Clockwork Prince (Book 2, The Infernal Devices)
YA Historical Urban Fantasy
3/5 coffee beans
Spoilers: No, just strong opinions :)
So, this review may be a little disheartening, but I feel I have a right to write it that way since I've been a fan of Cassandra's since the very beginning. I devoured the Mortal Instruments series when they first came out. Drove out in a snow storm on a Sunday to Costco so I could get the third book. I was sad when they ended, I wanted more. Then she came out with a fourth! Oh, happy day! Then I read the fourth. Meh. Then she came out with a "prequel" series, the Infernal Devices series set in Victorian England. At that point I started to groan. You can only beat a dead horse so much before it becomes a sadistic action. I feel this series is one slap with a stick too many.
But, I'm into self punishment, and I am a loyal reader, so I picked them up to give them a shot. The first book, Clockwork Angel, was actually pretty okay. Not the best, but okay. I wasn't particularly interested in picking up the second book, this one, since I wasn't really attached to any of the recycled characters or invested in the storyline. But, I got a Nook for Christmas and a $50 B&N gift card burning a hole in my pocket and I couldn't think of another book to purchase (immediate gratification, people).
Right around the time CP came out; the release date for book five in TMI series was announced. Oh yeah, along with the third in the prequel series, Clockwork Princess, and oh my gosh I just looked at her website and there's a SIXTH book in TMI series scheduled to come out and for the love of Pete can this just stop?!?!?! You can't help but wonder, with so many LARGE books in the same series/storyline, if the integrity of the writing and the story will be compromised. I love the idea of Shadowhunters, but I'm starting to wonder if Clare's "cast-typing" herself. Is that all she knows how to write? I guess it doesn't really matter since she's built a gazillion-dollar empire and a movie's coming out soon for Book 1 in TMI – City of Bones, and people LOVE this series (for cryin' in a bucket, the woman has FIVE–if not more—websites dedicated to the books, TMI, TID, her own, and a tumblr account, PLUS a LiveJournal account, not to mention Twitter and fb). I mean, how the heck is she keeping up with two series and all this other crap? Anyway, I've seem to have gone off on a tangent. Let's get back on track, shall we?
I feel that the characters in TID are just regurgitations of her original characters from TMI with the addition of a second, possible romance and little bits to make the books fraternal in nature. But, scrape away the 1800's British English, and the bustles and stiff clothes, and you've got the same blasted story. I don't think Clare did a good job of setting up the place and time of TID for the reader. I feel that she just went to Wikipedia or some other comparable sight, read a few broad details and left it at that. She gives you those common elements in the beginning of the book, but that's about it. Most of the time I was reading, I didn't feel that I was there in that time period. I think she could have included a lot more unique details to make it more "there" for me. More than just a parasols and bustles and carriages. The only thing truly convincing to me was the dialogue.
So, in the end, it was just "okay." The storyline is entirely forgettable, I'm really sad to say, because it's too much like her other series. I could definitely live without reading the next in the series, Clockwork Princess, but unfortunately, I was so excited about my new Nook that I pre-ordered it. I need to look into B&N's return policy.
Okay, here's my usual disclaimer at the end of all BR's: Read it for yourself. Make your own judgments and come up with your own thoughts. You may feel the exact opposite of me, and that's great. But the important thing is to read it for yourself and find out. :) Happy reading!