Friday, January 13, 2012

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

Publisher: McElderry Books
Release Date:  August 31st 2010
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Review:
If I could describe Clockwork Angel in one word it would be: Exquisite. Clockwork Angel is a rather perfect book in more ways than one. The writing contained within this book is elegant. The characterization is of a high caliber and the plot is full of the adventure one requires of an Urban Fantasy. I just found myself completely enamored with this book and it took me by surprise. Why? Well, because this book is the first book in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments which in of itself is a rather top notch series created by Cassandra Clare. I wasn't sure if I would like Clockwork Angel as much as I loved City of Bones -1st book of The Mortal Instruments series- in all honesty, but luckily my worries were quickly put to rest when I found myself completely absorbed in the Victorian London setting presented to us in Clockwork Angel.

Clockwork Angel centers around the story of Tessa, a sixteen year old girl from New York City, who has to move to 19th Century London to meet up with her brother after her caretaker, her Aunt Harriet, dies suddenly. Upon her arrival she soon discovers that she has the power to transform into other people and finds herself immersed in the dangerous and hidden world of Downworlders (who are hybrids of humans and demons and include: werewolves, vampires, faries, warlocks etc) and the Shadowhunters (a race of warriors who hunt demons and have angel blood in their veins). To say that this book is action packed would be an understatement. Clockwork Angel is a roller coaster ride full of dangerous encounters and fights, first loves, self-discovery, and villainy. Fans of fantasy and the supernatural will never be bored with this book, the plot is fantastic and has a little bit of everything for everyone.

What I loved the most about Clockwork Angel was the character development, I have to say. Every single character in this book, from heroes to villains, have a history and are layered. Something that is not easily accomplished in Young Adult Literature. Not only did I find myself rooting for the main characters (Tessa, Jem, and Will) but for the secondary characters as well. I felt like in this book, the secondary characters didn't feel secondary at all. They all had their own little story and mystique to them that you had to peel away with every turn of the page, just like you had to do with the main characters. What a cast! I loved them all! They all had such heart and such charm. All of the female characters in this book from Tessa to Charlotte, to Jessamine to Sophie and Camille, were all so interesting, strong and self assured. I loved that. The male characters (Jem, Will, Henry, Thomas, Magnus) as well, were also men of great sensibility and bravado. Even the villains in this story were amazing. I really liked that there were several, that you never quite knew who was the evilest of them all and that there just wasn't what I call "the resident Lord Voldemort of a story" there were many and boy were they dark.

The setting of this book is quite mesmerizing. I loved that this book was set in 19th century London. Victorian London, to be exact. I definitely felt myself transported to that era through the descriptions given in this book. Victorian London felt like a character of it's own in this story and it felt very real. Cassandra Clare definitely did her research and accentuated the era in the book through her thorough knowledge of Victorian era literature and poetry. When I saw references to Charles Dickens and Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, my Victorian era loving heart, just went pitter-patter. And my favorite thing of all were the Victorian Era quotes that Cassandra Clare used at the beginning of each chapter as inspiration for her chapter titles. I love it when authors title their chapters and use quotes at the beginning of each one, it just helps you speculate about what each chapter is about prior to reading it and informs you a little of what the author was thinking about when writing each chapter. I thought it was a nice touch that added elegance to the story since each quote had a touch of either romance or nostalgia in some form or another.

My advice: Read this book. It just whisks you away on a journey of self acceptance and transports you to a time and setting, full of challenge but promise and adventure. This book is great for anyone who might feel a little lost and wonders what they should do when they feel stuck. I found this book full of inspiring characters who were bent on fighting for their beliefs and learning about themselves in their own individual way. And you really can't beat the fact that this book is set amongst such a mystifying and creative world, that is full of suspense and wonder.

Rating: 5/5


  1. Awesome review, Jennifer!! I couldn't agree more with you. This book was simply awesome. I hope you enjoy reading Clockwork Prince! So glad you loved CLockwork Angel! :)

  2. Thanks so much, Celine! So glad you liked it =) And yea this book was really awesome. I loved it! And thanks, I'm really excited about Clockwork Prince. I'm reading it after I finish Shatter Me. :)

  3. I'm currently reading this and am so happy to see that it's gotten good reviews! Like you, I massively loved City of Bones (so much so that I pretty much inhaled the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series) and I was afraid that this prequel series wouldn't measure up. Great review, but now if you'll excuse me, I simply MUST get back to reading this book!

  4. Thanks Monica! I know what you mean and no worries the prequel series is just as amazing as The Mortal Instruments. Haha, no worries, I totally understand. This book is addicting. Happy Reading :)


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