Tag Archives: infernal devices

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (unabridged audiobook read by Daniel Sharman; 15.5 hrs on 13 discs): And here we are at the end of the trilogy. I have thoughts and they are all disjointed, so, bottom line up front: I really enjoyed it. I found this trilogy to be far better, both in story and in mechanics, than The Mortal Instruments. The characters have far more depth, and thus are far more interesting to read about. However, I do still believe it was helpful to read The Mortal Instruments first because of how fun it was to see the origins of many things that pop up in that series.

I didn’t think I could love Magnus any more than I already did, but clearly my affection for him knows no bounds.

The revelation about Tessa’s talent was satisfying, as was the defeat of Mortmain and the truth behind Tessa’s clockwork angel. I felt the resolution of the Jem/Tessa/Will love triangle to be a little too convenient, however, despite how much I loved all three characters. Jem’s epilogue was generally unconvincing as well, but perhaps Clare has another book in store for these characters. I kind of hope so, actually, because I love this universe, though I like it better in Victorian times than modern day.

A note on the audio: Finally a good narrator! Why couldn’t they have Sharman narrate the other two books as well? Stupid stupid stupid.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (unabridged audiobook read by Ed Westwick and Heather Lind; 15.5 hrs on 13 discs): The story of Mortmain and his clockwork soldiers continues with the angst of Will. Amazingly, Will’s jerkface tendencies from the last book are actually explained realistically here, with a twist that did not surprise me but was still pleasing in how unusual it was. Will’s character in general is given a surprising amount of depth; that plus the secrets revealed and exciting battles and romantic shenanigans made this my favorite Shadow Hunter book so far (including all of Mortal Instruments, which really isn’t anywhere nearly as well-written as this). I’ll be curious to see how various issues are cleared up in the final book: the love triangles, the unrequited loves, the terminal illness, the villain’s mysterious motives, etc. All around a fun ride.

A note on the audio: While these narrators are a huge improvement over the one from the previous book, it’s disruptive to constantly be switching readers. I do not understand why anyone would have thought that was a good idea.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (unabridged audiobook read by Jennifer Ehle; 15.5 hrs on 13 discs): When Tessa travels from her native New York to London to meet up with her brother, she is greeted by the Dark Sisters, strange women who hold her captive, forcing her to master a talent she never knew she possessed: shape shifting. She soon finds herself in the company of shadow hunters, those half-angel humans who uphold the law among the supernatural. Unlike the modern Mortal Instruments series, this takes place in Victorian times. There’s a bit of a steampunk vibe, what with clockwork critters and all that, but it’s not overbearing or overly unrealistic (for a story with demons and warlocks, that is). I like Tessa; she’s smart and confident without being reckless (using “character is too headstrong and doesn’t listen to reason and gets herself into trouble” as a plot device is a pet peeve of mine). The shadow hunters are also pleasantly individual: surly Will, kind Jem, prissy Jessamine, determined Charlotte, flighty Henry. I liked that I couldn’t predict where everything was going, but also never felt like things were plucked out of thin air. I don’t know if I would be enjoying it as much if I hadn’t already been introduced to the shadow hunter universe through the Mortal Instruments series, though I do feel the characters and story are much stronger here. The book ends on a slight cliffhanger, but that’s okay because it’s the beginning of a trilogy. Game on.

A note on the audio: When only a couple of the characters are American, it is best to get someone who can pull off a decent British accent. This reader, alas, cannot.

Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve

Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve: This is the third installment in a science fiction series (The Hungry City Chronicles) of which I have read no other books. It felt very sequelish: the heroes of the previous books have settled down and had a daughter who grows up with tales of their adventures back in the day. Said daughter then runs away and revisits old villains from said adventures. Despite the rather cliche set-up, it’s a reasonably fast-paced book with fairly interesting characters. If I sound a little tepid, there’s a reason. I couldn’t really get into this book. But it may be due to my ignorance of the setting. I don’t know what anti-tractionists believe, or what the Green Storm is trying to accomplish, or the significance of Stalker Grike. I also don’t have any context for Hester Shaw’s past sins, so such revelations meant nothing to me. The only real lasting impression I got of this book was how violent it is. People – even children – die graphically left and right. It was a little shocking to find in a book aimed at young adults. One thing I’ll say for this book, however: the author knows how to keep his audience. While the main plot issue is resolved at the end, all kinds of loose ends and vague cliffhangers remain. I am curious what happens to Hester and Tom and Wren and Fishcake. However, I am not a very patient reader; I’ll wait until the entire series is released before revisiting it, this time from the beginning.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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