Book Reviews

Clockwork Angel-Book Review

Resulting in the death of her aunt, Tessa Gray sets out from her home in New York City to London,
England to live
with her older brother Nate. Tessa sets off on a trip across the Atlantic Ocean with no money at hand, because every penny that she had went to paying the cost of her aunt’s funeral. With her spirits high for seeing her older brother, they would finally be reunited after being apart for so long.

When Tessa reaches the docks in London, she was not met by her brother Nate, but by two older ladies who introduces themselves as the “Dark Sisters”.  The sisters, having a written letter from Nate explaining to Tessa that she could in fact trust the two women, Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black. The two women hurriedly push Tessa into the carriage, only to find herself trapped in a nightmare. The Dark Sisters were in fact warlocks {downworlders who can perform magic} who claim to have kidnapped Nate and they use this fear of the unknown and Tessa’s love for her brother to make Tessa fulfill their very unusual demands. Whilst fulfilling the Dark sisters demands Tessa finds herself in a situation where she comes to the realization that she isn’t in fact like every other human being, she finds that she possesses the power to shape-shift into the form of other people whether they be dead or alive, and that she has the ability to access said persons thoughts, memories and feelings.

When the Dark Sister consider her ready for this mysterious “Magister” and all hope for Tessa goes out the window… That is, until a very secretive, attractive and youthful Shadowhunter rescues Tessa. Soon Tessa finds herself in a part of a new world, a new family, a Nephilim {Shadowhunter}. And she is left to figure out who she is and what she’d meant to be doing in the world. The Shadowhunters from the London Institution soon realise that Tessa and Nate are being used as pawns in a plan much bigger than anyone knows of to destroy all Shadowhunter’s once and for all. A plan devised by non-other than the Magister himself.

As the danger grows, Tessa finds herself falling in love with not only one but two of the best looking Shadowhunters that the London Institute has ever seen, both whom find her irresistible. On top of trying to save all of humanity and her brother, Tessa finds herself having to decide between her heart or her head.

Clockwork Angel, published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, is the first book in The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. This book is only one of the fantastic books written by Cassandra Clare, and I must say this book is not the easiest of reads, especially at the very beginning but in saying this, once the book starts to pick up its pace it becomes extremely hard to put down. The way that Cassandra Clare writes her books you find yourself wondering how someone, one person alone can manage too perfectly execute all the tiny details that are needed to make an amazing, adventurous and intricate novel.

When we talk about the mystery of the Pandemonium Club, the identity of The Magister and their plans to overthrow the Shadowhunters, I personally believe that Clare has some lacking plot holes that she has in fact executed in one of her other series The Mortal Instrument, a linking series that is sequential to that of The Infernal Devices, Clare tends to get very dramatic in some sections of the book that I sometimes leave me questioning if it was really all that necessary. I would still highly recommend this book, I think however that this is one of those series that gets better as it progresses through its stages, and that the ending of the last novel will undoubtedly leave any reader surprised and wanting more. {If you have read this series then you know what I’m talking about.}

First, the genre. The genre for this book/series is fantasy and steampunk, although the only real steampunkish thing in this book is the time period {set in Victorian London} and the existence of a few of the killer automatons. But I believe as the book goes on the presence of these automatons grow and it really does become a steampunk novel.

Clockwork Angel’s dialogue- I have mixed feelings about- as I don’t personally really read a lot of steampunk novels and I don’t know if the dialogue in this book is correct but I do think that Cassandra Clare did a fantastic job of writing about the 19th century and how the citizens of that era acted. I really felt that Cassandra Clare did an amazing job of describing how the lady’s acted {with their dresses and how they acted around men}. This was one of the aspects that I really enjoyed as I learned more about how people lived and interacted the 19th century.

Regarding the characterisation, in Clockwork Angel there is many details that are left up to the reader to interpret, there is details that the reader could add in themselves. Like the fact that she has rosy coloured interpreted about Tessa Gary, which I find enjoyable as I was able to sculpt her in a way that I was able to make her the heroine I imagined she would be. It is described in the book that Tessa Gray is pale and thin and was taller than the usual lady but had long brown hair. But also, that she had these gorgeous stormy gray lips. In this book, I don’t know if Cassandra Clare purposely made her a blank page that would grow as you read the book but I really liked that aspect of Tessa, as she was always trying to find who she was really meant to be. There is another character trait that Tessa has and that is that….  She has SUPER POWERS! No one knows why she has this ability to shape-shift or what it means, except that this mysterious Magister wants Tessa as his bride. But of course, it isn’t only the Magister after her heart- so are the two best friends also known as the Shadowhunters. But as the both try to capture her heart which is divided in two, as a reader you go on a journey to figure out the actions between this love triangle. Both of these characters are welly developed and fantastic to read about. Will has a past that he guards with his heart and doesn’t want to let the wall come down or he believes that he will make everyone suffer the consequences for him. But there is Jem who is an amazing musician and is a sensitive guy who has this strange addiction.

There are many fans of this book, the series, and I do think that this book and series is well worth the read. But in a reader’s opinion this series continually gets better as it goes on and I do prefer the other two books over this one. Even though I do prefer the other books from the series I do recommend anyone who enjoys Cassandra Clare’s books to definitely read this series.

Rating- 4/5

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