Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: August 31, 2010
Pages: 478
Genre: Fantasy/Supernatural
Series: Yes! The Infernal Devices #1
-Clockwork Angel (2010)
-Clockwork Prince (2011)
-Clockwork Princess (2013)
Source and Format: Library; Hardcover

Summary (From Goodreads)
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.

Thoughts on Clockwork Angel
HOLY CRAP, this book! I originally gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it deserved a 5, so I went back and changed it. Yep, this one is a new favorite! I don’t know what it was about this book, maybe I was just in the perfect mood for this genre and it was a right place at the right time kind of thing, but I LOVED it!

Because I like being mean to myself, I started reading this the weekend before we closed on our house, which resulted in some major book guilt. I needed to spend my free time packing, and then once we moved, unpacking. But all I really wanted to do was READ THIS BOOK. I finally finished it 15 days later, but that certainly isn’t a reflection on my feelings for this novel. If I had been able to, I would have gobbled this thing up in one day!

I went into Clockwork Angel having not read The Mortal Instruments series, so one advantage of being late to the party is reading all of these books “in order” and not knowing what will eventually happen in the future. I at least want to finish this series and book one of The Mortal Instruments before the movie comes out in August (yes, there's a movie). I think I can make that happen! Ok so before I get away from myself and gush all over the place with this review, here are the top three things I loved about Clockwork Angel:

The characters:
From the moment I met each of the characters in this book, I was fully engrossed in their story and wanted to know more about them. Even the servants had me intrigued! What happened in their past to make them the way they are today? What are their motivations? Cassandra Clare does an outstanding job of slowly peeling back the curtain to reveal important pieces to the puzzle, and how those pieces fit together. I just can't get enough of Will, Jem, and Tessa! My only complaint is that I wanted to know more. But this is the first novel in the series, so of course we can't know everything yet!

The world-building:
This book was kind of an instant win for me because it combined two of my favorite genres: historical fiction and fantasy. If historical fiction is not your jam, don't worry. There were times I often forgot this book was set in the 1800s because it was so character driven. Which leads to why I loved the world-building. Cassandra Clare has woven such an intricate and compelling world that I absolutely loved to get lost in, mainly because the Shadowhunter world relied on the identity of the characters. Downworlders, Shadowhunters, mundanes, parabatai--what does it all mean?! You'll have to read to find out!

TWO swoonworthy boys:
Ok, ladies. Cassandra Clare has given us a dilemma here. First we have Jem, the fair-skinned but handsome gentleman who shows nothing but the utmost respect for Tessa. He is dealing with a mysterious illness, but maybe Tessa will be the one to find his cure? And then we have Will Herondale. Prepare yourself for some major swooning! He is dark, mysterious, and confuses the heck out of Tessa with the way he treats her. He gives off a bad boy vibe, but I'm thinking there is a tender side underneath that hard shell. He likes to talk books with our leading lady, which hints that in fact there is a soft side to him. I am so torn between these two, but at the end of the day I think I am gonna have to go with Team Jem. That little stunt you know who pulls on the rooftop is just not gonna cut it! I am hoping there is a hidden reason behind that revealed sometime in the next two books. In the meantime, here's to hoping nice guy Jem doesn't finish last. :)

Memorable Quote
"Sometimes," Jem said, "our lives can change so fast that the change outpaces our minds and hearts. It's those times, I think, when our lives have altered but we still long for the time before everything was altered-- that is when we feel the greatest pain. I can tell you, though, from experience, you grow accustomed to it. You learn to live your new life, and you can't imagine, or even really remember, how things were before."


  1. Sounds like yet another book I need to download and read at some point ... apparently by August since the movie comes out then ...

    1. Yes! This book is fantastic. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!

  2. I loved reading your thoughts on this one! I just it in May I think, but I never got around to reviewing it. I want to read the last two for the series challenge, too, and this is definitely motivating me to finally get around to it!

    I really liked Jem, and I'm so glad to hear that you did, too! There's something about him that has me intrigued. Can't wait to see the rest of your reviews for this series!

    1. Thanks Hannah! If you were feeling kind of iffy on the first book, I think you will definitely enjoy the last two more. And yay for Jem! I was feeling like the odd girl out for liking him better (and I certainly understand the obsession with Will) but somehow Jem managed to steal my heart. :) I'm so glad you are reading this series too, can't wait to see your thoughts on it!



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