Publication Date: December 6th 2011
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5
In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.
I definitely enjoyed this more than Clockwork Angel, but besides that I am not entirely sure how I feel about it. My main problem with it is the same problem I had with Angel, which I knew would not change. Tessa and Will. I didnt understand them in the first book and I dont understand them in this one either. Whatever reasons Will may have had for his behaviour, Tessa was not aware of them until the end, and still, somehow she managed to have insatiable feeling for a boy who had no discernible personality beyond sarcasm. Every private thought Tessa shared with us about Will only sounded like lust. "And still a look from him could make her tremble with mingled hatred and longing. It was like a poison in her blood, to which Jem was the only antidote. Only with him did she feel on steady ground." That makes things very clear to me. How can there be any comparison?
My feelings for this love-triangle are quite similar to that of Tiger's Voyage, although Tiger's Voyage excelled in all other areas, where Prince was merely mediocre. In both books, the girl has passionate thoughts about a boy who is wrong for her, who hurt her, who has a supernatural barrier between them. And when he comes back to her, it is too late because she has already fallen for someone else. A boy who is good and kind and understanding, and who deserves so much better than a girl who is constantly betraying him in her thoughts. I am aware that YA romances do not attempt to give an accurate portrayal of love. And I adore YA romance, it is practically all I read, so I have no reason to complain about the basis of the genre. I love it for what it is. But this book, and Tiger's Voyage, I must admit as much as I love it, take things a little too far. Lust and passion are a horrible basis for a relationship, as the above quote shows."...hatred and longing." Emotion for emotion's sake does not mean love, it could simply mean hatred. It reminds me of a scene in Tiger's Voyage, which isnt this book but still supports my point. The girl was confiding in someone about her torn feelings, and mentioned that one boy gave her peace, and the other makes her want to strangle him. Her confidante implied that the strong feelings that the second boy provokes in her is a sign that he is the one she should choose. What a load of crap! But that seems to be what Clare is trying to imply as well. I could go on all day about how wrong this is, but I think I've said enough.
I enjoyed this more than I should have because of Jem and Tessa. Will feels like the main guy of this love-triangle because of the way he dominates Tessa's thoughts, but otherwise I would have guessed that it was Jem, because he got much more focus in this book than Will. He could so easily fill the role of "main guy", if it werent for Tessa's betraying thoughts. And I dont want to enjoy Jem and Tessa as much as I do because I don't see how it can end well. Has there ever been a YA author who defied the laws of YA romance and got the girl with the back-up guy? Not to my knowledge. Although I would praise her unceasingly if she did.
“When two souls are as one, they stay together on the Wheel. I was born into this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that."