Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: September 6th 2010
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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.
(from Goodreads)

Clockwork Angel was an amazing start to The Infernal Devices series – I loved it so much, I think I can go as far as to say I preferred it to the The Mortal Instruments. I’ve said this before, but I’m not usually a huge fan of historical books. However, with Clockwork Angel...I loved it. The setting, the people, the language...everything worked!

Tessa was a great main character. She was strong and very inquisitive, and I liked how she wasn’t afraid to ask questions. She was a fast-learner, and adapted to the situations she was in quite quickly. I also liked the way talked back to Will when he was being out of order instead of just sitting there and taking it – she wasn’t a walkover, but she wasn’t all spoilt and selfish either and stood up not only for herself but for others that Will had been nasty to. And another reason she was such a great characters was because she was really funny and quick-witted and I just loved her whole personality! I think I preferred her to Clary from TMI – don’t get me wrong, I did like Clary, but I just feel Tessa had a more mature air about her, and she just seemed easier to relate to for me. She was generally a very likeable character and I really enjoyed reading about her (especially all the interaction between her, Will and Jem).

Speaking of Will and Jem – wow. Just...wow. I have never been so torn before. I’m one of those people who always moans about love triangles – I go on and on about them and how sick I am of them in YA. I’ve said on several occasions that I only like them when they’re done well, and not when they’re thrown in just for the sake of it. In Clockwork Angel, it was done better than well. It was done...I don’t even know the word! All I know is that both Will and Jem were amazing characters. Will was the dark, mysterious type with an air of arrogance and a rather sarcastic kind of humour. He was cryptic in the sense that you never knew what was really up with him. He could say one thing and mean something else entirely. And he was also hiding something...something dark. It was clear he was troubled, and I’m pretty sure he is referred to as the “emotionally broken” one.  But there was something about him that just drew me in. I wanted to know more. I relished every scene he was in. He was gorgeous, funny, flawed and ah! Amazing. But then there was Jem. Jem, who fought so hard despite suffering from a horrible illness. The “physically broken” one. Jem the cool, calm and collected one, the kind one, the one who tried to get to know Tessa. He was just so sweet and lovely and caring, but also strong and determined too. He and Will were like brothers (they were parabatai) and no-one knew Will better than Jem. Ah, it’s just so hard to choose between the two! If I had to, had to had to pick, say, if someone were going to burn all my books if I didn’t, then I’d say my favourite is probably Will. But I am a sucker for the dark-haired bad-boys...

The supporting characters were all fantastic too. I loved Charlotte, who was the head of the Institute – she was lovely, and seemed to really care about Tessa, despite the fact they hadn’t known each other very long. I also liked the way she was in control of everything – she showed everyone that woman were just as capable as men. Henry, Charlotte’s husband, was probably the character that made me laugh the most (poor Henry) – he was an inventor, but his inventions were never quite right and he always ended up in rather unexpected situations that were hilarious to read about. I did feel bad for him sometimes though, because he was never treated with any respect from anyone else in the Clave – but he was so off in his own world, I think he rarely noticed :P. Jessamine, who was another Shadowhunter, was probably one of the most interesting characters. She wasn’t very nice and was extremely selfish, but she was stuck in a world she didn’t want to be in. She hated being a Shadowhunter, hated risking her life and just wanted to be a normal girl with a normal life. I’m really curious as to why she hated being a Shadowhunter so much, and I hope we get to find out more about her!

Plot-wise, Clockwork Angel was near-perfect for me. Though it centred mainly on Tessa trying to find her brother, there was a mixture of everything I want in a plot – comedy, romance, mystery, danger, drama, tension – it was amazing! And the mystery was definitely a mystery. Though you may be able to guess some things, you will be left surprised at others! I really have no idea what’s going to happen next, so one thing I can say about The Infernal Devices series is that it’s definitely unpredictable.

My only complaint, which isn’t really a complaint, is that my favourite character (Magnus, of course) was not in this book enough. I expected to see a lot more of him, but he was only in a few scenes! I definitely missed his humour and fabulous dress sense. However, I have been reassured that he appears much more in Clockwork Prince, so I’m not too upset by his absence here.

Overall, Clockwork Angel was an amazing, amazing book. Everyone needs to read it. Even if you think you won’t like it, give it a go. I was really wary, but ended up loving it!  And now I absolutely cannot wait to read Clockwork Prince! 


  1. Great review! I prefer the Infernal Devices series over the Mortal Instruments series as well. My favorite character is Magnus too, I'm glad to hear that there will be more of him in Clockwork Prince :)

  2. I can't wait to read this one in December for my recommended reads month, thanks to you. I love the sound of a strong female character who isn't afraid to talk back to a guy! I'm not in love with TMI series so hopefully this one will be even better than Clare's first series. :)

    Thanks for the great review, you always include so much depth. :)

  3. Yaaaay!! You finally read it and I'm SO glad you loved it. Magnus is my absolute fave character too-I so cannot wait for CP!!!

    The Cait Files


    I'm so glad you liked this one! It's definitely up there in my favourites :) The plotting was awesome and the characters were all interesting and just great. I agree - more Magnus, please!

    By the way, you can have Will and I'll take Jem. IS THIS ARRANGEMENT SATISFACTORY??

  5. I adore this book so so much! Loved it heaps more than TMI series. Jem <3

  6. I swear, I am the only person in the entire book reading community that can't get into Cassandra's books. It makes me sad :( I want to join in on all the gushing you guys do! I'm glad you loved this though and the fact that this has officially converted you to becoming a fan of at least one historical novel :P Great review, Liz!

  7. Agreed, agreed, agreed. On everything! I think I also like this series more than The Mortal Instruments, it also makes me love hist. fic, I also adore Tessa, I'm also torn between Jem and Will, I also think the side characters are brilliant, and I also would have liked to have seen more Magnus!!

  8. Liz - thanks so much for the review! I loved your insights! I recently read this book again and finally got a review on my website too. Check it out if you have time at http://www.readingrevels.com/reviews/review-the-clockwork-angel-the-infernal-devices-1-by-cassandra-clare/


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