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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Book: Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date August 31st, 2010

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...
* Rereading this again has just made my love of this series grow even more! Plus I'm able to pick up on small details I didn't the first time, especially regarding Will's family, Tessa's true identity and even Nate's slimey character. Plus the Magister is still my favourite villain out of all the villains in this world, he's so deliciously evil!*


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.


  1. I remember picking up TMI for the first time (before it got so popular) and absolutely devouring it whole. It's been a fair few years since that initial read, and while I've probably grown my reading tastes a lot since then, TMI still holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the books that got me back into reading, however I don't think I ever bothered to finish the series (still hold that it should have remained a trilogy!).

    I read Clockwork Angel a loooong time ago as well, and only barely remember snippets of it. Back then, I wasn't into steampunk and the regency era, so I think the book was lost on me. I'm mildly obsessed with both of those genres at the moment, so I've been itching to pitch up this prequel series again. So glad to hear that you loved it as much during your re-read!

    1. I think as I read this series when I hadn't read as many YA books as I have now, I loved it even more as I didn't have anything to compare it to. But I'm so so so so happy I still love it as much now as I did then! I agree with TMI remaining a trilogy too - six books was just too much of Clary lol! Thankfully I prefer Emma a lot better, and I know another series will have Will and Tessa's children as the heroes, so I'm super hyped for that!

      I definitely recommend picking it up again, it's just a dream to re-read :)

  2. I agree! This completely blows TMI out of the water. Though I still love TMI too.

    Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader

    1. This series will always remain one of my absolute favourites ever! SO glad you agree :)

  3. AHHH THIS BOOK!!! Words cannot describe it. I loved everything about it--the characters (WILL AND JEM BOTH TOOK MY HEART), the Victorian setting, the magic, everything. It's just so interesting and intriguing! How could anyone not fall in love with this book?
    Fantastic review as always, Sinead! I absolutely love how in detail you go :)

    1. Right??? Like, Right????? Even now, knowing how it ends, my heart is still breaking for all three of my little cinnamon buns!

      Ahh, Erika, you're such a cutie *blushes* Thank you so much! x

  4. *Flails* You're re-reading these too! I just finished my trilogy reread and oh my goodness it was beautiful in every way shape and form! Let me warn you though, the feels about book 3 hit more the second time around than the first time! I absolutely adore all 3 characters, but I must say Jem took my heart a bit more than Will ^^ Goodness these books are amazing!

    Amazing review, Sinead! :D

    1. Like, what are the chances?? I've just finished Clockwork Princess, and yes, the feels are sooo real! Review will be posted soon. Although I love all three, I don't have a preference, even though I did feel Tessa's love for Jem was more brotherly than it was for Will - their love was practically lust!
      Thank you so much :) xxx


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