From Hicklebee’s: 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, though 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.
I feel very confident saying that Cassandra Clare is one of the most stunning fantasy authors in YA Literature. I have dutifully read each and every one of her books and I have found myself in love with each book for different reasons. Her Infernal Devices series is my favorite of her two. If you haven’t read Clockwork Angel this review will hold spoilers from that book. Also, if you haven’t read Clockwork Angel – get on that now. I promise you won’t regret it.
There are a great many things I loved about Clockwork Prince. The evolution of Jem from being pitiable and weak to a strong young man with a brilliant disposition on life. Jem was understanding, constantly there for Tessa and isn’t bitter with the lot he has been given. He is swiftly becoming my favorite character from Clare’s cannon.
Will on the other hand acted like an entitled ass through most of the novel. Yes, it is explained why he is an ass, and its sad tear-worthy even- especially when you learn the truth about him and Magnus Bane helps him solve his biggest life mystery. It was the last few pages of the book and his “Jem can take it” attitude that made me incredibly mad at him. I am in awe of Clare’s ability to elicit such strong emotions from me, especially related to the characters.
Tessa is still Tessa, smart, funny and well read. We are little closer to finding out what she really is at the end of the novel and the wait for book three where I hope we do find out is going to kill me. Tessa grows so much in this novel, she goes from proper American lady living in England to kick ass down and dirty I will do anything to save any of you and that was my favorite part of this novel.
The Lightwoods are introduced, Morty is still deliciously evil, there are still clockwork devices but they aren’t the main focus of the book. I did enjoy how the devices took a backseat here for plot and I have a feeling they will play a major part in book three.
The most important thing Henry is still awesome. Charlotte is going through a very hard time in Clockwork Prince and I hope everything works out and she and Henry become very happy together; they deserve it.
New characters, new hints and mysteries are introduced. The world building is superb and if I had the next book I would have dove into it immediately. If you haven’t had a chance to read Clare I highly suggest you drop everything and do that now.
For those who have read Clockwork Prince here is the balcony scene re-imagined by Vanya from VLC Photo:
From Goodreads: We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become–her mark on this earth, her very existence–is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny–no matter how dark the consequences.
A Need So Beautiful is one of the best YA books I have ever read. Asking me to explain why apparently turns my brain to mush and nothing coherent will follow. However I must try to explain my utter love for this book so that you dear reader can experience it for yourself.
The plot isn’t unique, it is the formula that works on me. Boy, girl, wise guiding old person. However the supernatural element is completely unique. Charlotte is a Forgotten. She feels a pull towards people to help them and each time she helps she is losing a part of her self. The ultimate sacrifice is that she will die, but Charlotte doesn’t want to die so she may have to align herself with the beautiful woman in her dreams who promises her immortality on earth.
The writing is sweet and sticky. You cling to the words long after you finish reading the story. The love story is beautiful, the best friend’s story is tragic, Charlotte is smart and funny and a reluctant hero all in one. I really can’t explain how emotionally stirring the book is, so you will just have to try it for yourself when it comes out on the 21st.
All I can say coherently is that I loved A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL and am dying to read A WANT SO WICKED.
I picked this book up at ALA Midwinter
Goodreads: Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
If you thought the action between Jace and Clary was hot in The Mortal Instrument Series you better get yourself a fan and an Iced Chai to tackle Clockwork Angel. Clare comes back with a vengeance in this first book in the new series The Infernal Devices.
Set once again in the world of Shadow Hunters this story begins in Victorian England. Still a dark and twisted romp through an urban area, just a bit in the past. The world building is even more fantastic than the last series if that is even possible.
Clare has a penchant for writing swoon worthy boys in novels. Edward Cullen who? Move over pasty guy. There are two not one, yes count them two, avenging angels that are going to press all your right literary buttons. I am torn between my love for Will and Jem, but I think I am pulling a solid Team Will here.
Magnus makes an appearance or two and is still hilariously evocative.
The steam punk people are so exciting I was thinking of building one for myself! I rip roared through the streets of London on a horse, I walked across Black Friars Bridge at dark, I smelled the rot of the Thames and I fell in love. Who doesn’t want to do all that?
If you ask me “Pam darling, are you gushing?”, I would have to answer “Why, yes I do believe I am, how uncharacteristic of me”.
Seriously folks this is the big YA hit of the fall. Read it, really, just read it.
FTC Disclosure: I picked this up at BEA I was not paid for the review.