Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Book 1 of The Infernal Devices)
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Released: August 31
Description (from Amazon): 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.
*Clockwork Angel is one of the most anticipated books of 2010 and debuted at Number 1 on the NY Times Childrens' Bestseller List. It is a prequel trilogy to her bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments.*
Ms Clare has again astounded me. Clockwork Angel is one of the best books I have ever read. It is written in the tightest, most perfectly-strung third-person and the characters are lovely.
Clare has not, as some feared she would, simply recreated The Mortal Instruments with top hats and gas lamps. It is a completely different book in the same world. Common ideas are that Will is Jace, Jessamine is Isabelle, and Tessa is Clary. Let me state that Tessa is in no way Clary. She is tougher, and I liked her better than Clary, actually, who is a tad too whiney. Tessa accepts things well enough and her backstory is realistic.
There are multiple plot twists but the book isn't saturated with excitement and there is enough tension to hold you until the climax, at which point everything falls into place but nothing does, either.
There is a clear distinction in setting, the book being set in London, of course, but also in time. Aside from the way ladies and men act, the Shadowhunter world is backed up into a well-done ghost of the current one.
The villainy and evil is evident more in Clockwork Angel than in The Mortal Instruments. In TMI, the main villain(s) truly thought he was doing good. In Clockwork Angel, all crimes and horrendous things occurring and done for the gain of the villain.
Clockwork Angel receives a rating of a solid five (5).