Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published: August 31st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
Word Count:131,487
Series: Infernal Devices, book one
Source: library audiobook

My Grade: A

Synopsis from GoodReads: 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.  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.

I don't have much to say about this book except that it was a good solid read and exactly what I would expect from the author of the Mortal Instruments series. The similarities between Will Herondale and Jace Wayland were easy to see and satisfying to discover, but not so apparent that they seemed like the same character. Quite the opposite.

The plot twists were well devised and well disguised. Clare is a master at backstory and revealing that backstory slowly to provide revelations to the characters and the readers about what is happening in the present. Like in the Mortal Instrument series, I am interested to find out more about Will's  and Jem's pasts and especially Tessa's origins and parents' lives and what that may reveal about the nature of what or who she is. This first book in the Infernal Devices series, while being a satisfying read with a complex story and plenty of information to keep us on the edge of our seats, also seems like only the tip of an iceberg of a much bigger story that will unfold in the upcoming sequels.

Note: The last sentence in the plot summary is a bit misleading, I think. Tessa doesn't really have to chose between saving her brother or helping her friends, and I would say this book is less about love than its predecessor series, The Mortal Instruments.

Find it on Amazon:Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)

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