Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

By: Cassandra Clare
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: Aug. 31, 2010
Series: The Infernal Devices (#1)
Pages: 476
Genre: Steampunk
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I will admit that I've only read the first Mortal Instruments book, though I fully intend to read the rest of them at some point. Even so, I enjoyed being back in the Shadowhunter world almost as much as I enjoyed the new story.

Tessa has lost both her parents and her aunt, and so she boards a boat to head to London and join her brother there. But when she arrives, her brother isn't waiting for her. Instead, she is taken by the Dark Sisters, who waste no time in letting her know that she has a unique power: she can transform herself into another person. The Dark Sisters force her to Change again and again, all in the name of preparing her for marriage with the Magister. Tessa finally sees her chance and escapes, but she finds herself in just as unfamiliar of a place: The Institute of the Shadowhunters. Though they promise to help find her brother, they also want her to use her power for them. As Tessa tries to learn more about this new world, she finds herself struggling with her feelings for both Will and Jem. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that nothing is what it seems...

If you've read other reviews of mine, this will come as no surprise: I love books set in foreign cities. I've only spent a few days in London and I would love to go back, so I was thrilled to get to do this vicariously through Tessa. I also loved the poetry quotations at the beginning of each chapter. They really helped to set the mood as well as giving me some things to think about. In addition to this, there were literature references sprinkled throughout - as a fan of the classics, I really liked this inclusion. But now for the story and characters themselves. Clockwork Angel is like a roller coaster: full of ups and downs, twists and turns, full of action and over far too soon. Tessa's strength and intelligence made her a great character. And then there are Jem and Will...even though Will made me laugh and I enjoyed his bad-boy attitude, I have to say that I had a soft spot for Jem and his quiet but dedicated nature. The story around the characters was completely engrossing and kept me searching for answers right along with Tessa and the Shadowhunters.

As someone who hasn't read all of Mortal Instruments, I appreciated that I could pick up Clockwork Angel and still follow everything. The world is rebuilt (though not so much as to be redundant for people who have read TMI) and I got to have the joy of discovering a new world all over again with Tessa. There were a couple of characters that I was disappointed in because of their actions...but as for which ones, you'll have to read and see for yourselves.

I am dying to see what else is in store for everyone involved and to learn even more about these characters. Thank goodness there isn't long to wait before Clockwork Prince!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm a bit scared to pick it up (I'm at it in CC's world at the moment), but I'm sure I'll love it just as much. Clare's such an amazing author! I love reading about foreign cities as well, but then I get to very often seeing that I've always lived here in Sweden! But I get what you mean, still, since some become quite standard. I love your review! Makes me wanna pick it up faster! :)

  2. I've only read the first TMI book as well and I keep seeing great reviews of this one around. Not sure how I feel about another YA love triangle but steampunk is a bit of a fav of mine so I'll have to check it out.

  3. This was one of my favorite reads of 2011. I really enjoyed the friendship between Jem and Will. Also, Magnus Bane is one of my absolute favorites.I am super excited that Clockwork Prince comes out tomorrow.

  4. I thought I was the only person who hadn't read this book, so I'm glad to see it took you a while to get to it too :) I haven't read any of Cassandra Clare's books yet, but it's my goal for the Christmas break. Thanks for the review!


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