Author Cassandra Clare
Publisher Simon & Schuster | 2011
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.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart. (from Goodreads)
Beware: This review contains spoilers (and A LOT of rambling)!
I literally just finished this book and I needed to write this review immediately because I have so many conflicting feelings about it. It was so hard to rate this. I was actually enjoying myself quite a lot in the beginning. Jem is my FAVE and it seemed he was gonna have an even larger role in this book (and he did) so I was excited about that. I was curious about all that was happening with Magnus and Will and demons and was eager to finally figure out what Will’s DEAL was. But then once I got to the last two hundred pages… I started to just be annoyed… with everything.
Is my brain… unable to handle love triangles anymore? I feel as if I’ve never been as confused about a love triangle than I have while reading this series. I mentioned in my Clockwork Angel review that it’s been a while since I’ve read a serious love triangle. Usually one might exist, but it’s more of a side plot that never merits much emotion because it’s SO obvious that the third person is a non-factor in the prominent relationship. This series… is somehow exactly like that, yet also the opposite? Ugh, how do I explain this. When I think about the last time I read a love triangle series, my mind immediately goes to The Hunger Games, though I know I’ve read some since then, obviously. But that one just stands out because it’s so prominent in the series, and also I was younger and that was the ERA of love triangles. But I can’t recall reading a triangle where all three people are just so involved with each other. Peeta and Gale were always on opposite sides of the spectrum and they never really interacted, plus Katniss spent so much more time with Peeta that I was always more indifferent towards Gale, because I had a feeling that she would never end up with Gale, even if she wasn’t with Peeta. (Sorry I know I’m rambling but I just need to get this OUT). Tessa, Jem and Will are constantly interacting (it’s a frickin’ wonder how neither Will or Jem got any sense that the other had feelings for Tessa, I mean come on!) and it’s tough to see how much Will and Jem love each other, with Tessa caught in the middle.
Maybe it’s the fact that I always am able to pick a side and stick with it, so it’s easy to cast one of the love interests to the side. Maybe it’s the fact that I know in my BONES (though I haven’t truly confirmed it) that Tessa ends up with Will. Maybe I waited too long after this series was published to actually be able to really enjoy them. Because now… I just feel as if this whole situation is frickin’ SUCKY. I love Jem. He’s the only reason why I am going to read the final book in this series. And though I obviously started to pick up on the fact that Jem had feelings for Tessa in the first book, I never really imagined it would go this far. Reading the chapter with their first kiss was an absolute SHOCK. I guess I’d assume that he would confess his feelings to her and they might kiss, but JESUS, they’re ENGAGED now??? I never would have seen that coming, because it was always so obvious that she would end up with Will.
Speaking of Will, I like Will. I am even fine about Tessa and Will together. Reading his love confession chapter was BRUTAL and I felt really bad for him. But now I feel that all this is just setting Jem up to get really, really hurt. And that anything that could happen between Will and Tessa would feel tainted because I know and they know that they hurt Jem to get it. So now I’m left feeling horrid for Jem, who obviously is in love with Tessa; HATING Tessa because she’s so indecisive; and pitying Will because that boy is just sad. I just don’t pity him or even like him enough to want his happiness to be at the expense of Jem’s. But ALSO, like JEM DESERVES BETTER!!! Now I don’t even like Tessa anymore, which really sucks since she’s the frickin’ main character. So all this annoyance made me not enjoy the book anymore, and by the end I was just super pissed.
NOW, I say all this with the obvious caveat of not having read the last book yet. So this could all be moot by the time I finish this series. I don’t think it will be, but there’s always a chance. But in this moment now, I’m not sure what could even happen in the last book that will change my mind to call this a great series. Blah. Sorry to totally ramble about all of my insane thoughts, but I’m just confused and sad. JEM I’M SORRY I’M GONNA GET YOU OUTTA THERE
ALSO PS I know I spent this entire review talking about the romance (which in my defense, does take up the majority of this book) but after finishing this I realized that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BOOK, PLOT-WISE. Like NOTHING. I feel like we got ZERO answers about what is actually happening in this series. And all the extra stuff about the Institute wasn’t even that interesting to me, so I skimmed most of it. Ugh.
UPDATE: So I just actually just finished Clockwork Princess! (SPOILERS AHEAD) I say “finished” but in reality I’m not going to be counting it as Read or rating it because I mostly skimmed it. There was just SO MUCH excess plotlines that I did not care about at all. But I will say that I’m actually pleasantly surprised by how the romance storyline ended! I was really dreading it but it was handled fairly well, in my opinion, and I’m actually completely satisfied with it. I’m so happy for Jem!!!! Though I don’t think I will be continuing on with the Shadowhunters world. I read through Jem’s wiki and read the synopses for the books in the other series and it’s all just super confusing. I’m glad to hear that Tessa and Jem are still going strong though! And if Jem happens to pop up in the new series that’s being released this year, then I’ll be happy to hear about what he’s up to nowadays! 🙂