Here are the basics ...
Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Publication date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Category: Young Adult - Steampunk/Paranormal
Summary: Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…I'm just going to jump right into the heart of this series - the love triangle between Will, Tess and Jem. I know there's a lot more going on. There's action, suspense, the fight against evil and many characters to root for. All of which is so well-done. But I'm sure that, like me, when you reach the last page of a Clockwork Princess, it will be the three aforementioned characters you will be thinking about. I know I haven't stopped thinking about them. I was an emotional mess by the end of this book and I mean that in the best way possible.
More than ever, I feel like I've been looking at the love triangle plot device in a very negative light. In my experience they've fallen into one of these categories: the choice was always obvious (which either led me to dislike the other guy or not feel invested in the other romance because I knew it wouldn't last), the "bad boy" always gets the girl and never the best friend, the triangle starts off complex and realistic but falls prey to stereotypical ploys by the end of the trilogy or I end up rooting for the "other" guy because the second book hyped him up but the girl always goes with her first love. There are probably other situations I've forgotten but the point is, I can't think of a complex love triangle that tore me up inside and was truly written well from the first book to the last. Until I finished Clockwork Princess. And here's why.
In most books, the guys are always competitors who hate each other. But Will and Jem? They are parabatai and what they share transcends even their feelings for Tessa. I think it's safe to say that this series is just as much a love story between the two of them, as it is between Will/Tessa or Jem/Tessa. And Tessa loves them both. I did not envy the choices she had to make. Personally, I'm a huge fan of Will and I felt the chemistry between Will/Tessa more. I always saw him as the love of her life in the way most first loves are. There's something almost untouchable about it. But at the same time, I didn't doubt she loved Jem just as much, only differently. So who should she choose? Even though I wanted her to pick Will.. I still thought, but what about Jem? He deserved happiness too. They all did and I think that's what got to me. Because I had no idea what would happen the entire time I read. It takes some pretty amazing writing to keep up that kind of intensity and wonder but Cassandra Clare certainly does it.
(Potential) reservations: Epilogues are tricky things and based on the reactions I've seen thus far, this one has had a pretty polarizing affect. Do I think the book would've been just as strong without it? Yes but it also made me bawl like a baby. Do I necessarily agree with how the epilogue played out? Yes and no. I ultimately understand why it's there and honestly, despite my personal feelings I do believe it was the right choice to include it. There are a couple things I wish had been worded differently but overall it was fitting and I'm happy with the ending. If you read Cassandra Clare's explanation of it, I think it will put most readers (myself included) at ease.
Do I recommend?: This is one of the best conclusions to a trilogy that I've read in a very long time. It made me laugh, sigh happily at all the romances going on, cry and gasp in surprise. If you haven't read this series, please check it out. You won't regret it.