Ok, so I’ve been in a bit of a Cassandra Clare reading frenzy – not only have I just read City of Lost Souls, but I’m also up to date with the prequel series, having just finished Clockwork Prince. I figured I’d give you two for the price of one and review both books.
Every time I read the latest book by Ms Clare I have the same fear – will I remember what was going on, who was fighting who and who was snogging who from last time? It always amazes me that it never takes more than a few pages to get right back into both series, and there are plenty of helpful recaps along the way. In my head, I’ve got this voice saying: ‘previously, in the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices…’ And yes, it’s usually in the Law and Order guy’s voice.
But I digress. The question is, are the latest offerings any good? Well, yes. And no. I won’t deny that these stories are such fun to read; they’ve got action, romance, laughs, you name it. Even though each book is big enough to double as a hand weight, it never takes me too long to get through them.
With regard to City of Lost Souls, I have to say that I couldn’t help thinking ‘really? Haven’t we done all this before?’. I don’t think this episode is the strongest of the series. Six books is a long time to keep two lovers apart and I’m starting to tire of Clary and Jace. Clary is becoming a bit of a whiner in this book and makes some really stupid decisions, and Ms Clare’s finale (sort of spoiler alert but not really) smacks of previous endings. Seems to me there’s a bit of recycling going on! Still, I’ll be interested to see how it all comes to a close in book six. I was far more interested in the development of Isobelle and Simon’s and Alec and Magnus’ relationships. I know other readers believe these relationships pale in comparison to the fiery passion of Clary and Jace, but I actually (and ironically) find the witty repartee of these four more, well, human.
Clockwork Prince is a different kettle of fish altogether. Maybe it’s because the series is shorter and there are fewer characters to keep track of, but I LOVE this series. I find Tessa a far more palatable heroine than Clary and the love triangle going on between her, Jem and Will is exquisite – I found myself shouting ‘NO!’ at some points during the novel. There is something about the setting of the Victorian era – maybe it’s just because everyone is so damn polite and proper – that makes this series far more interesting and dangerous. Underneath the waistcoats and corsets are characters that have more layers and greater depth. Generally, I find the course of events far less predictable that I do in the Mortal Instruments series.
At the end of the day, these are just my opinions. I know that both these series are beloved by so many, so I’m going to keep the trash talk to a minimum, suffice to say: Clockwork Prince = big thumbs up and City of Lost Souls = ok with a touch of meh.
Happy Reading! Ms White 🙂