I have a full and stand-alone review of Clockwork Angel, but today, I thought I would give my general thoughts and opinions on the series as a whole after completing Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. Upon finishing this series I can happily say that I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series a whole lot more. The Infernal Devices series is, at its core, a romance, and I don’t think I can forgive the fact that Tessa somehow managed to have her cake and eat it too – absolutely ridiculous!
C H A R A C T E R S
For me, Tessa was way too bland to be a main character. In many ways, this series would have been far more interesting if Sophie had been the main character. Tessa was far too passive, in my opinion, and although her…plain unexciting nature, shall we say, was refreshing to a certain extent, I found myself relieved when we moved from the monotony of the sections focused on her thoughts.
Will goes through the most “character development” if you can call going from cocky witty jerk to cocky witty jerk who feels remorseful after fake curse ex-machina character development. I never really bought the whole curse mumbo jumbo anyway. Will adds some comic relief, but in my heart I always knew that he was no Jace and I can only really allow room for once cocky witty jerk in my heart.
Jem. Oh sweet, Jem. How unjust your life has been and how repetitive your story. Jem had soooo much potential, but I felt like he was wasted as ill-secondary-love-interest. His relationship with Will was probably the most endearing and real of the whole series – it was certainly the only relationship that made me feel anything other than cringey. Also, Jem proves that there is such a thing as being too nice. You probably shouldn’t be so quick to forgive, because sometimes holding grudges can keep you away from toxic people. *cough* I’m talking about you, Tessa *cough*
The secondary characters were by far the best. Henry and Charlotte were so endearing and Sophie’s progression through the series is my favourite and was squashed unjustly by the ludicrous romance of the main three. The secondary characters just completely enriched the story and they were the only reason that I kept reading!
R O M A N C E
This girl’s main conflict was: shall I marry this perfect guy or this other perfect guy. Okay, yes, my family history is a little sketchy and everything I’ve ever been told is a lie, but the most important thing of course is if I become Mrs. Carstairs or Mrs. Herondale.
Turns out, none of this conflict even mattered because she married Will, when Jem was out of action becoming a silent brother, had a long and happy life as Mrs. Herondale, having Will’s babies and watching her children grow up (how quaint) and not long after Will dies, oh my goodness, Jem, what do you mean you’re no longer a Silent Brother and are suddenly mortal? I can marry you too! And I’m guessing this is going to be the romance that’s elaborated on in Lady Midnight.
Also, are we just going to skip over the fact that Tessa has no sense of loyalty? Throughout the whole series I never really got the impression that she genuinely loved Jem. YES she was fond of him – much like you’re fond of a small fluffy animal – but it wasn’t the lusty love she felt for Will, who she so obviously preferred. Apart from a brief, and I mean very brief, period of mourning on Will and Tessa’s part for the ‘death’ of Jem, their extremely happy to engage in a scandalous affair. Was I the only one that thought Tessa to be heartless for not just letting Jem down easy and explaining: “I love you, I just don’t love you love you, ya feel?”
Overall, the whole thing was completely ridiculous. I kept expecting something terrible to happen to one of them and Tessa to realise that she didn’t need men, she needed to come to terms with her new identity, but oh no. I guess, Cassandra Clare really did try and replicate a fanciful, over the top, Gothic romance, much like the ones that were constantly name dropped in the series – subtle, real subtle – but I can’t say Tessa and Will had a Jane/Rochester vibe at all. If anything the romance just fell flat.
As for the other romances, this is again where I have to roll my eyes and remind myself it’s all for the sake of a happy ending. Gideon and Gideon Lightwood (sorry, I mean Gabriel – why did their names have to be nearly identical?) each get their happy endings in the form of Sophie – by far my favourite character of the series – and Cecelia, who was only necessary so she could tell other characters about “the real Will” and to be love interest for this douche bucket.
Yes, they were cutesy and I was glad that everyone found someone, but you can’t ignore how overly convenient it all is.
P L O T | P A C I N G
As for the plot, it was pretty typical of Cassandra Clare’s writing. Bad guy, big battle, defeat yadda yadda. I can’t say I was reading this series for the plot…although I wasn’t really reading for the characters either…
Still, it’s fast paced, and even though they’re pretty hefty books you can get through them quickly, because they do this thing called suspense really well. (She begrudgingly admits.) I will say that the first book definitely dragged, and not a lot really happens in terms of plot progression in the second book, and the third book probably could be shorter – a lot of charactery stuff happens after the action that could possibly have been condensed – and there is a lot of repetition throughout BUT, yes there is a but, I would recommend this series is you want more Shadowhunters and some backstory on the cast from TMI and maybe even some hints into the future series. I’d probably give it around 3 stars overall.