My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I seem to have a hard time putting good books down and giving them time to dwell on my “currently-reading” list for more than a few days. Granted, I have time on my hands, but still, my patience apparently grows thin and I must know!
With that in mind, I had a hard time putting this book down, even to eat! I even had almost forgotten that I had a dog to feed at one point (alas, he was well fed and on schedule, so don’t worry about him).
I have to admit, too, that being that the story takes place in Victorian London, the some terminology was lost on me and I found myself googling some words. What’s also interesting is the excerpts added in the beginning of each chapter. Not that this is new, as she does it I think in all her books, but in TID, she makes it more integral to the characters, especially Tessa and Will, as they do a lot of reading of the classics (well, what we consider classics now). You may find you’d want to look into A Tale of Two Cities with a fresh outlook. Then again, you may not. But you will still enjoy this book, which I liked more than the first book.
Now, some people are turned off by the idea of a love triangle, and yes, there is one here in this book. DO NOT let that deter you from reading this, though. There is much more to it than that in the characters and even the supporting characters. As she had done with her TMI series, she does not take any of her characters for granted. None of them are just “fillers” for time in between the main characters’ storyline. There is a purpose for everyone and everything, so do not forget that.
Anyway, so, assuming that you’ve read the first book (because why would you be reading this without having read the first book?), you know that Tessa has permission to stay at the Institute. Mortmain is still on the loose and now they need to work together to find Mortmain or face the possibility of dreadful changes in the way things are operated.
You know that Will Herondale has this tendency to hide his true emotions under insults and putdowns, and you long to know why. And you know that Jem is quite the opposite of Will in that he is ever open and honest with his feelings. What’s wonderful about this book is finding out their past and their reasons for what they do and who they really are.
You also find out more about the supporting characters and it’s quite honestly great to find out about them, to understand them, because it makes you more connected to them. You want to feel for them, and love them.However, the problem with feeling for them and loving them is that you will feel for them and you may find your heart breaking for them. Will. Jem. Tessa. Sophie. Charlotte. Henry. Yes, maybe even Jessamine.
Cassie seems to open up the history of these characters a lot more in one book than she had in any one book before… or maybe I just need to read the books again to see if that’s true.
I for one, fell in love with Jem from the first book. Of course, Will wasn’t really supposed to be all that likeable in Clockwork Angel, but still, you knew there was something about him and you wanted to know what it is and why you’re attracted to him, just as Tessa was, especially when there’s a perfectly wonderful (yet dying faster than the normal person) gentleman available already.
And when you do find out about Will, boom! There’s reason you’ve been waiting for to put Will fully on your good graces and then some!
It was easy to do, because Will definitely had those same charming characteristics (aside from all the insults) that made you love Jace in TMI. But that didn’t make me love Jem any less! Here is where my favorite relationship in all the books lie… the one between the parabatai. These parabatai. I can honestly say that they both deserve to be happy, to love and to be loved, by a girl who will give them as much of herself as they would give to her. A pity that they should both be in love with that some girl. A true pity! And therein lies the “Kobayashi Maru” of these ill-fated three.
Who is to stand to triumph in this (view spoiler)? I am not stating a truth in my conclusion, but only a fearful prediction: that none will come away fully triumphant and that each of them will have lost a piece of their heart from it once all is said and done, and I do not mean just a little piece, but a large chunk of the center that pumps life so vigorously into us; and I will cry a trail of tears that reaches the vast dark corners of my own world.
Oh cruel, Cassandra Clare, you will haunt me because of this brilliant and dark world you have created, and I will welcome it! And I will have wanted to be, and the same time not wanted to be, Theresa Gray, and feel the warm fiery kisses of William Herondale or the ethereal kisses of James Carstairs, only to have to choose one for happiness and damning the other to utter despair. The tragedy of it all!
Yet, there’s not just their love story, but there is still the forces from outside that dare to destroy everything else: Nathaniel Gray, the Lightwoods, Mortmain.
And Magnus, him and his weakness for blue-eyes serves the readers’ purposes well enough in this book. I wonder how it will be in the third as well. After reading the Magnus’ Vow excerpt, I fear it may not be as well as I will want. (hide spoiler)]
Much of what has been concluded in the end of this book leaves a lot to be desired, and feared in regards to the characters and what will happen to them when the third book comes out. Of course, the fates of Will, Jem, and Tessa are the big draw, and it will not, I predict, not be quite the happy ending as in the end of TMI’s City of Glass.