Book One of The Infernal Devices
Book Summary (book jacket):
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, who are 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.
What I Expected: I expected Clockwork Angel to be phenomenal, seeing as Cassandra Clare is basically the JK Rowling of YA lit. I’ve heard so much great stuff about the Mortal Instruments series as well. It lived up to that expectation and so much more.
It was truly amazing. The plot was so intricate, there were so many shocks I didn’t see coming, and I was completely misled about the badness of a certain character, and no, it wasn’t anything to do with Will.
It was a mistake on my part to read Clockwork Angel before reading Cassandra Clare’s other series- I feel like I’m totally missing out on something important, even though this is a prequel and there isn’t supposed to be anything to know beforehand, but imagine if there was a Harry Potter prequel- you’d appreciate it all the more if you read the series itself.
So, well, I’ll certainly be reading the Mortal Instruments series ASAP.
It’s obvious that Cassandra Clare’s influenced by classics, some of which I love (Charles Dickens, woo-hoo!) and others that I plan on reading. No wonder C.C’s writing (about the initials- I’m kind of tired of writing her name so many times) is so sophisticated and has a decidedly British feel to it, even though the MC is American. And I loved it.
The characters were so well-defined and multi-faceted and real and vulnerable that I grew to admire C.C’s one-of-a-kind talent. Wow. Tessa was every bit the Boadicea Will described. I truly admired her courage.
I’m tired of vampires and werewolves and all that paranormal jazz by now- they were never my thing. But the vampires in C.C’s book were very much to my taste. They were so very realistic and yet had that element of otherworldliness that made them different from other vampires that I loved the two most prominent vampire characters in the book- Camille Belcourt and de Quincy. They seem more like the original Dracula, whom I’m sure C.C has read about- than any other paranormal book I’ve read.
Now, moving on to the guys. Of course there’s a love triangle- no paranormal book would be complete without one. I must say that out of our two male leads, Jem and Will, I very much preferred Jem. I can’t exactly say why- he’s sweet and smart and (a bit too?) philosophical and seems exactly like the perfect guy without coming off as a way-too-good-to-be-true kind of character.
I didn’t like Will’s nature. I mean, sure, he’s got secrets and all, but so has Jem, and he doesn’t act that way. I just took a dislike to the beautiful bad angel, and it’s his stinging wit and careless manner that did that.
But that’s the best part about it- I get to be on Team Jem, if they have such a thing. In Twilight I always cheered for Team Edward because I liked Jacob too much to let Bella have him (in the movies- Taylor Lautner!) but this time it’s different.
Oh, and Jem has the same name as one of my favourite literary characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. That might’ve had a little bit to do with my favouritism…
Parting Thoughts: I should’ve read the Mortal Instruments BEFORE I read this book! Waaah! But my friend Preet loaned me her TMI series, and I’m glad about that, because I seriously felt like I was missing out on a huge series.
Rating: 4.5/5. Reading this book was a little confusing for me, seeing as I didn’t even read the series. That really isn’t a reflection of how good the book is- its language is beautiful enough to make it a classic- it’s just that I had trouble understanding it, and it was all my fault.