Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Published by: Walker Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk
Date Read: 02/06/2014
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. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
Theresa “Tessa” Gray begins this book in London under the “care” of the Dark Sisters. In reality she’s a prisoner and the only reason she hasn’t escaped is that they say they have her brother who will die upon her escape. Even though she does escape with the help of men covered in strange black tattoos, she still has no idea where her brother could be or even if he is still alive. She soon learns about the Shadow World, full of Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and demons and of her true origins.
Tessa Grey comes to London to be with her brother Nate after their Aunt dies. But she is captured by the evil Dark Sisters. They torture her into using a magic she didn’t know she had. She is rescued by the London Institute of Shadowhunters and they are very interested in her unique ability.
I loved how there was a connection to the original series, we get to meet the Herondales, the Lightwoods, and the Fairchilds. This series has very interesting characters. I really enjoyed the setting and the characters of this book, although I couldn’t really get into it at first. The beginning was a little slow. I love the complexity of the characters. I absolutely loved Jem.
William Herondale is a spitting image of Jace, they’re both super hot, mysterious, and lovable. The only difference is that Will has black hair, and blue eyes. He’s flawed and imperfect and that’s what makes his character likable. Vulnerable to the point of lying to make people think he’s something he’s not. Will is one big mystery. He is cold and aloof, without a care in the world and takes it upon himself to do as he pleases without any concern of anyone around him, with the exception of his parabatai, Jem.
As for Jem Carstairs , he’s the resident white knight. He’s beautiful in his own way, and unlike his best friend Will he doesn’t keep secrets from Tessa. Jem is the complete opposite of Will, he is kind and compassionate, genuinely nice and rather sickly. With little to no effort he strikes a friendship with Tessa, while he balances the darkness within Will.
I liked Tessa a lot more than Clary, who I still liked, just not as much. I feel like Tessa takes action a bit more than Clary does and in some ways is more relateable than Clary. Tessa is her own person and over the course of this book grows more confident in this shadow world. One of my favorite qualities that I love about her is that she relates her own life to the many classic novels she’s read.
The love triangle present in this series in more abrupt and clear than the one in The Mortal Instruments as Tessa cares deeply for both Will and Jem. Though the love triangle is a tad cliched at first with Will being the “tortured soul” with a dark past who won’t let anyone in, and Jem being the kind, trusting, and warm person who doesn’t mind getting close to Tessa, but soon the cliche starts to disappear as it becomes less obvious who Tessa will choose. I usually despise love triangles. It’s old and overdone. But I honestly didn’t mind the love triangle between Tessa, Will, and Jem.
I fell in love once again with this wonderful world, Clockwork Angel is a magical tale, full mystery, intrigue and the beginnings of ones true love. Anger, hurt and betrayal are very much present in this story sucking you in from the beginning. The story is filled with danger for the Shadowhunters and Tessa specifically. She is something different and special that the Magister will do anything to possess. The Shadowhunters are drawn into a war against the vampires, demons, warlocks and even an automaton army. This is action packed from start to finish.
The move from New York to London for this series, as well as the jump back in time made for some fun world-building. We get to see past shadowhunters as they are up against clockwork creations. The Steampunk aspect of this first installment definitely added to the fun paranormalcy of it. We also get to see mundanes who know about the shadow world and how the choices they make regarding it affect the world.
Clockwork Angel offers not only an action-packed trip into this unique world complete with angels, demons, vampires, and warlocks, but I truly felt as though I’d hopped in a time machine and was lifted back to the late 1800’s. However, as thrilling as this story eventually becomes, it does have an equally gentle and haunting tone and that is what I found most compelling.
I absolutely loved this series. I loved the steampunk setting. The developing attraction between Will and Tessa was done well too. I love the snark, the witty banter, the plot, the tension, the new twist on old supernatural themes and general atmosphere of the setting.
Cassandra Clare is brilliant. Not only did Clare captivate me with her Victorian Era setting and transport me into a darker world for the Shadowhunters, but she swept me away with her characters. Clare has a talent for introducing a new world for those who haven’t read The Mortal Instrument Series. For those who have, you’ll find yourself engrossed with an even darker, more dangerous Shadowhunter world.
Set in Victorian Era London, Cassandra opens up a whole new world of danger, action, romance and my favorite, the history of the Shadowhunters and the Institute. I felt like Cassandra had taken me back in time, and I loved her vivid description of 1800’s London.