Clockwork Prince: Book Review

It’s been a day or two since I’ve finished Book 2 in Cassandra Clare’s prequel series: The Infernal Devices. I haven’t had the time to sit and write this, let alone take some decent photos. But, finally, here I am.

As expected, Book 2 introduces Will in more detail, and we begin to (slowly) realise he’s rude and blunt for a reason. When his reason is finally revealed (I’m not going to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it, don’t worry!), I wasn’t surprised. Nonetheless, it did make me love him. It also works to heighten the angst nicely – not that Book 2 is filled with as much angst as Book 1. I really enjoyed the split Point of View, Tessa is not a tiresome heroine, far from it, but I enjoyed delving into Will’s mind and understanding how he clicks more.

Although I enjoyed Book 2, it hasn’t the pace of Book 1. (As a writer, the Beats just don’t quite work). In many ways, you could say not much happens, but it doesn’t feel like that as the character development is excellent, the characters lovable and they’re exchanges addictive: Particularly Magnus Bane, who is now a firm favourite. (Not to mention Woolsey Scott!) Many intriguing subplots come to light, adding new depth and dimension to this rich world.

Talking of richness, I love Cassandra Clare’s writing style! It’s rich and colourful and addictive. The world she has created, the characters, their voices, everything has depth. Though, I did find Jessamine’s character arc lacking, which surprised me.

Now, I am not a fan of love triangles. I don’t like how they are portrayed, especially in YA fantasy, let alone handled. Why is it always two boys fighting over a girl? And why is it always over a girl who never acts deserving of such devotion and love? (Yes, I’m looking at you Bella Swan and Katniss Everdeen). I’m not good at taking sides and doing the whole ‘team Edward’ thing. I know the emotional angst is supposed to heighten your enjoyment of the book, but it has the opposite effect on me.

However, I don’t mind the love triangle between Tessa, Will and Jem. It’s handled differently by Cassandra Clare, more sensitively, more maturely. There’s less taking sides, which I prefer. Though, whether you can love two people as wholeheartedly as Tessa appears, I’m not convinced; life has turned me into a bit of a cynic! Nonetheless, I look forward to being convinced otherwise as their love triangle develops in the final book of the series.

Angst-wise, there is a lot less than Book 1. As an older soul, I prefer this, but there still remains enough to keep young hearts happy. As well as enough romance! (Oh là là!)

4 out of 5. I diving straight into Book 3 with equal mixtures of excitement and sorrow. I really don’t want it to end…

Clockwork Angel: Book review

I’ve just finished reading Book 1 in The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel, written by Cassandra Clare.

What did I think?

As a reader, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s been a long time since I lost myself to a book and longer still that I enjoyed reading it. I love the characters, the world, the magic, the blend of paranormal and supernatural, it’s been a delight. Though, at my age, I find Will’s rudeness just that, rude. He isn’t worth Tessa’s time. Though I know there’s more to it. So, I look forward to Book 2.

From a writer’s point of view, I found myself checking off the Beats, noting mechanisms, turns of phrase and descriptions. I was shocked at how much info-dumping there was, but it didn’t distract (too much!) Although, I did feel sorry for Jem when Tessa spent virtually a whole chapter quizzing him about Will. I know it helps fill in gaps and increase angst (which there is a lot of!) But, it happened more than I would’ve liked. Especially, as writers are advised to avoid it.

Overall? 4.5 out of 5. Can’t wait for Clockwork Prince. Bring on the angst!

Book Lovers Day 2019

Happy Book Lovers Day!

I’ve always loved books: reading them, writing them, smelling them. There’s just something magical about how they transport you to greater places. I don’t think anything can beat a good book.

This morning, I aptly finished reading through the first draft to the first instalment of The KeyMaster series. There’s still loads to do before I send it out to Beta readers, but it’s an exciting step forwards.

Keeping with the booktheme, I’m currently reading Book 1 of Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and I’m loving it! What are you reading?

Camp NaNo: July 2019

I signed up! I’m doing it and let daily goal too! I’ve never done anything like this but I’m really enjoying my cabin, the support of my fellow campers and a chance to totally focus (as much as I can!) on my writing.

I’ve been sensible with my goal: 15,000 words for the month, just under 500 words a day. I’m also using Chris Fox’s 5k power hour method of weird sprinting which is stressful but do good!

Anyone else taking part in Camp NaNo?

I never win anything!

The last thing I remember winning was a bottle of Babycham from the Summer Fair raffle when I was at primary school. It promptly vanished and I never got to enjoy my prize, although my parents seemed quite chuffed (!) But, I can now say differently as I recently won a critique from a professional editor on the first 5000 words of my WIP!

I came across the giveaway on Kristin McTiernan’s new YouTube channel. Kristin is a professional editor and fellow author I know through Instagram (@kristinmagoo) and when she announced her new channel I immediately subscribed. I now eagerly await her videos to be uploaded. As someone who is self-editing one book and writing another, I devour any hints and tips I come across from editors and authors. Anything to help me improve. Her channel is no different.

One day whilst listening, I heard her mention a giveaway: a critique of 5000 words! I immediately entered with all my fingers and toes crossed. I’m nowhere near sending my manuscript off to editors, but I knew I would benefit from a professional’s opinion. Days later, a notification came through that I’d actually won!

After taking the weekend to make my first 5000 words as good as I could, I nervously pressed ‘send’ and a week later my critique arrived!

I received several pages covering “First Impressions”, “Grammar/Punctuation/Mechanics”, “Characters”, “‘Grab’ Factor” and “Editing Recommendations”.

As a teacher, I understand the benefit of constructive criticism, so the process didn’t faze me at all. It was great seeing the opening chapters from someone else’s point of view. Sequences and reactions were questioned which I would never have considered. Kristin herself was friendly with her critique but honest; the perfect combination needed to get manuscripts looking their best. I would highly recommend her and can already see improvements in my manuscript. All in all, it was a really positive experience. (Phew!)

If you’re in need of an editor or simply want to reach out, her website is can be found here.