First up, I loved this book. I very much enjoyed the first one, but the familiarity with the characters in this sequel breeds ever wittier banter (or persiflage, as Jem puts it) and builds greater empathy for the characters as we watch thier hopes and dreams destroyed by tragic irony.
Clockwork Prince continues to follow Tessa, Will, Jem and the other inhabitants of the London Shadowhunter Institute as they continue their search for the arch-bad guy of the series. Along the way they encounter exploding automatons, magic and love. There are twists and reveals and minor characters with bigger roles. I particularly liked that we saw more of Magnus, partly because he’s cool and partly because I was looking forward to observing things which were alluded to in the Mortal Instruments (set in the present of the same world).
I liked the way Clare set up the love triangle in this series. Unlike some YA books (Twilight is an obvious example), it felt like Tessa had a real choice and up until things came to a head she really could have chosen either boy (whereas Jacob the werewolf in Twilight never had a chance). Also, choices have consequences something which Clare properly explores and will hopefully continue doing so in Clockwork Princess, the final instalment due out in 2013.
I don’t think I can say much more without spoilers. Clockwork Prince is an excellent read and I highly recommend the series to any fans of YA, steampunk or manner-punk. I also strongly suggest starting with Clockwork Angel, the first book in the series.
5 / 5 stars