Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Publication: August 31,2010
Goodreads Summary: "In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them..."
In Clockwork Angel there is evoked a sense of old-world glamour that was Victorian London, a place of creeping fog and horse-drawn carriages. This was my perception of London that Clare evoked with her writing, and I believe it made me enjoy this world a lot more.
I'm not the biggest fan of 3rd person past tense, so it did take me a little while to get into it. The beginning was a little slow for me, but the ending definitely picked up! It was brilliant, full of action and surprises.
Tessa Gray is the newcomer to the world of Shadowhunters, and her character does not disappoint in that she is in almost every sense the proper lady of the 1800s: polite, courteous, respectful, and modest. So it is with great pleasure that I watched her transform into a stronger and braver person, one who was not afraid to defend her loved ones with her all and verbally spar with others in humor or defense of her beliefs. In the following books I hope to see her grow even more as a character.
Will Herondale is the resident bad boy with the probable heart of gold. He’s handsome, tormented, sarcastic, and cold, yet occasionally we glimpse a softer and more passionate side to him. And then there is Jem Carstairs, who is walking, talking, living proof of a terrible cruelty, and yet despite this he is kind, and caring, and understanding. I truly look forward to these three’s future interactions in the next two books. Honestly, the only difference between them all is the length of their appearances, the lack of which, I hope, will be redeemed in the future books.
One thing I’ve realized that I enjoy in Cassandra Clare’s work is that her stories never center solely on just one female lead and one male lead. The universe does not revolve around the girl and the guy. But, rather, there is always a rich cast of characters that supplement each other, that give each other depth and personality; there is a warm sense of rivalry that makes me care for them. Clare can write some truly amazing characters, authentic and engaging and unique.
The plot is alternately thrilling and chilling, hilarious and somber, lighthearted and tragic. The combination is one made just right, a winding adventure through the London of Queen Victoria’s time. Clockwork Angel is amazing in its ability to present a story that is both character-driven and plot-driven, with both done superbly well. I adored practically every single character and was captivated by the story until the very end.
I eagerly await Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess that will be in my possession late this month or the next.