwhile, there never really was a curse on Will so he tells Tessa how he feels right after Tessa agrees to marry Jem, but Will and Tessa agree to never tell Jem.  Jem is not cured of his addiction, so he is still sick and dying.  And Charlotte and Henry keep the Institute after threatening to expose Benedict (he cuts ties with Mortmain, supposedly, not really knowing how evil he was) and turns out Charlotte is pregnant.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:

Will wasn’t really cursed.  Jem and Tessa are married.  Will’s family isn’t really dead and his younger sister showed up at the institute at the very end to ask to be trained.  But Mortmain told Will to stay away from his family or they would pay.  Mortmain was the adopted son of two Warlocks who were killed and he asked for reparations but the Clave refused. Jesse is in the hands of the Silent Brothers awaiting her punishment for betraying the Clave and Charlotte and henry (and our merry band of Shadowhunters) to Nate.  Nate was killed.  It is claimed that Tessa is the offspring of a Shadowhunter and a demon.  But we are told that all such offspring are stillborn.  So, we still don’t really now what Tessa is.  Starkweather knows something about Tessa – he was surprised to see her and was surprised when told she was a Mundane.  There might be something or some connection to the portrait of a young girl that was on the wall of the York Institute.  We got a glimpse of Mrs. Dark outside the Institute at one brief point but Tessa decides that it was a dream. John Mortmain is called by his father a little “clockwork prince” – maybe he’s not really adopted but clockwork himself.

Review:

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!

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