Friday, March 2, 2012

Review "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Clockwork Angel ( The Infernal Devices #1)
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
     Sixteen year old Tessa Gray moves from New York to England after the death of her aunt, to live with her brother Nate. But when Tessa gets to England she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters who work for the mysterious Magister. She is introduced to a world that she never knew existed. It's a dangerous world filled with magic, vampires, werewolves and Shadowhunters. Eventually, Tessa is rescued by a boy named Will. She then finds herself at the London Institute where she agrees to help the Shadowhunters if they will help her find her brother. As they search for clues on the identity of the Magister, Tessa finds herself drawn to two boys, Will and Jem. Will Tessa and the Shadowhunters be able to figure out what the Magister is after before it's too late?

     When I first heard there was going to be a prequel to The Mortal Instruments I was super excited. I couldn't wait to get my hands on Clockwork Angel. I was intrigued with the idea that The Infernal Devices would take place in Victorian London during the late 1800's.
     The main character Tessa learns she is a Downworlder with a unique ability that allows her to transform herself into another person. A powerful ability that many would kill to get their hands on. As Tessa tries to deal with everything she learns she refuses to sit around and cry. I really like Tessa as a leading character. When she learns her brother is in trouble she knows she needs to stay strong in order to help him. That doesn't mean she isn't afraid but she keeps those fears to herself. Even though her life has been turned upside down and she has been thrust into a new and perilous world she keeps it together, never falling to pieces. She also stands up for herself, especially when she feels people might be using her for their own purposes. Tessa eases into life at the Institute which shows she is able to adapt in order to survive. Tessa is an enthusiastic reader which I think helps her cope with all the craziness that has invaded her life. Another reason I liked Tessa is because she is used to being a proper young lady and I loved reading about her reactions when the Shadowhunters didn't follow the traditions she was used to following. 

     We are introduced to a bunch of new characters. First there are the two very attractive Shadowhunters, Will and Jem. The two are quite different from one another. The mysterious Will with his dark hair and stormy blue eyes that match his personality. He seems really smart and can quote from many different types of literature making me suspect that he reads a lot. I have found that when characters quote from books all the time that I generally get annoyed by them. But it made Will more interesting. Why does this boy who seems to care about nothing read so much? There is more to him than meets the eye and I definitely enjoyed finding out more about this moody Shadowhunter. Then there is Jem, a silver haired, silver eyed violin playing Shadowhunter. He's a genuinely nice guy who is the only one Will is close to. He is able to handle Will's moods and keep him from completely self-destructing. But something is going on with Jem and when the story was revealed I found it to be heartbreaking. I truly like both guys, each one for different reasons, And of course I know who I want Tessa to end up with. Will can be a jerk at times but he is also loyal, caring and I like his standoffish personality, it just seems to reel me in. Then there is Jem who is also loyal and caring but he has a inner calmness that I enjoy reading about.

     The others at the  Institute are also instrumental in discovering what is going on with the Magister. Charlotte runs the Institute along with her husband Henry but she does most of the day to day stuff. Henry spends most of his time in his lab trying to come up with new inventions that will help the Shadowhunters, most of his inventions are not very successful and can be quite dangerous. I really like Henry, he had a real mad scientist vibe that I found amusing. Then there is Jessamine who believes she is a proper young lady stuck in a Shadowhunter's body. Though she can fight she would prefer to marry an English gentlemen and leave the life of fighting far far behind. 

     Though I  was excited to read Clockwork Angel, initially I wasn't sure if it could compare to The Mortal Instruments. I found it to be just as interesting as TMI. It had all the things I loved about TMI like Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and magic, amazing writing but the new characters and time period gave this book a completely different feel. Even though most of the story takes place at the Institute we do get to experience a horse carriage ride through the busy streets of London, as well as a stroll around Hyde Park.  Add to that the customs of the time period and Clockwork Angel is a great story that was able to grab and hold my attention. Another aspect that I love about this book is that there is a mystery to unravel. As usual Cassandra Clare has told an amazing story, with well rounded realistic characters,and brilliant details that allow readers to image the world that Tessa and the Shadowhunters inhabit. If you haven't read this book yet I highly suggest that you do especially if you are a fan of paranormal reads like I am. 

I would love to see a family tree so that I could see if these characters are related to any of the characters in TMI.

     I am a huge fan of this cover. First there is the lovely Will dressed like a gentlemen standing in front of a shadowy London. Though he is dressed in a suit his Marks are evident on the skin that is showing. Plus I really love the muted colors making it match the darkness of the Shadowhunter world. 

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