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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published by Margaret K. McElderry (An imprint of Simon and Schuster)

Pages: 496

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: 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.

A new world and a bright future with the hopes of connecting again with her brother. These are the things Tessa is looking forward to after the unsettling absence of her recently deceased Aunt, the only member of her family left with the exception of her brother. With nothing left for her in America Tessa decides she’s best to cross the ocean to meet her brother who made his way to London not long before her. What she finds upon her arrival is nothing like what she expected. An unnatural ability she possesses is exposed to her by a pair of supernatural sisters referred to as the “Dark Sisters” and from that point on her life is forever changed. Vampires and warlocks, not to mention her new discovery, Shadowhunters who are determined to stop The Magister from using her to destroy them and possibly the entire world.

In a new time with completely original characters Cassandra Clare has brought the world of Shadowhunters to life again. With an elegance that could only be created in London during the mid-1800’s, the Victorian Era, a new tale is told through the eyes of Tessa Gray. This was an incredible new look at this fantastic world. From the more mechanical Steampunk elements to the beauty of London in the 1800’s, you could almost reach out and touch the mist in the air and the grease on their hands. As the setting added to the atmosphere so did each of the characters – with their natural whit and charm, you couldn’t help but fall in love with this new series from page one.

As with her Mortal Instruments series, Clare has again brought another heroine to the stage that you can’t forget, Tessa Gray. Her determination to do what’s best for her brother, to salvage what she has left of a family and the struggle within herself brought on by a previously unknown ability, make Tessa entirely compelling. By far, one of my favorite parts of reading Clare’s writing is her natural ability to create excellent dialogue. Tessa’s character is no exception to this, as are none of the characters. She’s a strong, resourceful woman from American, “the new world”, and though she’s at first uncomfortable with the lack of propriety encompassed within some of the Shadowhunter behavior she finds it easy to make a stand for herself amidst a group of mature men. Don’t get me wrong, Tessa isn’t always spot on, she has a vulnerability and compassion to her that also make her quite believable. It’s Tessa’s vulnerabilities though that I believe in the end may either be her demise or a path to victory.

Clockwork Angel is no exception to a fantastic romance as well. With leading men like Will and James, or Jem as he is primarily referred to, you couldn’t possibly go wrong. One the snarky, cool and mysterious “bad boy” and the other with a tragic secret and a compassionate heart, it’s nearly impossible to choose which would be best for Tessa. She, understandably, has her doubts about the both of them for various reasons and I myself am completely torn as to who would be best. In the end, I’d have to say Will, because in fiction, I always go for the “bad” boys.

For me Clockwork Angel was another triumph for Cassandra Clare. She remains one of my absolute favorite authors, one I would pick up no matter the genre, though I have to say I quite enjoy the world of the Shadowhunters. Anyone who has yet to read anything by Clare shouldn’t be concerned about picking up The Mortal Instruments series before they read Clockwork Angel (although, I’d definitely recommend it). This new series stands on it’s own and delves into a new world of machines while keeping it’s feet dangling in the pools of paranormal. Not only will old fans of Clare’s love the new history, but new and old readers will enjoy the setting, characters and the start of a new romance. I’m absolutely thrilled to read more in the Infernal Devices series and I can’t wait to see where Tessa’s journey travels to next!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 13 and up. Enter the world of Steampunk, Shadowhunter style and don’t look back! A dark adventure filled with machines, demons, demon hunters, vampires and more. You don’t want to miss the start of this fantastic new series!

One of my favorite book trailers out to date, take a look (RSS and email subscribers may need to click through):

This book was purchased for our home library.
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14 Responses to Book Review: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

  1. Jessi E. says:

    I love this book so much! I’m glad you’re featuring it and glad you liked it! 🙂

  2. Melina says:

    I loved this book too. What an amazing world.

  3. Raquel says:

    I’ve been thinking about reading this but haven’t picked it up yet. I’m intrigued by the Steampunk genre but wasn’t sure where to start. I’m glad to see that you reviewed this and would recommend it.

  4. Gina says:

    I seriously need to work THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series into my reading rotation. I’m always hearing how good it is and this book definitely has my interest peaked. Sounds like a great read indeed…and I love that it is not part of the other series. Why? Because I can read it first if my will power doesn’t hold out. ^_^ Happy reading!

  5. I like steampunk but I don’t do demons. Thanks for the review 🙂 You helped me decide.

  6. Pam says:

    Loved this book and the Clockwork People.

  7. […] The Authoress | Jenn’s Bookshelves | StephSu Reads | There’s A Book […]

  8. I have read, enjoyed, and reviewed all of Cassandra Clare’s books for my website, StorySnoops.com. We are thrilled to be featuring an interview with this wonderful author on Friday (10/22) on our blog in celebration of YALSA’s Teen Read Week. http://www.storysnoops.com/blog

  9. Lou Rohde says:

    I have to read this book now! What a great review and I absolutely agree with you on the trailer! Loved it!

  10. E.J. Stevens says:

    This book is sitting at the top of my tbr pile. Great review! 🙂
    xx,
    E.J.
    From the Shadows

  11. […] Expanding Library, The Page Flipper, Proud Book Nerd, Steph Su Reads, The Story Siren, Tea Mouse, There’s a Book, Wordbird Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it […]

  12. […] 8. Most hilarious read of 2010? There were at least two, possibly three, I absolutely cannot do without… The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook – Gross Junior Edition Ivy and Bean: What’s the Big Idea? by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall 9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010? Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare […]

  13. Great review!! I also loved the relationships between Jem and Tessa, and Will and Tessa. It felt stronger to me than the pull between Clary and Simon, and Clary and Jace. 🙂
    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “Clockwork Angel” by Cassandra Clare

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