Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) by Cassadra Clare

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) by Cassadra Clare

Review by Andye

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (August 31, 2010)
Language: English

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.

It’s funny, I’ve had this ARC since we went to ALA 10 in June, but for some reason I just couldn’t convince myself to pick it up.  I just kept putting it off.  I can’t say why exactly, because The Mortal Instruments books are in my top five books of all times.  I absolutely loved them.  But that may have been the problem.  I was afraid that Clockwork Angel just couldn’t live up to them.  I’ve heard a couple of people on Blogs and Twitter say that they didn’t like it as much, and that just added to my unease.  Finally, though, I decided that it was time to take the plunge.

I want to kick myself for waiting.  Cassie Clare is a genius!!  I loved this book!!  Love, love, loved!!!  I think I may have even loved it more than TMI….gasp!  This book was smart.  Like you might actually have to engage your brain and pay attention, smart.  I love this type of book, and although it is paranormal, I feel like the paranormal part takes a back seat to the story.  It’s obvious that Cassie took the time to plan this series out ahead of time and that a lot of thought went into it.  It isn’t just a mindless paranormal romance written to make a quick buck.  It’s in another league entirely.  It has mystery and plot twists and action and even a little romance.  I can’t wait to see how this series plays out.  My mind is all over the place with possibilities!  I haven’t wondered so much about where a book was headed since The Harry Potter series!  (Yes, that is the highest compliment possible.)  When I finished reading it, my heart was racing!

So, other than the mysterious storyline, what did I love about this book?   In a name….Tessa.  She was brilliant!  She’s thrust into a world she has no idea exists and she handles it amazingly.  She is such a strong female character, but what is so unique about Tessa is that she doesn’t even realize that she’s strong.  She sees herself as just a girl, and she has been raised to see females as weaker than males, not as warriors who can fight and defend.  But her actions don’t align with her thoughts.  When she is pushed, she pushes back.  Whether it’s with Will, the gorgeous Shadowhunter who tries to shock her with his snarky comments, or with the many enemies that she encounters as the story unfolds.  She doesn’t wait for someone to save her, even though she has no training.  She doesn’t run screaming from danger.  She uses whatever she has available to her, whether it’s a weapon, or just her own wit, and plunges into the middle of the fight.  And she questions everything.  I love that about her.  If she wants to know the answer, she asks.  If someone acts strangely, she questions him.  She doesn’t say the obvious things and she doesn’t take no for an answer.  I just can’t wait to find out more about her! 

Tessa isn’t the only character that I enjoyed, though.  Of course I loved Will.  Dark, brooding and tormented, Will is the epitome of the “bad boy” we hate to love and love to hate.  But even though Tessa knows it is all a front, she doesn’t put up with his crap, which makes me love them both all the more!  There’s obviously something going on with this Will character, and I can’t wait to find out what it is!

Jem, Jessemine, Charlotte, and Henry are also fantastic characters!  Jem is patient, kind and compassionate.  He loves completely, and always puts others before himself.   Jessemine is…..well, she’s an absolute selfish brat, but I have a feeling that one day she will prove herself to be what she isn’t now, at least I have hope for her (she’s certainly no Isabele!).  And I love the relationship that Charlotte and Henry have, like they completely understand each other, even if no one else does. 

I’m not sure what it was that those other bloggers weren’t happy with.  Maybe it was the lack of the intense romantic tension that was in The Mortal Instruments.  But, Clockwork has it’s own romantic tension, and I feel like the storyline is fantastic enough to thrive regardless!  And let me just say, there’s a part in this book with a girl and a guy and a glove that made my heart beat out of my chest!  I can’t wait for you all to read Clockwork, go get it now!   I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Fantastic job, Ms. Clare!!  Keep up the good work!

Clockwork Angel book Trailer by VLC Productions


This book has a mild amount of language and some sexual dialog, though nothing severe, but has a lot of violence, blood and gore involving paranormal creatures.  For more details, go to Clockwork Angel on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. "But her actions don’t align with her thoughts."

    That's a great way to put it! Tessa's fantastic! I also enjoy that she doesn't sulk in the corner, but stands up, asks the question, and demands an answer! :D

    And Will! I mentioned him in this post on complex characters ( He is one of the most interesting characters I have ever read about, with such a fantastically mysterious attitude!

    The glove. ;D Nice.

    I'm not done yet, and I'm kind of in a place in the book where there are all these misunderstandings (grr...), but I'm loving it!

    As far as the argument regarding sexual tension goes, you can only get away with so much in the 1800s! I think Cassie's done a fabulous job!

    Love the review!

  2. great review and maybe I'll pick this book up - I did love mortal instruments .

  3. Whew! You had me holding my breath there for a minute. Now I can't wait to go get a copy!

  4. OK - I've now got to add this to my list too...

    Since I've come here, I think my book budget has risen. Just got 2 more in the mail yesterday you loved... :)

  5. Oooh, I loved your review! And I really see what you're getting at about Henry and Charlotte. They do understand eachother when no one else does! Haha you didn't say what team you're on, but I'm thinking you're Team Will... And thanks for posting my video !


  6. I was sooo waiting for this book but now you've just made me want it right now!!!!!! =)

  7. What a fantastic review! Now I'm even more excited. :)

  8. I can't wait to read this book ! I bought it 1 week ago but I have to read books for college before :/.
    By the way great review :).

  9. This book is my favorite written by Cassandra Clare. I really love the characters and love to hate the evil one(s) and the dialogues are just delightful.
    I'm counting the days until december 6th for the sequel !


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