Note: This review is spoiler-free!
I will admit that I’ve been critical of Cassandra Clare’s work in the past, maybe even overly critical. However, I know when to admit when something’s good or in this case, great, awesome, perfect… I can go on.
If there’s anything that Clare knows how to do, it’s how to end a series with a bang and on a very high note. It’s a rough road to get to that point, but when she takes you there, it’s a purely entertaining whirlwind of emotions. That was my experience with Clockwork Princess, the final book of The Infernal Devices trilogy. After reading the first books and enjoying them—although claiming that I thought they were slow and a bit manipulative at times—I decided to try the audiobook version, thinking a different experience will allow me to take in this story in a fresh way. And that it did. Narrated by Daniel Sharman (Immortals, Teen Wolf), Clockwork Princess is an engaging, immersive and sweeping finale to what turns out to be an incredible trilogy and Clare’s best work to date.
Clockwork Princess finds Tessa in the midst of wedding planning as she gets ready to marry her fiancé Jem. Will is lovelorn, but managing to be honorable and supportive of Jem and Tessa’s engagement, in addition to dealing with the fact that his younger sister, Cecily, has now joined the Institute to train as a Shadowhunter. The search for Mortmain seems to have come to a standstill at the moment, as everyone becomes distracted with their own little problems. But when Gabriel Lightwood bursts into the Institute one day, saying that his father has turned into something other, it unfolds a series of events that will have you holding your breath and eagerly anticipating and dreading what is coming next for these characters you’ve come to love.
Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince were really just leading up to the story in Clockwork Princess. Usually, I find finales to be not quite what I expected, oftentimes disappointing. That’s totally not the case for Clockwork Princess, which is undoubtedly the best Infernal Devices book. It takes what was a rather slow paced story, kicks it up a notch and gives readers more than they could have ever imagined. For all the events that happen in this book—and there are a ton—the pacing was spot-on, and the writing was fluid, it took us from each perspective or place to another with ease.
Clare created a very lovable group of characters in The Infernal Devices, and that’s part of what makes these books so engaging and emotional. I felt that I was battling every obstacle, big or small, that they encountered. So many times throughout the book, I felt so much dread, sadness, hope and joy.
Daniel Sharman does a fine job narrating a book like this one that often changes perspective and has many characters. He nails all the accents, making the transitions from scene to scene easy to discern. His accent is soothing, and he gets the emotion right when needed, especially in the epilogue, where it matters most (and it just is the most perfect epilogue… ever.) At first, I did find his American accent for Tessa a bit too man-ish, but eventually I got used to it as I became more involved in the book.
The audiobooks for Cassandra Clare’s novels were always well-promoted, and I had wanted to check one of them out forever. I was glad I finally got the chance because it’s honestly an incredible way to experience her stories. Her world and writing has a cinematic quality to it, and the audiobook enhances that. It’s much more immersive and mesmerizing. It makes you take your time with the story, which I must admit that I always kind of rushed through these book when reading. Therefore, I was able to absorb more, understand more and really see the story and meaning Clare is imparting on us.
I can’t recommend the audiobook more, and I wish I had listened to the audiobooks of the first two books (Actress Jennifer Ehle and actor Ed Westwick narrated them). At the beginning, it does require some patience to get used to not speeding through chapters, but in the long run, you’ll find it was completely worth experiencing Clockwork Princess in a different and frankly better medium.
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare is now available wherever books are sold. Support The Young Folks and purchase the audiobook at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster AUDIOWORKS (March 19, 2013)
- Length: 13 CDs / Approx. 15.5 hours
- Series: The Infernal Devices Book 3 of 3
- Source: Audio CD (Provided by publisher)
- Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction
- Completed: March 2013
Because The Mortal Instruments is the companion series to The Infernal Devices, I decided to add the newly released City of Bones trailer below! (Support this movie, so Hollywood green lights The Infernal Devices films!)