After reading Clockwork Prince I consider myself a Cassandra Clare fan. She just knows how to write a gripping story with a perfect balance of adventure, humour, sad (I would even go so far and say devastating) moments, and romance. She includes some clichés which I normally don't enjoy very much, but somehow she manages to put everything together and make it seem and sound amazing.
There is lots of complexity. Every part of the story somehow connects to other parts and all little details make sense in the end. And speaking of complexity, her characters are the best ones in YA genre I've ever read. And not just the main characters, but all of them! She pays attention to everyone, explores their story, and through that she turns them into very believable characters.
It is also obvious that Clare did her research and that is always something I appreciate and need to point out. And I love that literature plays important role here, and also the clear obsession Clare has with A Tale of Two Cities. :)
There are also things in the story which show and support open-mindedness and respect for other (human) beings. For example the way Shadowhunters see women (especially in Victorian era), equal to men. Well, at least most of them. Yes, I'm looking at you Benedict, you demon poxy bastard. Or the effortless way Magnus Bane's sexuality is pictured.
All in all, this was fun and adventurous book with enjoyable romance, and with especially great and believable characters.
And now for something completely different: ranting and spoilers. In no particular order. It might not even make sense.
I'm not sure where to start, so maybe I can just say that at one point I wasn't sure who was more pathetic. Jessamine or Nathaniel? Then I realized I actually felt sorry for Jessie, but Nate made me sick all the time. Jem. Tessa. Will. Let's start with Will. At the beginning he was getting on my nerves a bit, but I still liked him. But... he waited five years to do anything about his curse? Five years? Really? And he didn't tell Jem? Why? But then again, I kind of understand, he was scared and hurt and generally in a very undesirable situation. And the only thing that kept him going (besides Jem) were books. And the moment he told Tessa everything about it and about reading her letters and everything else. And she told him about the engagement. That was the worst, saddest, and most beautiful moment in the whole story. I wanted to burn myself as Tessa did. And Tessa, she is the rare example (along with Sophie Mercer) of a YA heroine whose actions don't irritate me. She is kind and clever, and she loves books! And though she is not a kick-ass heroine, she became even stronger and braver in this book. And she is not afraid to fight for what she believes is right. And Jem, well, I adore him. He might be delicate when it comes to his health, but otherwise there is so much strength and kindness in him, it's admirable. And he loves animals! I should probably stop now, because I could write and write and never stop.
The last thing I want to say though is: Demon Pox! (less)
First of all I just need to say: I loved this book!
The Dark Unwinding is marketed as steampunk YA (romance) and I'm not sure why. While there are some sci-fi (maybe slightly steampunkish) aspects in the book, it's definitely not a steampunk. It's set in Victorian England, yes, but there is no alternate history, no vampires, zombies, parasols etc. Is it YA? Technically yes, but it's far from your avarage YA books, fortunately! Romance? Kind of, yes, but no insta-love and no cheesiness. I have to agree with Melissa, this book is first and foremost a wonderful gothic novel.
“Warm sun and robin's-egg skies were inappropriate conditions for sending one's uncle to a lunatic asylum.”
Just this opening line let me know this book was going to be special. The writing was superb. It read like a classic. I think it reflected the way people talked (and acted) in the 19th century very well. It was intricate, yet I, as a non-native speaker, had no problem reading it. On the contrary, I enjoyed the language very much.
The story itself was complex, dark, heartbreaking, painful, and beautiful. I liked the little and bigger twists. And I loved the ending, it was very bitter-sweet. So well done. The atmosphere was indeed gothic. There was the gloomy manor with many secret passages, there was the mysterious wind howling during night, there were some extraordinary characters, and there was "madness" in many forms.
I liked all the characters, even those unlikeable ones. I enjoyed not liking them. Katharine, the voice of this story, was enjoyable. Put in a difficult situation, she tried to cope with everything as best as she could. Though she wasn't flawless. She was brave, and tough, because she had to be. But inside she was a kind person who was longing for a bit of human affection. Katharine's relationships with the other characters were built slowly and that made them really powerful. Everything was very complex and believable.
As I said before, this is a wonderful gothic read with superb writing. Anyone who likes Brontë sisters (Emily and Charlotte especially), or Daphne du Maurier should read this book! (less)
First of all, I have a confession to make. I never really wanted to read this book. While the "clockwork" in the title sounded attractive, the "angel" on the other hand was the deal breaker. I just don't like (YA) books with angels, don't ask me why. Then one of my friends kept asking me about this series and my lack of enthusiasm made her leave me alone and quietly buy the book and read it. Then she started bombarding me with text messages about how enjoyable it was and she kept mentioning these two guys called Will and Jem. Long story short, she read both Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, then brought the books to me. So I hesitantly picked up the first one and started reading.
It was the very first book by Cassandra Clare I've read, so I can't compare it with the other series. But man, it consumed me totally. I liked the world of Shadowhunters and the steampunk aspect of the book. I loved the setting. I very much enjoyed the poetry at the beginning of every chapter! Also, the writing was smooth and the plot enjoyable. Real page-turner. And it made me laugh so many times! :) But the true strength of Clare's story lies in my opinion in her characters and the relationships between them. It's not just about the Tessa-Jem-Will love triangle (don't worry, it's done well), but about the friendship between Jem and Will. It's about family ties and betrayal. And even the minor characters have their own space when it comes to (different types of) relationships. This all made the story powerful and at times quite painful. It also helped the plot and the story dynamics. The characters are very believable and well fleshed out. And again not only the major ones, but the minor ones, too.
To be honest, I'm usually not very fond of the romances in YA books. Sometimes they even irritate me, usually I'm just happy there's no insta-love. But this book, this book tortured me and I loved every minute of it.(less)
This book was nothing I would expect from a Brontë, but that's probably because for me Brontë equals Wuthering Heights, or Jane Eyre. It was more in J...moreThis book was nothing I would expect from a Brontë, but that's probably because for me Brontë equals Wuthering Heights, or Jane Eyre. It was more in Jane Austen style, but not that brilliant. Anyways, it's still a very good book, even though there is something missing, something what would make this book more than very good. It's like a great painting, but without a frame.(less)