My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The Infernal Devices continues with the second book in the series, Clockwork Prince. The story continues not long after the events of Clockwork Angel and takes place in the now familiar London. In retrospect, I realize that there is not a lot of action in these books. While there are some fantastically written scenes, there are a lot less active, fighting elements than in her other series. For example, you frequently see the characters of the Dark Artifices either training or fighting demons – yet that doesn’t happen very often in the Infernal Devices.
As I’ve re-read this series, I’ve come to appreciate just how character driven these novels are. While there is action, most of the scenes focus on the characters themselves. You delve deeper into Will’s psyche as he continues to push everyone away and wonders if the mask he wears will soon become who he is. You watch as Jem struggles with his illness and how much those around him mean to him. You understand Tessa’s struggle to understand who, and what, she is. You feel for Charlotte’s struggle for the Institute and the distraction of her husband.
Even though the series is a work of fiction, it just feels real and I believe that that is the mark of a fantastic novel. You connect with the characters and go on this emotional journey with them. As they learn about themselves, grow, change, learn, love and lose – you also feel that you have been affected. Each and every character is further developed in this novel, which I think is the strongest aspect of Clockwork Prince. Tessa, Jem and Will are some of my favourite fictional characters from all of the books that I’ve read. Cassandra Clare writes fantastic dialogue and the witty repartee between Will and Jem or Tessa truly make the book.
I do feel that this book falls prey, to a small degree, to the curse of the second book – which being a bridge between the first and final books in the series can be lacking. Cassandra Clare moved the plot along, allowed us and the characters to discover new information, but overall not a lot happened. I still loved this book, but it was not quite as good as Clockwork Angel and likely won’t be anywhere near as good as Clockwork Princess (proclaimed by many to be the best conclusion).
I highly recommend this series to fans of fantasy, who enjoy character driven plots and immerse worlds. Of course, you must read Clockwork Angel first as this is a series and the book would not entirely make sense otherwise.