Home       About Me       Review Archive

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: August 31, 2010
Pages: 478
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Stars - Super Crazy Awesome!

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.

In short: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is a superb introduction to The Infernal Devices Series and presents us with a whole new cast of extremely well developed and wonderful main and side characters.
I was admittedly a bit doubtful going into Clockwork Angel thinking that Cassandra Clare wasn't going to be able to set this one apart from her The Mortal Instruments Series. The characters sounded very familiar to the ones we see in TMI, for example. I know now that I should have known better. After all, my favourite part of TMI is the characters so I should have known that Clare was completely capable of creating a new batch of unique and loveable characters in The Infernal Devices.

Well, mostly loveable. Will is going to take some warming up to. Whereas Jace, though arrogant at times, openly shows affection to the people he loves, Will pushes everyone away from him but Jem. Also, Jace is never cruel, not like Will. And yet, I'm still incredibly intrigued as to what exactly is causing Will to behave in such a jerkish manner. I can't wait to learn more. Other than Will and his frustrating moments, I can't stress enough how much I loved the main and side characters of Clockwork Angel - each with their own well defined personalities, back stories, and mysteries.

And Magnus! 'Nuff said. Yeah, Magnus gets his own paragraph.

Something else that I loved that I would be remiss if I didn't mention is the setting: Victorian London. I would never have called myself a fan of historical fiction before this; I usually make every effort and excuse to avoid it. But Clockwork Angel may have made me a new fan! Clare really brings the setting alive with perfectly plotted and fascinating details, deftly recreating what Victorian London was like. As a historical fiction amateur, I never got lost or confused in facts or language. Really well done!

Overall, Clockwork Angel is a superb first book the The Infernal Devices Series and an amazing prequel to The Mortal Instruments Series. This was my first foray into the steampunk genre and I have to say, I enjoyed that aspect of the novel very much as well! The clockwork automatons were just insanely creepy. Oh, and if anyone asks, I'm Team Tessa :) Very much looking forward to Clockwork Prince coming out August 2011. (And City of Fallen Angels coming out tomorrow, of course!!).

Other Reviews:
The Unread Reader
Supernatural Snark
Unputdownable Books

Stalk the Author (not for serious):
Fansite - MortalInstruments.net
Fansite - Mundie Moms