Monday, 18 March 2013

Review: The Clockwork Angel

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.

Title: The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices ~ Book 1)
Author: Cassandra Clare | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: August 31 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Length: 500 Pages

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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Absolutely beautiful... Fits perfectly with Clare's other books.
Point of View: 3rd person, following multiple characters

My Rating:  4 Stars

I have never considered myself a patient person.  So when I set myself a goal to not start The Infernal Devices series until closer to the release of the final book, The Clockwork Princess, I honestly did not believe that I could really do it.  I came so close, so many times to just caving and starting The Clockwork Angel.  But somehow I managed to wait...  I am so very happy to say that the wait was worth it.

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

I was so excited to be back in the world that Cassandra Clare has created.  I know that Clare has her fans and she also has her haters but I for one love the Shadowhunter world and will continue to read any story that is putting me back there into it.

The books she write are always filled with magic, suspense, wonderful characters and there are always times of great sadness and hilarity.

“Will rolled up his sleeves. "We'll probably have to knock down the door--"

"Or," said Jem, reaching out and giving the knob a twist, "not."

The door swung open onto a rectangle of darkness.

"Now, that's simply laziness," said Will.”

Of course, as this is a prequel trilogy we have some new characters.  Will, Jem and Tessa are the stars of these books.  But don’t fret, we still get to see some of the characters we know and love from The Mortal Instrument series.  My favorite of course being Magnus Bane.   I swear to you I had a complete fangirl moment when he first entered the story.  I of course knew he was in this series but it didn’t stop me from acting like a little school girl who was being reunited with one of her favorite crushes.  Magnus is and always will be amazing.... love him.

“They're still looking at him," she said to Magnus under her breath.  "At Will, I mean."

"Of course they are," said Magnus.  His eyes reflected light like a cat's as they surveyed the room.  "Look at him.  The face of a bad angel and eyes like the night sky in Hell.  He's very pretty, and vampires like that.  I can't say I mind either."  Magnus grinned.  "Black hair and blue eyes are my favorite combination."

Then of course we have Will and Jem... Jem and Will.   If you did not already know The Infernal Devices has what we all dread ... (enter spooky dark music here) ... A horrid love triangle.  I have read my fair share of books that are plagued with this condition but I have always had a clear cut favorite.  Somebody I was rooting for above all others.  In this instance, I am stumped.   I have no idea who I love more.

Will is snarky and sassy but deep down inside he is the hopeless romantic.  You know he has feelings for Tessa but there is something holding him back.  He refuses to open up to her and to show her his true feelings.  Will made me laugh on more than one occasion.  He is hilarious.  The one-liners he comes up with and the snarky retorts to people’s questions will have you laughing out loud in no time.

“You know," Gabriel said, "there was a time I thought we could be friends, Will."

"There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze.  Did you know it had that effect?  Because I didn't.”

Then there is Jem.  Jem is a sweetheart.  Is there an uncaring bone in his body?  I think not.  He is going through his own ordeal of facing a grave illness.  It is obvious he also cares for Tessa but understandably he holds back because of his illness.  I get the feeling he does this for two reasons.  One is because he doesn’t feel he can be loved because of it and two he doesn’t think it would be fair to put the burden of his life on to somebody else.

“Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains.  If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior.  All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”

Honestly... my heart breaks for both Will and for Jem but for two very different reasons.  I have no idea how Tessa is going to decide on who to be with and in the end I know somebody is going to be left broken hearted.

“When you find a man you wish to marry, Tessa, remember this: You will know what kind of man he is not by the things he says, but by the things he does.”

This brings me to Tessa.   I really do like her character.  She is thrown into the Shadow World and in my opinion handles herself wonderfully.  She is brave and strong and makes some really good decisions.   It is rare that I read a book where I am not at one stage or another rolling my eyes at some of the decisions the female character is making but I didn’t have that with Tess.

“I know you feel inhuman, and as if you are set apart, away from life and love, but... I promise you, the right man won't care.”

I also very much enjoyed the overall story. I like that it seems we are going to have one ‘Big Bad’ that they are going to have to track down and stop over the three books.  I like the idea of this rather than there being three separate stories as the series progresses.

“Will looked up in apparent relief when Charlotte and Tessa came in.  "Will," Charlotte said, "You remember Miss Gray?"

"My recollection of her," said Will, "is most vivid indeed.”

All in all I would strongly suggest this book and series.   This request and suggestion is probably in vain because I am quite possibly the only person who took this long to read them in the first place.  But if by some chance you have not yet started them and were on the fence then I would say go for it. The world building is as always spectacular from Clare and the characters are quite loveable.   Now off to start The Clockwork Prince... maybe by the end of that book I will have a more clear cut idea who I want Tessa with and who I will be cheering for.

“I believe in good and evil," said Jem." And I believe the soul is eternal.  But I don't believe in the fiery pit, the pitchforks, or endless torment.  I do not believe you can threaten people into goodness."

Tessa looked at will.  "What about you?  What do you believe?

"Pulvis et umbra sumus," said Will, not looking at her as he spoke.  "I believe we are dust and shadows.  What else is there?”


  1. Unlike you I started the series as soon as I could and then had the awful wait. I loved Will and this book too. Glad to see someone else did. If you have a sec I'd really appreciate it if you'd check it out...

  2. Wow! I'm actually a bit skeptical when it comes to new covers, but the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it is GORGEOUS. Unfortunately I'm stuck on the second book of the other series so I don't know what this one is about, but I'm hoping to do so soon! <3

    russel of Montgomery County Child Custody


I would love to hear what you have to say! I read and try to respond to every single comment I receive. Knowing there are people out there reading is what makes this all worth it... : )