Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Book Review: Clockwork AngelClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on August 31st 2010
Pages: 479

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: Jem, 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.


When I first heard that Cassandra Clare was coming out with a prequel to her The Mortal Instrument series, I was a little hesitant about starting the new series. While I can say that I did enjoy the previous series, it overall is not one of my favorites. So when I laid hands on Clockwork Angel, some of my fears carried over. However, it is easy to say that Clockwork Angel far surpasses Ms. Clare's previous work. And I loved every minute of this novel.

Clockwork Angel is set in Victorian London, a setting which always pleases me as a reader. The tale focuses on Tessa who has come to London in search of her brother. While she thinks this should be an easy task, life has a way of throwing some curve balls in. Shortly after arriving, Tessa is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters who quickly introduce her into a world that she never even dreamed existed.

What sets this novel apart from the previous series is the details. While reading The Mortal Instrument series, I must admit that I often felt lost in the world that Ms. Clare created. It was like I was on information overload. This is not the case in the slightest with Clockwork Angel. Every detail is wonderfully explained and the reader understands easily how everything fits into the larger picture.

Another aspect that Ms. Clare excels in is her characterization. Tessa is a fantastic female character who is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She knows that she has gone down the rabbit hole so to speak and does everything that she can to become adjusted to her new circumstances. And then there are the boys… Will and Jem, they quite possibly are one of the main reasons that I adored this novel so much. Their banter and humor kept me glued to the pages to see what unique situation they would find their selves in next.

Clockwork Angel was a complete surprise. An engaging read that will please readers of all ages. The novel itself is a little on the thick side, but do not let that put you off. With fantastic characters and a new world to explore, the pages will fly by and leave you begging for more.

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