Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Steampunk
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
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 was originally not planning on reading Clockwork Angel anytime soon, but with so many of my friends peer pressuring me to, I finally gave in and decided to give the book it a try. I’m not sure if that was the right move to make as I have mixed feelings about Clockwork Angel.
Before I start my review, I have to make this clear: I already knew that Cassandra Clare basically recycled her characters from The Mortal Instruments series into The Infernal Devices series before I started reading Clockwork Angel. After finishing Clockwork Angel, I can easily confirm that this statement is true. Will is like another Jace, Tessa is like Clary, and Jessamine is like Isabelle. I’m not quite sure about the other characters, so I won’t say anything about that.
“You never laugh,” she said. “You behave as if everything is funny to you, but you never laugh. Sometimes you smile when you think no one is paying attention.” (288)
Just like City of Bones, the first two hundred and fifty or so pages of Clockwork Angel had horrible pacing. There would be some action, then lots of talk and no action for more than a hundred pages. It’s the same with the end too – Cassandra Clare would throw us some action scenes for us to get excited about, but then it just dies down, making the book draggy again.
I’m surprised that Tessa isn’t a Shadowhunter. After hearing about all the additional Shadowhunter books Cassandra Clare plans on writing, I was expecting Tessa to be a Shadowhunter, but to my surprise, she’s not. I just hope that Tessa can’t create new runes or write runes or do any Shadowhunter stuff in the future The Infernal Devices books. That would be a pity.
“A power such as yours…it is no wonder the Dark Sisters wanted to get their hands on you. Others will as well.” (58)
There were also plenty of scenes in Clockwork Angel that were just plain awkward; I don’t know how else to describe it. Will and Tessa would be talking, and all of a sudden, Tessa would be saying meaningful quotes, but it just sticks out and doesn’t flow well. It’s like you’re talking with your friends, when without warning, one of your friends started quoting Shakespeare. It felt like that.
Also, the many scenes where Tessa talks and thinks about books was awkward to me too. It’s like Cassandra Clare was screaming at us readers: LOOK READERS, MY MAIN CHARACTER LIKES TO READ TOO. LET ME SHOW YOU HOW MUCH SHE LIKES TO READ, then proceeds to dump as many classic book titles available in the Victorian era as she can to show how “literate” Tessa was. Tessa loving books is too forced and just plain awful to read about. I just wanted to cringe in horror and run far, far away from those pages.
But Tessa had already spied a familiar volume on a shelf and went over to greet it like an old friend. “Oliver Twist!” she cried. “Have you any other of Mr. Dickens’s novels?” She clasped her hands together. “Oh! Do you have A Tale of Two Cities?” (88)
Another thing I didn’t like about Clockwork Angel was that everyone was talking too much when something dangerous was happening right that moment and they know it and instead of running off and saving lives, they continue talking. The Shadowhunters would explain certain things, and then talk some more, until finally, they had the sense to rush off and save lives. Seriously, while they were talking, one more person could be killed. I just wanted to slap them silly and tell them dude, save lives talk later!
For those of you who haven’t read Clockwork Angel yet, Clockwork Angel is a steampunk novel that mainly focuses around a plot involving Tessa’s missing brother. When that plot twist involving Tessa’s brother happened (and I’m sure the people who’ve already read Clockwork Angel knows exactly what I’m talking about), it immediately reminded me of Susan Dennard’s book, Something Strange and Deadly, which came out in 2012. Both Clockwork Angel and Something Strange and Deadly are steampunk novels and both books have the same plot revolving around a missing brother and the same plot twist about that brother, all set in the Victorian era. It was like rereading Something Strange and Deadly all over again when I was reading Clockwork Angel‘s brother plot.
Nate. He was the one she was doing all this for, but sometimes she missed him so much it felt like she’d swallowed broken glass. Without him, she was completely alone in the world. There was no one at all for her. (17)
Despite all these problems in Clockwork Angel, I will probably read Clockwork Prince, but not anytime soon, even though Clockwork Angel left with a kind of cliffhanger.
Before I end my review, I have one question to ask: When you start to fall for someone, do you only notice the beautiful colors of their eyes and keep thinking about it? When Tessa was slowly falling for Will, all she could think about was how blue his eyes were and what an unique color it was. Basically, it drove me crazy. I’m personally not like that, constantly thinking about someone’s eye color, but who knows?