Date Released: August 31, 2010
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Pages: Hardcover, 479 pages
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: 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.
Synopsis via Goodreads
Clockwork Angel, the first in the new Infernal Devices series, is another brilliantly painted story gifted to us by Cassandra Clare. Clockwork Angel offers us the story, pre-Mortal Instruments, of Tessa Grey and the Shadowhunters, and pulls us into a world unlike our own and lays the brickwork for a series many of us already vested ourselves into.
Like Cassandra Clare's previous series, The Mortal Instruments, she provided us with a cast of complex characters. Tessa, a seemingly innocent, loyal, yet strong willed and courageous girl who emotionally vests herself into her situation, no matter the side she was forced to play on. Will, the mysterious, charming playboy who is close to impossible to figure out and who lives by his own rules which don't always coincide with allowing himself to show his emotional vulnerabilities to those close to him and around him. Jem, the playboy's conscience and better half, who like Will holds secrets of his own but is willing to open up when the time is right and allow his vulnerabilities to shine through.
The secondary cast, while not taking the lead of the story, did provide us with some strong and loyal personalities, maddening quirks and compassion with a side of absent minded-scientist, helping round out the story and adding another level to the story and mystery of Tessa Gray, the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Nothing seems likes coincidence with any character who is introduced to us.
Clare offered us clues within the story to help shape it as we read, giving us insight to otherwise untouched emotions and situations, and offering us something to hold onto for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, this almost worked like one of those bait and switch schemes to me. She baited me but I rarely got anything in return.
I must admit, while all aspects of the story were touched on, I felt that a little too much was left unresolved for my taste. It felt like a season finale of an episode to a television show, tons of story lines opened and maybe only one or two touched on.
Don't let that detour you from enjoying Clockwork Angel. Perhaps it is just my impatience for wanting to immediately hold the next book of the series in my hands to continue following the story and mystery of Tessa Gray, the Shadowhunters, and the budding love triangle.
I am a little on the fence about this book. I wanted to love it, and did in many aspects but I didn't like that it took me a week to read this. I put the book down and it didn't scream at me to pick it back up like any of her previous works did.
Overall, this is a good read and one worth following. The cover art is amazing, the characters have depth, and it does keep you wanting more.