Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review of Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Pages: 479
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: August 31, 2010
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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: Jem, 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."

Orphan Tessa Gray finds herself traveling from New York to London, because her guardian, Aunt Harriet, has died and her brother has been in London working.  He has sent for her and she is hoping to start a new life.  However, Victorian London is running rampant with Downworlders and she realizes this once the Dark Sisters kidnap her.  Tessa finds out that she possesses a rare ability that many Downworlders are interested in and the Dark Sisters are training her for a special purpose unbeknown to Tessa.  Finally, the Shadowhunters, just like in the Mortal Instruments series, intervene and she finds shelter and friendship amongst them.  There's Jem, the genuine good guy, but is harboring a secret, and there's Will, the deliciously good looking "bad" guy.  Also, Tessa has become friendly with Shadowhunters Charlotte and Henry, who run the London Institute, and they promise to help her find her brother who has gone missing.  Tessa also finds out that someone is after her for her rare ability and she finds herself in a dire situation.  After all, she just wanted to find her brother!  Cassandra Clare's first installment in The Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Angel, is another home run.  Clare definitely hit it out of the ballpark with this novel!

As I've expressed before, I feel that Clare is a brilliant author.  She is one of the best storytellers.  Just like The Mortal Instruments series, Clockwork Angel was riveting.  Even though it was almost 500 pages, I was completely engrossed.  When it comes to Clare's plots, I can always count on her to weave a fascinating web; in fact, I never saw any of it coming. I was completely blindsided.

Tessa is a likable character.  I enjoyed the fact that she could stand up to people and wasn't overly concerned with her appearance, unlike Shadowhunter Jessamine.  It was interesting to watch how the limitations of Victorian England influenced everyone's behavior, but Tessa didn't let that hold her back too much.  Then there's Jem.  Hmmm.  I'm still undecided about this whole Team Will/Jem debate.  Jem was a good guy. My heart goes out to him.  I wanted to like him and root him on, but Will, his polar opposite, is just so darn intriguing.  Like Jace from Mortal Instruments, Will is cocky, abrasive at times, and extremely good looking.  He played too many games, for my taste.  He was a big fan of mixed signals and he treats women like dirt, but, much to my dismay, I found myself rooting for him?!  Halfway through, I realized that I needed to remedy this situation and perhaps join Team Jem.  Just when I thought I was going to climb aboard Team Jem, I got to wondering about Will, especially after I read the epilogue.  If you've read the book already, tell me what you think!

I adored Clare's references to Victorian Literature.  I loved the poetry she put at the beginning of each chapter.  Tessa makes a lot of allusions to Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and even my literary boyfriend, Mr. Darcy, was referenced.  Tessa's a bookworm and often thought about what a hero from her beloved novel would do, which ultimately conflicts with reality, especially when dealing with surly Will.  As some of you may know, I thoroughly enjoy a good historical fiction and I was beside myself when I realized this novel was going to be set in Victorian London.  What is better than vampires and other grotesque creatures, along with Shadowhunters, running around foggy London lit by gas lamps?  For me, it was the perfect backdrop.

The ending of Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel was incredibly suspenseful and I can't wait to get my hands on The Clockwork Prince, which, unfortunately, doesn't come out for another year.  The third book, Clockwork Princess comes out in November of 2012, which seems like a dreadfully long time from now.  Clockwork Angel left us with many unanswered questions and I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat to find out what is going to happen next!

*Be sure to enter my international giveaway for a signed copy of Clockwork Angel!

*Watch the book trailer:


  1. This one sounds fabulous, Tessa seems like a great protagonist. Great review :)

  2. I'm reading this one right now and absolutely loving it. So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Fantastic review. This sounds excellent.

  4. Ooh, this sounds so fabulous! I'm totally in love with the cover, too; it's gorgeous. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I've spotted it elsewhere, but your review was the first to really convince me to pick it up.

  5. Great review, I also cant get on board with Team Jem. He is a little TOO nice for me. I am a big historical fiction fan, do you have any favorites you recommend?

  6. Hey, thanks for posting the info. I was so confused and disappointed when I finished reading Clockwork Angel. I didn't know there was more to come.

  7. So you are on the fence? Tsk tsk.
    Team WILL!!! Come on he has a dark and terrible secret. What's not to love LOL

    Fab review.


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