I was a big fan of Cassandra Clare after her first book, City of Bones, and looked forward to reading each successive story. It's a satisfying tale, with engaging, three dimensional characters, filled with tension, angst and passion.
I'm not sure what happened to CC at the end of the original trilogy, but she seems to have lost focus regarding what makes a story interesting, and what doesn't.
Clockwork Prince is a melodrama set in the Victorian period. It is _not_ about Victorian period shadowhunters fighting an evil megalomaniac. In a brief synopsis, the characters are _supposed_ to be trying to find Mortmain and his army of automatons or else the Clave will replace them at the Institute. They have two weeks to get it done. You'd think they'd get right on it. Instead we get page after page of boring social and emotional situations, bogged down even more by each character's internal dialog explaining the Victorian mores that are dictating why they're doing what they're doing. Forget suspense. Forget danger. Forget deadlines. And forget anything happening. There's no advancement of the story. None. Crisis? What crisis? Everyone dithers in the Institute, wringing their hands about who loves who, who shouldn't love who, who thinks they're not loved by who, ad nauseam.
Do not buy this book based on the free excerpt offered. It is the best part. Vivid setting, interesting dialogue and characters stepping off the page. You feel like you're there, looking through the wrought iron gate of an unconsecrated cemetery on a foggy night in 1800's London, listening to Will haggle with a ghost. Reaching the end of the scene I thought, _yes_, CC's got her mojo back and bought the book. I eagerly looked forward to a great read and instead, spent most of my time skimming pages and rolling my eyes. I'm sorry to say her mojo is not back and I'm afraid she's lost me as a reader.