Vanessa's Reviews > Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
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's review
Jan 11, 15

bookshelves: reviewed, fiction
Read from March 29 to 30, 2012 — I own a copy

A problem I didn't note in my Clockwork Angel review, but was made rather clear by reading Clockwork Prince, was that the characters do not feel Victorian in the least. They feel like the smirking, hip teenage demon hunters of Clare's The Mortal Instruments. There's just far too much sarcasm used. Oscar Wilde was indeed known for his dry wit, but it wasn't really common for Victorians to be outwardly sarcastic with each other. They did things with style and subtlety. Even if my history of Victorian parlance isn't entirely accurate here, I'm pretty damn sure that Victorian gentlemen wouldn't roll their eyes at the cook and go: “Oh God, you're Irish, can you make anything without potatoes?”

Another problem with this book was how utterly boring it was. I'm talking fall asleep whilst skim reading boring. The twists weren't clever, the subplots weren't interesting, and sometimes, characters go somewhere, discover something, and then... drop it for a bit. The revelation about Will's character didn't make me feel anything for him other than imagining some wangsty Victorian fellow trying to come across as a broody heartthrob, and falling flat on his skinny little derriere.

And you know, there's a final volume of this that's going to be released this year. Then Clare is free to work all she wants on Lady Midnight, the first volume in her new series. Set in the future. Which focuses on a girl brought into the world of the Shadowhunters and the two boys who she has to decide between. Oh joy. If Clare likes playing literary flavour of the month with her books, then let's just say that The Mortal Instruments was probably the well-worn, dark and musty yet spine-tingling flavour of the supernatural. Her Infernal Devices series has the rich, heady, and acrid, smoggy flavour of Victorian steampunk. And the pinch of spice that I bet will flavour this futuristic retelling of Clary, Jace and Alec/Tessa, Jem and Will, will be the bland, government-sanctioned taste of dystopia fresh off the trend from The Hunger Games. Blergh.


(This review is also available on my blog:
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Reading Progress

03/29/2012 "Bring it on, betch."
03/29/2012 page 63
13.0% ""Oh Lord, you're Irish," said Will. "Can you make things that don't have potatoes in them? We had an Irish cook once when I was a boy. Potato pie, potato custard, potatoes with potato sauce..."

Is this supposed to be funny?

03/29/2012 page 89
18.0% ""Do you miss Wales?" Tessa inquired.

Will shrugged lightly. "What's to miss? Sheep and singing," he said. "And the ridiculous language."

Ridiculous? Welsh is a beautiful language, Ms. Clare. And Wales ISN'T just sheep and singing. I live an hour away from the border and let me tell you, you're stereotyping the fucking north of the country.

03/29/2012 page 99
20.0% ""Ah'm 'ere at t' bequest of Aloysius Starkweather. Art t'lads he wants or not? Ah've not got all night t' stand about."

This is supposed to be a Yorkshire accent.


03/29/2012 page 104
21.0% ""Young Herondale, are you?" He barked, as Will stepped forward to introduce himself. "Half-mundane, half-Welsh, and the worst traits of both, I hear."" 2 comments
03/30/2012 page 136
27.0% ""Your sister's alive. Oughtn't you be glad?"

Um... 'oughtn't you be'? Is this really supposed to be an American girl in Victorian Yorkshire?

03/30/2012 page 144
29.0% ""Jem is my great sin," said Will. "Don't talk to me about Jem."


03/30/2012 page 145
29.0% ""What did they do?" Will's voice rose. "What did they do? Nothing. It is me. I am poison. Poison to them. Poison to anyone who loves me."


03/30/2012 page 151
30.0% ""Pish and tosh," said Jessamine.

And knick knack jolly whack globbernaught boggity floggity bish bash bosh.

03/30/2012 page 156
31.0% "So, Tessa is some kind of supernatural being who can see through glamours and such, but she is not a warlock, as her superiors suspect. Clary is also a human bean who can see into the world of the supernatural, yet isn't a warlock either. So basically Clary just time-warped back into the Victorian times and changed her name. So did the other two boys."
03/30/2012 page 173
35.0% ""Mort main-"

"Hand of death," supplied Jessamine, who was exceedingly proud of her French.

You mean main de la mort, Jessamine.

03/30/2012 page 186
37.0% ""It's a cruel part of the city we're going into. The East End. The slums."

Uh... I've been to the East End. Not all of it is slums, you know. There's some Victorian townhouses.

03/30/2012 page 190
38.0% ""Say something in Mandarin," said Tessa with a smile.

Jem said something rapidly, that sounded like a lot of breathy vowels and consonants run together, his voice rising and falling methodically. "Ni hen piao liang."

"What did you say?"

"I said your hair is coming down."

