A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clockwork Prince is slightly more graphic than Clockwork Angel, the first installment in a series that features warlocks, vampires, demons, shape shifters, and Shadowhunters. The romantic scenes quickly heat up as teens form couples and passionately kiss and caress each other. Also, a sexually transmitted disease known as demon pox (the equivalent of 19th-century syphilis) floats among the demons. One detailed scene takes place in an opium den designed for Shadowhunters, where fantastical characters partake in abusing controlled substances. A descriptive battle takes place amongst the good and evil characters, and a major player is killed.
What's the story?
In Victorian London, 16-year-old Tessa is living with the Nephilim, a family of Shadowhunters who have been protecting her from the evil Magister. The Magister will stop at nothing to capture Tessa and use her shape-shifting abilities for his own malevolent agenda. The Clave challenges Charlotte, head of the Institute and mother figure to the house, to find the Magister and his clockwork army or give up her chair as the leader. Secret pasts are revealed and mysteries uncovered when Will, Tessa, and Jem unite to help Charlotte keep her role as head of the Institute. Along the journey, they discover the joy of love, the agony of betrayal, the excitement of masquerade, the atrocity of violence, and the heartache of a love triangle.
Is it any good?
CLOCKWORK PRINCE is as clever and witty as it is amorous and enthralling. Cassandra Clare has created a story of love, loss, and self-sacrifice that's difficult to put down. The consistent, descriptive backdrop of 1850 London offers readers an English escape, he characters are lovable, and the scenes are mostly engaging. Each character, quirky and unique in his or her own way, is on a road toward self-discovery and holds an invaluable role that completes their unbreakable, forged family unit.
The female leads (Charlotte, Tessa, and Sophie) model intelligence, strength, and independence. Although each plays a distinct role (one as head of the Institute, one an American mundane, the other a servant), each offers a strength the others lack. Charlotte is independent, Tessa is tenacious, and Sophie is resilient. As the three women struggle to find their own identities, each comes to the realization that feminine strength is found within your individual voice -- and from being heard.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about drug use and violence. Do the scenes featuring these elements seem less real because the characters are fantastical beings? Would it be different if the characters were human?
This novel is an example of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction whose stories are set in an era and place where steam power is used, usually the 19th century and often Victorian England. Leviathan is another example. Why do you think this genre is popular?
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