Book: Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date August 31st, 2010
Rating: 5 stars
I opened this book with trepidation as I’d already read the author’s The Mortal Instruments series and had only found it average. But I’d heard great reviews from this book series and I valued my fellow book nerds’ opinions enough to at least sample the first book.
And am I so glad I did! This book completely blows TMI out of the water. From interesting, well-developed characters to a fast-paced plot and lovely setting, this book was awesome from beginning to end. I was expecting another story about an ordinary girl who suddenly realises she’s a Shadow hunter and has to learn about her past really quickly to protect her fellow brethren.
Nope! Instead, we get Tessa. When her aunt dies, she finds herself on a ship from New York to London to go live with her brother, who has promised her a wonderful new life with everything they could’ve ever dreamed of at their fingertips. However, two freaky old ladies kidnap her off the ship and threaten to hurt her brother unless she unlocks a super-rare ability only Tessa possesses – to shape-change into somebody else. But then, just when all seems lost, Tessa is rescued by Will, a Shadow Hunter, who brings her back to the Institute and Tessa learns of a completely different world that she never realised she was a part of. There’s a big plot about a secretive man called the Magister who plans on creating a clockwork army to destroy those which he hates the most: the Shadow Hunters. Tessa finds herself caught up in a war between the Shadow Hunters and the Downworlders, and those she thought she knew were hiding everything, and the people she just met are the ones whom she must trust her life with.
I really loved Tessa. Like me, she was an out-and-proud book nerd and got really excited when she found another who loved books as much as she did. While she was raised to believe women weren’t fighters and were only there to serve their husbands, Tessa soon has to expand her view of the world and accept many things she didn’t know was possible. She was brave, smart, funny and independent. She stood up for herself and others and I really admired that about her. I can’t wait to see more of her in the coming books and see how her character grows after everything she’s gone through.
We also meet a lot of new characters that were totally fleshed out and were completely likable, even the unlikable ones. Let’s start with Will. He’s the most mysterious character I’ve met in a while. He’s snarky in that 1878 kind of way, has a good sense of humour, and is completely committed and loyal to those small few he really cares about. He reminds me so much of Adrian Ivashkov! Those two would be BFFs, I'm sure of it. However, Will also has some deep dark secrets in his past he won’t even tell his best friend about, and it made his character way more intriguing. He and Tessa had a genuinely nice relationship, and you could tell they both cared for each other immensely. But Will was afraid of letting Tessa get too close to him, even going as far as being intentionally cruel to send her away. I can’t help falling for him and I can’t wait to read more about him. I just want to give him a big hug.
Then there’s Jem. Oh, Jem. He’s the nice guy, the opposite of Will. He’ll help you without asking for it, and always has the right thing to say in a crappy situation. I think the fact that Will and Jem are totally opposites is the reason why they’re so close. Jem won’t probe unless he’s asked directly, and Will admires that about him. He too falls for Tessa, and while she only sees him as a friend, I suspect strongly her feelings for him will soon change. They too develop a lovely relationship, which I can only imagine growing stronger as the two are put in more situations together and with Will being afraid to let anyone come close.
While this is, and will develop, into a love triangle, I actually think the author is writing it in an excellent way that feels real and is engaging. While I don’t have a favourite yet, I still look forward to reading how Clare will take this romance in the coming books.
We meet other character of the Clave too, like Charlotte, Henry, Jessie, and some servants. Charlotte and Henry, the heads of the Institute, are well-meaning and always try to do what’s best, even though Charlotte finds resistance due to being a girl. Emma Watson would throw a fit to some of the non-feminist assumptions in these books! There’s also Jessie, or Jessamine, who, while is a Shadow Hunter, despises it and only cares about finding a husband and shopping. She reminded me a lot of Charlotte from Disney’s Princess and the Frog as while she seemed shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, I believe that when the time comes, she’ll do what’s right and protect her friends.
This book was amazing from beginning to end, and blows TMI completely out of the water. I would definitely recommend it to anyone loves the paranormal and who enjoyed Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series.