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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publish Date: August 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

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.(Barnes and Noble)

I’ve never been to London. In truth I’ve never been outside of the USA. That is until I read Clockwork Angel. Ms. Clare brings to life the city of London so well I can feel the damp and the fog.  It’s a wonderful thing to have so rich an environment to read through. 

The characters are no less fascinating. Tessa is a brave and charming woman. She’s not always confident in what she does, and she really does try her best not to be a burden to Charlotte and Henry for taking her in. Even though she’s not a worldly child she can word play with the best of them, and the entertaining by plays that result bring tears from laughing too hard to the eye. 

Will and Jem are by far my favorite of all the Shadowhunters (past and present) They feel more complete then their Mortal Instrument counterparts, though not quite as battlelistic. They do fight, that’s not an issue but there fights are more intense and short lived then the everyday fighting of the others. These by no means mean they are weaker characters. Quite the contrary actually. Since time is not spent flexing the muscles it’s spent on getting to know them. Knowing who they are makes me respect them more. I like Will’s fierce protectiveness yet defensive abusive attitude. I enjoy Jem’s steady, calm and infuriatingly patient counter. They are ying and yang, but I don’t think the story could be what it is without them.

The story is phenomenal. Usually steam punk has no relative interest but this is written in a way that I’m automatically drawn in from the first page.  By the time the weird element is introduced I’m already dying to know what happens next and have already hit the point of no return. It’s a fast paced read. There is no lolly gagging between chapters or parts that have little or no relative to the plot. It’s very well developed and I recommend it to anyone that loves a good story regardless of genre preference. There is no way I believe Clockwork Angel could let anyone down. 

My Rating:


  1. I agree completely with your assessment! It was such a wonderful read & the characters and storytelling just draw you in right from the beginning!

  2. I loved this book so much, and your review is 100% spot on. Especially the part about Will and Jem. I love the fact that most of their time isn't spent in a pissing contest or seeing who has the bigger stick... lol. Great review. =)