Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clockwork Prince.

Clockwork Prince
by: Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
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.

This book hurt me, but was also just wonderful. I now sympathize with those who read this series before Clockwork Princess came out. That would have been more than horrible.

Smart and Brave Heroine: CHECK
I love that Tessa is very compassionate and empathetic. She still might not be able to read people, but she does put herself in their place quite often before making decisions. I think she's different than a lot of heroines, but in an excellent way. She's proper in the way that the time period demands of her, she's kind in a way that would try most people's patience, and she's clever in a way that makes her interesting to read. I love her love of books and poetry. She's the kind of character who you wouldn't mind being friends with and I once again I appreciate how non-frustrating she is. Her reasoning is easily followed and most of the time the only choice available to her.
and Tessa putting Gabriel in his place so politely was quite hilarious. I saw even more in this book how humble Tessa is, she's not prideful in the least. She accepts responsibility for her actions and the things she says (sometimes she even takes far too much responsibility or more than her share).  I also loved how open she was to apologize to people, she didn't consider it below her. She saw when she did something wrong and worked to make it right.
I think the love triangle in this book is handled in a way that I actually love. In having Tessa not tear the two boys apart. She sacrificed happiness to ensure the boys' friendship would survive. She knew they couldn't survive without each other and they're parabatai and that that's more important. It showed how devoted she was to the both of them (even though it definitely wasn't fun to read).

Clever and Courageous Heroes: CHECKX2
 Jem: He is so dang encouraging to everyone. Only Jem could manage to be decent to the Gabriel Lightwood. It's quite ironic that Jem is the one with such a positive outlook on things, despite his illness. and Jem is such a gentleman to everyone (and especially to Tessa). Jem's and Will's conversations simultaneously hurt my heart and mend it a bit. I am still in love with their friendship and how much they mean to each other. While in Clockwork Angel we see the lighthearted, supportive side of their friendship, in this book we see the deeper and more intense side to their relationship. And yet there were plenty of lighthearted bits too, for example,

"Charlotte, Will's being vexing."
"And the sun has come up in the east," said Jem to no one in particular.

“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?
“It’s biannual,” said Jem. “And no, this is not that meeting.”

“I promise to charm the dickens out of him,' said Will, sitting up and readjusting his crushed hat. 'I shall charm him with such force that when I am done, he will be left lying limply on the ground, trying to remember his own name.'
'The man's eighty-nine', muttered Jem. 'He may well have the problem anyway.”

As for Jem's relationship with Tessa, I'm okay with it but I'm not okay with it. I love both of them too much to choose, but Will broke my heart more... The problem is I don't want either of them to be without Tessa. I like her relationship with both of them for different reasons, because they're quite different relationships. Jem is so sweet to Tessa all of the time, for example,

"To write poetry for you..."
"You don't even like poetry," said Tessa.
"No, but you make me want to write it..."
I just can't handle the adorableness.
Will: AHHHH. William Herondale, you have broken my heart. I nearly cried when Will was telling Magnus about his curse and why he had to keep everyone (and Tessa) at arms length. He could only show his love for those around him when he sandwiched it in between giant slices of harsh words and infuriating sarcasm. He had to be painfully aware of how each and every cruel word he spoke affected those he loved. He had to keep track of how much uncharacteristic harshness he put into every day. He has to live his life doing himself and his character disservice after disservice, pretending to be steeped in scandal and bad decisions while knowing he wants none of it but only to have the chance to be loved. His admission to Magnus was one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever read. And you realize that the whole business with Tatiana Lightwood and him reading her diary aloud would have been the first time Will realized that he didn't just have to run away from familial love, but also from any idea of romantic attachment. Here are just a few Will quotes that hurt my heart,

"I did not realize, at first, that I was walking into a second family."

"Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be."

"Jem is my greatest sin."

“He’s very broken,” said Magnus. “Like a lovely vase that someone has smashed. Only luck and skill can put it back together the way it was before.”

"They all have always loved you, Will Herondale, for you cannot hide what is good about yourself, however hard you try.”  

“He wanted to make her laugh. He wanted to sit and listen to her talk about books until his ears fell off."

And let's be honest, we all freaked out when Will quoted Tessa's letters when he was talking to Magnus. And how he read all the books she recommended to him. And how they loved the same literature and poetry. He was just waiting for the day when he could be honest with Tessa about what he felt with no fear of the repercussion on her, but that time came mere hours too late. When he realized that and fell apart, it hurt him so deeply (and, therefore, me as well). Not only that, but he had to realize that he wasted all of that time for nothing, that the thing that been plaguing him all this time was nonexistent in the first place.
Past that, I loved hearing about how Will asked (told) Jem to be his parabatai. I love that Will chose to sacrifice his happiness with Tessa to show his love and devotion to Jem, but without asking anything in return. and yes, Jem is an absolute gentleman, but we learn that Will never had the chance to be one, he couldn't without endangering those he interacted with.
Beyond the curse, we see just how intelligent Will is. He was the one who made the majority of the strategic plans to find Mortmain. And I love how after learning the truth about the curse Will was still witty, but in a different way. He became less cruelly sarcastic and more playfully sarcastic.

Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
I don't think there is a way to read this book without falling in love with the side characters too.
Sophie: I knew there was a reason I liked her. First she SLAPS Gabriel across the face for insulting Charlotte and then she knocks Jessamine out with a mirror for betraying them. I think she injured the people who needed to be injured and everyone else was just too polite to do it. Beyond that she's smart and kind. I love her friendship with Tessa and how genuine it felt. It was interesting to see all of the other characters (like Tessa, Jem, and Jessamine) from Sophie's perspective a few times.
Charlotte and Henry: The way their marriage developed in this book was completely adorable! When they both realized that the other really loved them was so perfect, because they were both just shocked and happy. Henry trying to be supportive and helpful was always both endearing and hilarious in equal measures. And I love how well Charlotte pulled herself together to question Jessamine as it needed to be done. Here, have a cute Charlotte/Henry moment. You're welcome.

“My darling, you are indisposed! You must remain abed for the next eight months. Little Buford.."
"I am NOT naming our child Buford...”

Bridget: She creeped me out, man. But that last song of hers about a boy named William right as Jem was announcing his proposal to Tessa, it was both funny and horrible (and, once again, creepy).
Benedict Lightwood: First this idiot says that Charlotte cannot think logically or act justly simply because she's a woman. Seriously not cool, dude. Then we find out that he's a traitorous loser. (Also, I find it funny that his idea of an insult to Will is calling him an, "insolent puppy." I mean, what is that even supposed to mean? He's not even very good at being a bad guy... haha
Gideon: I quite like him. And I definitely like him for Sophie. He was always so calm, but the way he was prepared to testify against his father was so very brave.

Fantastic Writing and Dialogue: CHECK
The writing in this book was absolutely excellent. It sounds appropriate for its time and is still understandable and often moving. I still love the references to language and literature (to Greek, Latin, books, and poems) and to the poems at the beginnings of the chapters. Something I noticed was that each character had a very specific way of talking that was both consistent through the book and consistent with their overall character. Jem's speech was very gentlemanly and a touch formal. Tessa spoke mostly in a straightforward and inquisitive way and Will spoke in grand and bright words. And they each had their own style of humor--although very similar--that played off each other. The humor in this book was spot on. From Tessa and Will's interactions,

"I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”

“Mauve,” said Will.”

and Will just being Will,

“I don’t,” Gabriel said. “I just dislike him.” He pointed at Will.
“Dear me,” said Will, and he took another bite of his apple. “Is it because I’m better-looking than you?”

 “Charlotte slammed the paper down onto her desk with an exclamation of rage. “Aloysius Starkweather is the most stubborn, hypocritical, obstinate, degenerate—” She broke off...
“Would you like a thesaurus?” Will inquired. “You seem to be running out of words.”

and possibly my favorite laugh-out-loud moment of the entire book, when Will sang his song about being right that Demon Pox exist,

Demon pox, oh demon pox
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all along—
Not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!"


"Astriola. That IS demon pox. You had evidence that demon pox existed and you didn't mention it to me! Et tu, Brute!" He rolled up the paper and hit Jem over the head with it.”

Okay, there are probably more that I could put, but just know that there were a lot of hilarious moments and that I loved them all completely and utterly. 
Wonderful World-Building: CHECK
In this book we learned more about the Clave and the council and how those things were run. We saw their type of government set-up and the politics behind it. We learned about Parabatai and a bit about the fairies. We learned what comes of Shadowhunter/demon relations and were given some clues as to what Tessa might be. We saw some shadowhunter training and the city of the silent brothers. Overall we gleaned a lot of information from this book that I have a feeling will come into prominence in the next book. I found the religious references (such as to the wedding rune ceremony and David and Jonathan being the foundation story to parabatai). They added an interesting and almost twisted depth to the world.

Plot and Action: CHECK
This book was admittedly less action-packed (as far as actual action scenes go),  but that doesn't mean that things didn't happen. Quite the contrary, actually. The difference was that this book was less about fighting and more about treachery and politics and even a bit of espionage. They planned secret meetings and snuck into parties, they sent off a private investigator and visited possible sources of information. It was always intriguing, just with a bit less fighting. and I loved that about it. Even though we never saw Mortmain in this book, we could still feel his influence over everything that happened. It was eerie and dark and ever so wonderful.

**Yes, yes. I KNOW I included a ton of quotes in the review section, but...but... oh come on. This book was heartbreaking! Cut me some slack...
"Memories did no one good, not when one knew the truth in the present..."

"They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite, over. This is a fresh wound every day."

"You cannot buy or drug or dream your way out of pain."

"One finds nobility in the oddest places..."

"We're alike. We live and breath words. It was books that...made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. "

"...the difference between the recklessness of despair and the abandonment of happiness."

“I've never minded it," he went on. "Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not truly be lost if one knew one's own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.”

“She had never imagined she had the power to make someone else so happy. And not a magical power, either--a purely human one.”  

"And here he was standing in front of her, telling her he loved the words of her heart, the shape of her soul. Telling her something she had never imagined anyone would ever tell her."

"Somehow I don't think it's the stars that have changed.”

"Beauty is harsh."

“Was this what it meant to love someone? That any burden was a burden shared..."

“When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.”   

No comments:

Post a Comment