So my signed copy of Clockwork Princess arrived! And of course I read it in two days. Sigh. I am beyond salvation.
But although it is still a palatable book, I am saddened to say that the book was a disappointment. The anticipation of a dramatic steampunk showdown like in the Mortal Instruments was unforgivably fizzled out. Instead we got Tessa becoming ridiculously annoying and our hearts broken and confused and plain emotional waffle. And extremely anachronistic and out of character behaviour from Will and Tessa. They had suddenly become Jace and Clary. Or maybe Magnus and Alec.
No news here - spoiler alert.
So I found that the introduction with Aloysius Starkweather was a bit disconnected from the story, even though it ended up making sense later on in the novel. It felt a bit like a news report in the way that everything felt a bit too exaggerated - Adele's childishness (she's 12! Not a baby!), Aloysius' presence in the room (it WAS written from his perspective, but it was overwhelming) and the constantly recycled description of the Silent Brothers. Give me a break.
I loved the interactions with the Lightwoods, though. When Gideon and Gabriel wrote that letter to the Consul about Charlotte's hats - I was laughing with such force that I dropped the book. 'She is unlikely to be concealing additional heads on her person.' Gideon IS an unsung comic genius. Gabriel was awesome in the book, except when he was all tongue tied around Cecily. Seriously? This is a LIGHTWOOD we are talking about.
Sophie is an epic character. The scene with Gideon and the scones had me cracking up. And her Ascension is one of of the most sappy but strangely satisfying scenes in the book. Her feistiness made the women in the book redeemable - Tessa was okay in the first book but she's fizzled out to an annoying teen (like Katniss and Clary and Isabelle and Maia and Tris and Cassia and Lena have before her). Charlotte and Sophie, bless them, are left to fight for women. Yay women.
BUT...Charlotte used to be my hero. She kind of mellowed out in this book. Sad face. It probably was because she was pregnant and didn't have to deal with a bitter Will anymore, but it just didn't seem normal for a Shadowhunter to suddenly become a suspiciously doting woman. But Henry - HENRY! He's become more accessible and funny and awesome and loveable and clever and he would make a great father to Charles Buford Branwell. BUFORD!!!
Jem. Will. Tessa. Oh, the drama.
My friends had already spoiled most of the book for me, but they didn't tell me how annoying Tessa would get. Or how boring Will would become. Or how unexciting Jem would be.
When Jem is dying and all you can't help feeling that maybe Tessa should just let him go. Don't get me wrong, I love Jem. But sometimes he just becomes unbearably mediocre. Jem just sits there waiting on Tessa and death. And when he ends up being more rebellious than Will, you know you have a problem.
Will becomes this weirdly maternal figure and heaps love on Tessa and Jem and he mellows out and kinda reminds me of my grandmother. Although his reaction when Jem 'dies' and his parabatai rune has a hissy fit is extremely satisfying.
Tessa. Ah, Tessa. Worthless upstart. Utter simpleton. The bane of book readers everywhere. She has made the horrific transformation from a strong, talented young woman to a worm. Maybe because she engaged in venereal activity out of wedlock.
That's right. Tessa, who is fretting because she is alone with a boy who isn't her brother or fiancé, is suddenly ripping Will's clothing off. This scene is so anachronistic - even harlots wouldn't have been this forward back then - and out of character. Suddenly Will is declaring unwavering love and Tessa is kissing him and then they, ugh, tessellate. Not cool.
I think one of the best scenes in the book was the opening, with the Institute fighting Benedict Lightwood in the form of a worm. Astriola, I love you. Will's worm jokes are almost as hilarious as the duck jokes.
The Consul is just an idiot. He's a little villain that we just appease every now and then to avoid having to face Mortmain. The Inquisitor is just a nice guy. Magnus is AMAZING. My love for the freewheeling bisexual is not romantic, but utter adoration. Magnus is hilarious and loveable and sensitive and awesome. And Asian. Hehe. I cannot fully express my love for this man warlock thing asdfghjklqwertyuiopzxcvbnmsvtgvjgzaasblkescvguhffxcvvccggsajbjvfsjklljcczsfgbnv
Now, to the supposedly evil man hell bent on bringing about the end of the Nephilim. Mortmain is supposed to be some horribly mean anomaly of a human who doesn't deserve to live. But Mortmain's plans don't end up that evil - he wants to make new Shadowhunters who happen to have demon blood. Yeah, it's bad. But I can't help feeling Clare channelled all her evil into Sebastian and left Mortmain looking like a sissy. I love Cassandra Clare. But she really could try to make the final Infernal Devices break the annoying trend of final books always being really bad.
At least in the final scene Ithuriel is really cool and Jem fights with Will for the last time. *sheds tear*
The epilogue is just sappy with everyone marrying everyone and Will and Tessa naming their kid James and them all being lovey dovey. Even when Will died (I know! It's traumatic.) it somehow lost its emotional charge. In fact, there wasn't much emotion in the book that really shocked. Maybe when Jem found out that Will loved Tessa. And when Jem deduced that Will and Tessa, uh, engaged in a physical manifestation of their romance.
I was just confused when we hit 2008 and Jem somehow lost his runes and kissed Tessa and then they...? It was confusing.
I would recommend this series to anyone. And therefore read this book to finish the series. It is still a palatable book, although compared to the other two it is PATHETIC.
Enjoy. I love books. Quack.