Saturday, June 25, 2011

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

In preparation for the YW Bachelors event hosted by Down The Rabbit Hole, I am going back and reviewing a book I read last year. 

I have the privilege  of interviewing the wonderful Will Herondale as part of this great event.  Look for that post July 22nd. 

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

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: James, 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.

My thoughts:

5 stars – a must read

So I will just admit that I love all of Cassandra Clare’s books.  I have read all of the Mortal Instruments and can’t wait for City of Lost Souls.  So I was very excited about Clockwork Angel.  I haven’t read historical fiction for a long time but I was sure that I would love it.  Of course I do.

The world that Cassandra creates is a prequel of the Mortal Instruments.  There are shadowhunters, fae, vampires, warlocks and werewolves.  Many of the last names of favorite characters are seen in this series too.  The setting is London instead of New York but the rest is the same.  It’s like visiting the twin of a favorite friend.  So much is the same but enough is different to make things fun and exciting.

I love the characters in Clockwork Angel.  Will is the mysterious bad boy.  He’s a shadowhunter that many have compared to Jace, but they are very different.  Will’s past is a clouded and he acts outrageous to protect himself and others from that past.  Clearly his is drawn to Tessa and her to him, but he resists it like his life or hers depend on it.  I can’t wait to find out why Will is this way in Clockwork Prince.  Cassandra has promised that Will’s past will be disclosed in that book.  Jem is less mysterious.  His past is somewhat explained in Clockwork Angel.  He is ill; nonetheless, he is attracted to Tessa as well.  I don’t think Tessa realizes it yet but it won’t be long.  This sets up a love triangle.  I haven’t seen one before where I could clearly be on either side but Cassandra has accomplished that in this book.

Other characters add a lot of charm to this book.  I love Henry.  He is absentminded and brilliant.  He spends too much time in his lab and not enough time noticing his life.  Jessamine is exactly what you expect from a lady living during this time.  She is interested in getting a husband and NOT being a shadowhunter.  Although, I don’t personally like her, she adds to the book.  I love Charlotte.  She is charming and strong, something uncommon for the time.  There are several other minor characters that add such fullness to this book that they can’t be ignored, Sophie, Thomas, Agatha, and Gabriel. 

Told from multiple points of view, the story is action packed and full of the unexpected and it’s hard to put this one down until you are finished.  Some books I read, I have to put them down and take a break.  Not happening with this series. 

Even if you haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series, this is a must read.  The entire world is developed in this book so you don’t have to read Mortal instruments first.  If you like paranormal and you enjoy historical fiction, then this book is for you.  Enjoy the read!


  1. I just read this one recently and loved it. Glad to see you enjoyed it also :)

  2. Nice review. With this understanding of books, I bet your students love you.
    Mike Draper

    PS Stop over at my blog and check out my giveaway of "Skull Dance."

  3. I loved reading Clockwork Angel. I really need to start the Mortal Instruments series too. Great review!