Monday, December 12, 2011

Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, 1) by Cassandra Clare, 2010. 476 pages. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books. Source: Won
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.

First Sentence:
The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.
I have been putting off reading Clockwork Angel for a year because I tend to get so caught up in the world and characters that Ms. Clare creates that I hate having to wait for the next installment of the series. Clockwork Angel was no exception- even though it took me a couple of days to read- because I now need to know what Tessa, Will, and Jem will have to face in the next book.
I know that Ms. Clare is a wildly popular author-where some absolutely love her work and others not so much. While I really loved the TMI books, I felt that Clockwork Angel was by far better and had more depth to both the characters and the actual plot.
With that in mind, what really makes Clockwork Angel so good is the way all the little details come together. I loved how there were multiple plot points, as well as the way that they all came together in the end.
I honestly did not think that Tessa, Will and Jem would be such memorable characters. Boy was I wrong. I did not want to stop reading because I needed to know more about the past of both Will and Jem and what happened to both of them that left them wards in the Institute. And Tessa's, mysterious powers and what she truly is. Those points, mixed with the vibrant setting of Victoian London, and Ms. Clare's writing had me turning the pages as quick as possible and wishing I had had more time to read.

I absolutely loved the mystery concerning the Magister, although I was not surprised who it ended up being. I thought it was done quite nicely in that one was, almost, never sure if they were on the right track as to who had set the events in motion. What made it so good, was with each discovery that the charcters made-that supossedly brought them closer to the truth- another problem/angle appeared adding more layers to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Tessa's brother, and her importance to the Magister.

Another reason I enjoyed Clockwork Angel as much as I did, would ahve to be the interactions between Will and Jem. Their odd bantering relationship, as well as the their differences and similarities are one of my favorite aspects of the book. I thought it was quite interesting the way that kind of kept the other in check. As you can tell, I do not have a favorite and probably would not be able to choose between the two of them. 
I liked Tessa considerably more than I liked Clary from TMI. I found her to be both fiercer, and less of an irritating of a character then Clary, which made her easier to like and root for. It also does not hurt that she was a big reader and could quote lines from classics-also enjoyed how Will and Tessa bantered with quotes from books.
When the book started, I was not expecting Tessa to be a very strong character. I was prepared for her to be a simpering bell that depended on others to rescue her. What I got instead was one who- against her better judgment- decided to fight to control her destiny.
   While there were similarities between Will and Jace, I thought that Will was the better of the two characters. Moreover, while I may not always agree with the way he acted, I thought he was less harsh then Jace, even when he does purposely say cruel things to Tessa in order to protect himself from being hurt.  
 The one thing I liked most about Clockwork Angel would have to be the setting, and the way that Ms. Clare brought Victorian England to life. I really enjoyed how closely she kept things- mannerisms and expectations of the past- to what they would have been liked; oh, and the way she blended the supernatural into the era. I thought it was done quite nicely.
      While Clockwork Angel was a fantastic read, I do have one complaint about it. The first few pages started out with a bang, but then slowed down considerably for a chapter or two. The snappy beginning that led into a really slow section kind of threw me off while reading because it left me wondering if the rest of the book was going to be as slow as that and hoping that it would pick up its pace quickly.
Final Verdict: Clockwork Angel was a fantastic blend of Victorian England and the supernatural. As well as a thrilling read, that I did not want to put down.

Clockwork Angel earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. awesome review for this! Totally agree with you, I definitely prefer this to the TMI series, I prefer the characters, the setting, the plot, everything! Tessa is such a great character and I love the mystery of this as well. I agree it slows down a bit, but that didn't bother me too much. I hope you enjoy Clockwork Prince too.

    The Cait Files

  2. Wonderful review! I loved the setting as well, it was lovely! I just wish the beginning hadn't been so slow, but otherwise, it definitely was a great book.


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