Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

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

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Steampunk
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publishing Type: traditional
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Source: Amazon store (hardcover)
Age Rating: 13+

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

I purchased this book back in September 2010, right after it was released, and I only recently got around to reading it. It was worth the wait. This is a really great story with well-conceived characters. Compared to City of Bones, which I recently read before this book, Clockwork Angel is far superior in every way, especially the technical writing. Gone are the clunky, lazily placed adverbs, which were making my eyes roll every two minutes during City of Bones.

The characters really sold me on this book, in that, Tessa, the main character, is a likeable protagonist. She's not some heroine kicking butt every other minute, but I don't need my heroines like that, anyway. She's smart and uses her cleverness to get herself out of difficult situations. She does require some help from others, but she doesn't seem like a damsel-in-distress, at all.

There are pretty boys, of course, like Will and Jem, and both are interesting and charming in their own respective ways. Will is strong and dashing, very sarcastic and witty (making me laugh out loud A LOT), although he tries to make people hate him for some unknown reason. Jem is a polite, nonjudgmental silver-haired sweetheart, and honestly won me completely over. I'm a huge Jem fan now! I don't even know why Tessa fancies Will more than him. James, honey, you know where you can find me when she refuses you!

What's funny about this novel is that, while reading it, I felt like it followed a sort of set pattern I was already familiar with, so I expected the plot to unfold in a certain way. But, once I got about three-quarters of the way finished, it pulled a very unpredictable plot twist on me. I never saw it coming, and it was shocking! When I discovered who the real villain characters actually were, I was appalled by them. Horrible people, just as villains ought to be. I was immensely impressed.

Obviously, I rate this newer Cassandra Clare series higher than the original for which it is based on. City of Bones is good, but Clockwork Angel has a more clever plot and far more intriguing characters. The indelible Magnus Bane appears in this series, and he's hilarious, even if not integral to the plot. A certain clever gray cat also makes a cameo that existing Clare fans will be delighted to see.

If you didn't like City of Bones, or anything from The Mortal Instruments, I bet you'll actually enjoy this one….

My score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.


  1. I've had reservations about starting this series because I didn't really enjoy TMI very much at all and I fear Will is going to be one of those guys that doesn't impress me at all. I just don't get guys who are mean for no reason. I do love steampunk very much though so I'll give this a go!

  2. @Lan: I wasn't all that impressed by Jace, but Will did impress me. He's really funny, but I found I liked Jem better for some reason. He's half-Chinese, actually, lol.

    That's just how I felt about them. It's a really good series!

  3. I was very curious to see how you felt about this book. This was my 1st steampunk book & I really enjoyed it. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it too. Great review!

  4. @Andrea: Thank you very much. I found another YA hero to fall for, so that always makes me love a book.


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