Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, well, well. Ms. Clare is truly in fine form now! As notorious as she is for her Draco Trilogy fanfic (which is basically the Grindelwald to My Immortal's Voldemort), Clare is one of my favorite authors, and it is all because of this ever-expanding universe of wildly awesome fantasy novels.
Why do I like these books so much? These characters are a most wonderful Victorian set of equivalents to the TMI (haha) character set. I love the Victorian setting too, because it's darkly beautiful and beautifully dark and feels just like the world of Sweeney Todd. And, they're guilty pleasures in every way.
What really boosts this novel for me is the romance that Tessa has. Rather than just go with Will (who, as the more prominently depicted boy compared to Jem, I expected to end up having a relationship with Tessa), she gravitates towards Jem. This makes me happy because so far the ship I'm a passenger on is canon - for once. Many of the ships I have boarded in my time - Xander/Willow, Clary/Simon, Whit/Janine, SnowBarry, etc. - have been unfortunately sunk, sometimes with extreme prejudice.
Not to mention, the fact that Clare's writing is so intensely visual. That's not something any writer can do right. Clare really strokes the imagination, especially with her outrageously beautiful descriptions of people and places. And yet, sometimes it's a little too hard to visualize properly. I was very happy to see the cover art on this one for the first time, because until that time I had had lots of trouble trying to sketch a mental picture of Jem. The overall silverness was what really got stuck in my craw as I attempted to imagine what he would look like. Tessa, Will, etc. were a lot easier.
As always, I highly recommend Clare's work for everyone. Sure the romance gets cloying at times, but the action, fantasy, off-color humor (yes, even in Victorian times there's off-color humor aplenty), and sheer imagination really make up for it every time.
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