Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
First and foremost let’s get this statement out of the way, Clockwork Angel was infinitely better than the first three Mortal Instrument books combined. I never rated any of those above 3 stars because they felt childish, I all but hate Clary (literally the main character), and the dialogue was cringy and whiny at best. Clockwork Angel is leaps and bounds in a better direction than Clare’s previous writing.
I read the first three Mortal Instrument books and then switch to the Infernal Devices based on Clare’s guide of how to read these books, apparently it will help make sense of the last three Mortal Instrument books. I’m glad for the switch because I needed a break from Clary and her hormonal teenage emotions. Tessa, the main character in the Infernal Devices is incredibly more relatable and I actually began to care about what happened to her.
Clockwork Angel grabs you right from the beginning when we find Tessa traveling from New York to London via steamboat to be with her brother Nathaniel after her Aunt suddenly passes away, whom she lived with since her parents have passed. In fact, everyone’s parents have passed. These stories are all kind of the same in the sense that all of the teenagers are orphans, why am I just now realizing this? Actually this really bothers me now. I might have to rethink how I’m rating this book.
Anyways, back to the story grabbing you right from the beginning. We find Tessa being confronted by these two “dark sisters” who have a letter from Nathaniel saying he trusts them and and that Tessa needs to go with them. This obviously doesn’t end well when the dark sisters all but kidnap Tessa and force her into a prison cell for over 6 weeks while they make her learn how to “change”. Lo and behold, Tessa is a shape shifter and can take on the form and memories of any person, living or dead.
After a lot of despair and suffering Tess is rescued by a mysterious person with magical abilities named Will Herondale. Who I now am coming to see as a carbon copy of Jace in TMI. He’s the tall, handsome, brooding, mysterious, sarcastic character. Literally. The. Same. I will say though, I like Will more than Jace because he does seem to have a deeper character arc and there is something about him that hasn’t been played out yet and I’m interested enough in him to see where it goes.
The character I loved though was Jem. Jem is perfect. I love his character and everything about him and his backstory and I want nothing but love and happiness for him even though *spoiler* things are not going so well for Jem. We learn that he is plagued with a demon poison but has become addicted to it so it is slowly killing him but without it he will die a painful death and I’m just a puddle of tears over it.
I will say, I thought this was a good story. It was engaging and interesting and kept my attention more than TMI ever did. Her inspiration from the steampunk craze is clearly evident in the villainous clockwork automatons. I did think it played into the time period well at least, it made a story about 1878 London way more interesting to someone that doesn’t enjoy historical fiction unless fantasy elements are involved.
Overall I thought it was a good story that had detailed world building and great character arcs. I loved learning about the London Institute and seeing the differences between it and the New York Institute. I’m excited to see where the sequel, Clockwork Prince, takes the story and the characters.