(The Infernal Devices #1)
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.
Must...write...review...for...book...one...before...reading...book...two...Okay, I'm doing it, I'm doing it!
Clockwork Angel is the first in the Infernal Devices series, a YA steampunk fantasy treat by author Cassandra Clare. If you liked The Mortal Instruments you will be thoroughly pleased with this series! Clockwork Angel is a fun trip into the TMI world, only over one hundred years earlier. In this one we meet Tessa, who is arriving in England from America under the guise that she is meeting her brother and will be living with him now that their Aunt, her guardian, has passed away. The book begins with a bang when Tessa is kidnapped by two mysterious women who we will come to know as the Dark Sisters. As soon as we learn Tessa's unique ability I was sold on this series. Unlike Clary from TMI, Tessa possesses a secret power, unbeknownst to her, that actually makes her a Downworlder. I was quite excited by this since I knew that it would make her acceptance by the Shadowhunter community difficult and put her at odds with some characters. Why would I wish this on poor Tessa? Because I like the added drama apparently.
With the above said, I did feel like Clockwork Angel was mirroring City of Bones a bit as Tessa meets Will and the other Shadowhunters: cocky, good looking boy rescues girl who has just recently been thrown into secret Shadowhunter world. Girl is brought back to The Institute (except that this one is in London), where she meets everyone and slowly becomes acclimated to a new and scary world. That could be the first five chapters or so from either book, right?
However I did really like this book, even better than TMI actually (at the time of this review, I have read the first three TMI books in the series). Perhaps the historical and foreign setting was what put it over the edge. Or it may have been the integration of steampunk into the fantasy world: clockwork-run creatures built from a combination of human and mechanical parts? Ooh, wonderfully creepy and fun!
I also liked the love triangle. Some might say there was a love triangle in TMI, but really for me, there wasn't. In Clockwork Angel we meet two young men Tessa's age who are Shadowhunters: Will and Jem. Tessa meets Will first, and is instantly struck by his good looks and at the same time turned off by his blase attitude and cockiness. Later, she meets Jem, who is quiet, gentle, smart, and very very ill. The two guys couldn't possibly be different from each other, and yet they are as close as brothers. Tessa's attraction to Will is obvious in this book, but by the end it becomes clear that Jem is "in the picture", so to speak. Going into the next in the series, I am eagerly anticipating quite the love triangle!
The other characters living at The Institute include Charlotte and Henry, the married couple who run the place (LOVED Henry as the absent-minded professor type!), haughty Jessamine, who is a Shadowhunter by birth but refuses to succumb to the life (sometimes wanted to strangle her), and a group of fiercely loyal servants. There is also Nathaniel, Tessa's brother who is missing for a majority of the book. Tessa's search for him is the driving force for most of the plot. He is a cowardly, unlikable character in my opinion. There is also the mysterious Magister, who is the mastermind behind the clockwork army and is also the one who charged the Dark Sisters with kidnapping Tessa in the first place. The search for The Magister throughout the story was all very twisty and turny and I was certainly entertained!
Clearly I really liked this book! Recommended for fans of: The Mortal Instruments (duh), YA steampunk, love triangles, good world building, and surprises.
**Runs off to read book two!**