No you didn't. You said Tessa was beautiful. Nǐ shìgè báichī, kǎ sāng dé lā kèlái'ěr.

03/30/2012 page 208
42.0% "Yay, I really wanted to read sexy times between Jem and Tessa..."
03/30/2012 page 248
50.0% ""Alone?" Jem lowered his hands, but he was smiling now, crookedly. "And whose fault is that?" He leaned back against the seat, his eyes half-lidded with tiredness.


03/30/2012 page 264
53.0% "And now we're off to a masked ball. Oy vey..."
03/30/2012 page 313
63.0% "Deus ex sword that makes Nephilim tell the truth!"
03/30/2012 page 315
63.0% "Oh good god, someone make Jessamine stop shrieking, PLEASE."
03/30/2012 page 316
63.0% "So Tessa's just been told by Jessamine (who learned this from Tessa's backstabbing brother Nathaniel) that her mother was a Shadowhunter and her father was a demon. A little bit earlier, Will told Tessa that Shadowhunter x demon always = a stillborn child. SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE STATUS ACTIVATED!" 2 comments
03/30/2012 page 326
65.0% ""Ça m'est égal," said Camille, dropping into the French she used when she truly wanted to annoy him.

Il me serait égal si tous les personnages sont morts aux façons horribles. Je déteste ce livre.

03/30/2012 page 363
73.0% 4 comments
03/30/2012 page 376
76.0% "Yaaay Tessa's plan went to rack and ruin!"
03/30/2012 page 396
80.0% "Zzz..."
03/30/2012 page 485
97.0% "I'm almost done!

03/30/2012 page 485
97.0% "He smiled at Charlotte, a smile like a razor." 1 comment
03/30/2012 page 492
99.0% "...and [Tessa would] fight them all back as Boadicea had fought back the advancing Romans.

Oh, you mean Boudicca. Not Boadicea.

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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by rameau (new)

rameau You forgot to add the step where she shamelessly rips off herself and other talented writers in the literary world and the film industry. Other than that, this is one stellar review.

message 2: by Rinoa (new)

Rinoa Heartilly Omg, I thought you were kidding about the Lady Midnight thing! *puts pillow in mouth to refrain from screaming*

Vanessa Rinoa wrote: "Omg, I thought you were kidding about the Lady Midnight thing! *puts pillow in mouth to refrain from screaming*"

@ Rameau: Thank you!

@ Rinoa: Oh no, Rinoa! I don't know any more than your average Joe does about how Lady Midnight is going to plan out. But going by Ms. Clare's love of using literary flavours of the month (the supernatural, the steampunk aesthetic, etcetera) she'll probably make the futuristic Lady Midnight about a dystopia!

Katya I don't know. Cassandra Clare doesn't strike me as the kind of person who will be arsed to do the research on political trends necessary to write a dystopia set in the really near future.

message 5: by Angela (new)

Angela Katya wrote: "I don't know. Cassandra Clare doesn't strike me as the kind of person who will be arsed to do the research on political trends necessary to write a dystopia set in the really near future."

I want to like this comment!

My response: She'll look up in a dictionary what 'dystopia' actually means, then she'll go on Wikipedia to copy and paste all the main themes of a dystopia without reading any of the classics to get a flavour of how they are constructed. Then she'll she'll use her tried and tested method of using the same storyline, subplots and annoying characters and apply them to a futuristic setting. And fail miserably.

message 6: by Howdy YAL (last edited Mar 30, 2013 02:45PM) (new)

Howdy YAL Hmm, my bet is if she was interested in creating a dystopia world she'd just check out some Harry Potter/Hunger Games crossovers but that's just me. Honestly, I think I read that Lady Midnight (God, what an awful title) takes place like in 2013/2015 so it's actually present day TMI takes place in 2007.

Nessa I so agree with you about the lack of research regarding the Victorian period especially after the last book (view spoiler). Other than that, I oddly liked this one better than TMI then again it didn't have incest or quasi incest so that it itself is a plus.

Mizuki I rolled my eyes in disbelief when Jem made out with Tessa and ran his hands beneath her nightgown. OMG, a Victorian gentleman doing that to a girl! OMG!

Wenjie I feel like she can't write anything new. Everything is like a recycled form of all her other books. I just wish she would drop the Shadowhunters (like seriously she has SO many things on them) and perhaps get started on a new idea.

message 9: by Matías (new)

Matías Zitterkopf I swear that reading these reviews and comments make me feel like I'm not the only one who can see Clare moving threads. She needs to stop and respect her characters if she loves them.

message 10: by Oscar (new)

Oscar There's a lot of stuff that gets period stuff wrong in that sort of basic -awkward- way that is super hard to get past! Puts me off anything right away.

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