Monday, 27 September 2010

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel is the first book in The Infernal Devices series and a prequel to The Moral Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It was released on 6th September 2010 by Walker Books UK and it is 496 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review!

Sixteen year old Tessa Grey embarked on a journey to Victorian England to join her brother Nathaniel but instead, she finds herself surrounded by trouble in a world that she doesn’t understand. Tessa never thought that things like vampires, demons and Shadowhunters could ever really exist but she finds that she is more like them than she thought possible and there are people who want her for what she can do, even if she doesn’t know much about it herself.

Alone and in danger, Tessa has no other option than to take the help of the Shadowhunters and rely on them to help her find her brother but she has a hard time coming to terms with what is happening around her and what she really is. Tessa cannot help but be fascinated by both Will and Jem, best friends with completely different personalities. The people that hunt her might not be the most dangerous thing after all.

What I thought
After reading the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series and hearing about this one, I was desperate to read Clockwork Angel. Although I have read two of The Mortal Instruments books, I knew that it wasn’t necessary in order to read this one. I thought it was a very clever idea to have two series that can both work as stand alones but also merge really well with each other.

From the very first page, Clockwork Angel is exciting and mysterious and drew me in instantly. After being thrown straight into the Shadowhunter world, I was wondering how things were going to be different this time around. Clare’s descriptions of Victorian England are so vivid that I could imagine myself walking the same streets and Will and Jem. This world has a very eerie feeling about it and it is surrounded by mystery. I felt as though anything could have been coming around the next corner which kept the story exciting and intriguing throughout.

I am a huge fan of historical fiction/ romances so to have this mixed in with Shadowhunters, vampires and demons was like Heaven for me. I really don’t think that I could have asked for more with this book and even though the raunchy parts were obviously missing compared to historical romances, I didn’t mind at all. It really would have been out of place in Clockwork Angel anyway. I wish I knew of more YA books that are historical because I know I would love anything slightly similar to this.

The plot was exciting throughout and I was avidly awaiting what would happen next every time I turned the page. Clare used a fantastic mix of action and mystery throughout and although there wasn’t really a whole lot on the romance side, I can see this being expanded on in future books in the series. What made this book so good for me was the mix of characters and how each personality really came into their own as the story went on. Even though there are quite a lot of characters at times, it was never hard to follow who was doing what or what they meant to each other.

Tessa was a marvellous protagonist and there was so much that I loved about her. When she arrives in England, she thinks she is going to reunited with her brother but all is not what it seems. She soon finds that her brother has been kidnapped and now so has she. I have no idea what I would have done in her position apart from maybe sit in a corner and cry my eyes out. I know I wouldn’t have been strong enough to deal with the Dark Sisters and to do the things they made her do. When Tessa finally gets rescued and taken to the Institute, she has no idea what is going on because she always thought she was human and none of these other beings existed. I really liked the fact that she was very vulnerable and naive when she arrived at the Institute because it gives her character a lot of room for growth. As Clockwork Angel went on, Tessa did start to become more sure of herself and what was happening around her and she also began to show that she was a lot stronger than everyone gave her credit for. I’m excited to see where Clare takes Tessa and what kind of character she will become.

Will has so many similarities to Jace (of The Mortal Instruments) that at times, it was hard to see past that. He’s mysterious, cocky and extremely full of himself but then that was what I loved about Jace so of course, I loved Will too. There is just something about these bad boy characters that I cannot help but fall in love with, even if they are being complete asses at times. As a Shadowhunter, Will is strong and confident and he isn’t afraid to make that known. I loved how sure of himself he was or rather, how he made out he was sure of himself. Will seems to have quite a few buried secrets and I can’t wait to find out what is really going on with him in future books.

I really wish that Jem had been featured more because he was so interesting. From very early on, we get to find out that there is something wrong with Jem but nothing about what it is. I loved the mystery that surrounded him, where he came from and what he was all about. Jem really seems to care and isn’t full of himself at all. He’s very grounded and down to earth, even though he kills demons etc for a living. Jem seemed to be a lot older than he actually is and maybe that comes from his past that we only get a snippet of in this book. Jem really stood out to me because he was so different to Will. The difference in personality between Jem and Will worked perfectly and gave the chance for them to bounce off of each other.

Usually in a book where there is some kind of love triangle going on, I am firmly on one side. Not this time though! I was extremely torn between both Will and Jem and I still have no idea who I prefer. If I was forced to choose, I would have to say Will at the minute just because he features a lot more than Jem and we get to hear a lot more from him. In the back of my mind, I want to like Jem more but I can’t really see that scenario happening.

I enjoyed seeing Magnus Bane making a couple of appearances and after the cliff-hanger Clare left us with, I know he is going to play a bigger part in the books to follow. He was always one of my favourite characters in The Mortal Instruments because he is so interesting and there is a lot that we don’t know about him. I really, really hope that he is around a lot more from now on and we get to find out about his past.

Cassandra Clare has done it once again! She knows how to hook the reader within a couple of pages and keep them until the very last page. Her imagination is so fantastic and vivid that I always feel a part of the story myself. Clockwork Angel is by far my favourite book this month!


Lacey Weatherford said...

I was excited to read your review on this!! It is the first one I've read about it. I didn't know if I wanted to read it, ironically because I love the regular series characters soooo much I didn't know if I could get into the prequel! Thanks for shedding some light! I will definitely check it out now! :)

SusanKMann said...

I really want to read this one, it's been on my to get pile for a while. I'll move it up x

AngelGoneMad said...

It was such a great book, wasn't it? =)

Will or Jem? Hmm quite hard to choose! Ah screw it, Magnus Bane would be better, so much intrigue lol!

Naomi aka Supernatural Bookworm

Bonnie said...

I am wanting to read this book SO bad! Loved the Mortal Instruments. Thanks for an outstanding review I will definitely be seeking this book out!


Jesse Owen (Reading to Life) said...

This is the first review I've read of Clockwork Angel and it's now definatley moving up my wishlist. Thanks for a great review :)

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