A little background might help shed light on my feelings towards this book. I loved the Mortal Instruments and was expecting to love The Infernal Devices. So when I read Clockwork Angel, I was disappointed and only gave it two stars and a "meh" review. I felt the characters were shallow copies of the ones in the Mortal Instruments and didn't care for them at all. Knowing that, I started reading Clockwork Prince with a grain of salt. I didn't expect to like it. But in the time between books, I have also read quite a few other books in this genre (YA urban fantasy), and can now appreciate that at least Clare has skill with words, even if her characters and dare I say it plot lines are lacking in inspiration. So I was able to enjoy this book more than I expected.
Lately I have to give props to YA characters that don't make me roll my eyes, gag and/or punch them in the face for being completely schizophrenic emo idiots. That only happened once in this book, at the very end (the whole Henry/Charlotte thing), although as the book went on I did find the love triangle between Tessa, Jem and Will becoming not only trite, but kind of awkwardly creepy. Did anyone else feel really uncomfortable about it? I can't quite put my finger on why (besides the fact that it's an unoriginal, overly dramatic plot device).
The strange thing is, when I started this book I was firmly team Jem, but the development of their relationship has paradoxically changed my mind. Which doesn't matter, because I'm guessing that in the next book Jem is going to die and Tessa'll end up with Will anyway. It's hard to care much, I can't summon much sympathy for Tessa. The author tries very hard to make something of her character, but to me she lacks personality. She's too watery, mediocre and predictable to be an effective heroine. Still, the book was a decent read and I appreciate Clare's attention to her craft.
See my reviews for Clockwork Angel (#1) and Clockwork Princess (#3)