After City of Glass, I (and a lot of you guys out there fresh out of reading City of Glass and waiting for the fifth one)still have some appetite for some more shadowhunter stories. Well, Viola here we have it……along with the Mortal Instruments series, Miss Clare is also writing a prequel series The Infernal Devices……..and it is the first book in this series that we are going to review, #1 Clockwork Angel.
Summary on the book jacket:
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.
This book certainly doesn’t need any word on how excellently manipulated the plot is that it gives enough space for future development in the upcoming books. Miss Cassie Clare has definitely come far from City of Bones, where the pacing was a bit sloppy but she has definitely improved……Clockwork Angel definitely left me speechless towards the end, with such a well developed plot and those unexpected twists and turns.
The story’s main protagonist is 16 year-old Tessa, a seemingly normal girl who after journeying from New York to London to be reunited with her brother, finds herself kidnapped upon her arrival. Held captive by the Dark Sisters, Tessa is forced to access hitherto unknown shapeshifting abilities by the Sisters, who threaten the life of her brother Nate. There are some obvious parallels to Clary from the Mortal Instruments here – once again we see a girl who thought she was completely normal suddenly exposed to a hidden supernatural world when she finds out that she’s got supernatural powers. Like Clary she ends up with no one to turn to except for the Shadowhunters, who offer her refuge and explanations for the world she’s suddenly found herself in.
So, then a super sexy dude, definitely not trying to desolve any book secrets but still……It say’s it in the product description! Anyways, the super sexy dude saves her. After a little probing, she finds that his name is Will (who graces the book cover), and that he is among a league of warrior fighter sexy people who kill demons, the Shadowhunters. His sexiness isn’t the only detail that makes us want to compare him to Jace the male protagonist of the Mortal instruments, but further reading the book sprouts the one detail that he is a Herondale, a possibility that he may actually be Jace’s ancestor so we can’t help the comparision.
Now, lets look towards Tessa. Well she sure is a bad-ass character. She may not be able to fight, and she may be a sweet lil’ girl, but if you get all up on her bad side…well she will retaliate. At first, I thought “Damn, Tessa is going to be un-original and exactly like Clary.” But she was so totally not. I saw something in Tessa that I had not seen anywhere else: spunk. While Clary is badass in her own ways that don’t take no crap from nobody, she didn’t have the sassiness that Tessa had. Tessa was very classy and well mannered… but if you pissed her off… well your in crap loads of trouble.
“Will is Sexy. Jem is Sweet”. Both of them totally swoon-worthy. To be honest i’d choose Jace any day but these two get high points for their originality.Will is a rebel, with a super-exclusive secret and tendency to push away the one’s he loves. And then there’s Jem, the hot asian! Jem has a terrible addiction and a frustrating family past.
Unlike Clary and Jace I just didn’t feel that Tessa and Will worked that well together as a potential couple. Indeed the Shadowhunter group as a whole in Clockwork Angel seems more socially awkward and far less cohesive than Clary and Jace’s friends from the Mortal Instruments books. This maybe due to the social restrictions and customs of the era being reflected in the character’s relationships but, whatever the reason, the Clockwork Angel characters just didn’t seen to gel together too well for me.
Miss Clare has totally conquered Steampunk. Henry, one of the adult Shadowhunters in charge of the Clave, has an absent-minded mad inventor vibe going on, with a laboratory in the crypt of the Institute and a constant stream of bizarre inventions that may, or may not, work as advertised. It is also indicated that Henry may well be the one who invented those sensors we see in the Mortal Instruments series.
The mystery/adventure part of the plotline revolves around a nefarious plot to build an army of clockwork automatons (robots). Naturally because this is an urban fantasy story part of that plot involves stealing the skins of dead humans to clothe the machines and super-charging them with demon energies to give the automatons unnatural intelligence. It’s certainly chilling and fantastic enough to satisfy any urban fantasy fan – although any self-respecting mystery fan is probably going to see the plot-twists coming a mile off.
And the OMG!! totally forgot the Villians. You just gotta love Miss Clare’s style. She can make you fall in love with a character, and then reveal that that character is a conniving bitch/bastard (definitely not giving anything away). Cassie takes the reader through many loop-holes, and then you find out all that you thought was true was really completely wrong.
A well-written and well-paced story. Vampire fans should enjoy the vampire arch-villain and there are some great nail-biting action scenes when the Shadowhunters clash with the vampires. Fans of the Mortal Instrument books may find Tessa and Will lacking protagonists by comparison to Clary and Jace. They are similar enough to Clary and Jace to be a constant reminder that they are not them, but there’s plenty of potential in Tessa and Will. All-in-all there are more than enough intrigues and unanswered questions in Clockwork Angel in hold a reader’s interest in the Infernal Devices and the next part of Tessa and Will’s story. If that wasn’t enough the cliff-hanger ending is guaranteed to whet appetites further, it certainly did mine.
P.S. we also meet two much loved characters from the Mortal Instruments - a certain warlock and a certain feline (definitely not spoiling anything).