Cassandra Clare’s “Clockwork Angel” Review

Clockwork Angel coverIf you are familiar with the author Cassandra Clare, it probably isn’t because of Clockwork Angel or the rest of the Infernal Devices trilogy. She is best known in literary circles as the author of the hit YA series, Mortal Instruments. The first book, City of Bones, was made into a movie called Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013, and the sixth installment of the book series, City of Heavenly Fire, is due out at the end of May.

The Infernal Devices series takes place in the same world as the Mortal Instruments books about an angelically infused group of warriors (called Shadowhunters) fighting the forces of darkness to keep us “mundanes” out of the crossfire, but it is not meant as a prequel. (Clare stresses on her website that the books can be read in any order.) As opposed to the contemporary setting of Mortal Instruments, the story  of the Infernal Devices takes place in dreary streets of Victorian London and follows the misadventure of sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray.

Angel close upTessa is “fresh of the boat” from America with little else than the clockwork angel around her neck to her name. She has traveled to London to find her only living family member, a brother named Nate. But, immediately upon her arrival she is seized by two women known as the Dark Sisters, and in their “tender care” Tessa unlocks her previously unknown supernatural talent. By holding an object in her hand she can transform into the person it belonged to and absorb their memories. During a raid on the Dark Sisters, Tessa is discovered by a young  Shadowhunter named Will, who brings her back to the London Institute. Tessa and Will share a love of literature, but even though she is immediately taken by his passion and electric blue eyes, he seems to be harboring a dark secret that keeps him from getting close to anyone besides Jem, his parabatai (a magically linked partner).

Tessa finds herself swept up into a conflict between the Shadowhunters and a great and powerful enemy, The Magister, who employed the Dark Sisters to kidnap her. No one is sure why he values her unique abilities, but the Magister seems determined to get her back through the use of his army of clockwork creatures.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and went on to read all three in the series. Stay tuned for a review of the next installment: Clockwork Prince.


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