Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare

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.

First of all, I have a confession to make. I never really wanted to read this book. While the "clockwork" in the title sounded attractive, the "angel" on the other hand was the deal breaker. I just don't like (YA) books with angels, don't ask me why.
Then one of my friends kept asking me about this series and my lack of enthusiasm made her leave me alone and quietly buy the book and read it. Then she started bombarding me with text messages about how enjoyable it was and she kept mentioning these two guys called Will and Jem. Long story short, she read both Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, then brought the books to me. So I hesitantly picked up the first one and started reading.

It was the very first book by Cassandra Clare I've read, so I can't compare it with the other series. But man, it consumed me totally.
I liked the world of Shadowhunters and the steampunk aspect of the book. I loved the setting. I very much enjoyed the poetry at the beginning of every chapter! Also, the writing was smooth and the plot enjoyable. Real page-turner. And it made me laugh so many times! :)
But the true strength of Clare's story lies in my opinion in her characters and the relationships between them. It's not just about the Tessa-Jem-Will love triangle (don't worry, it's done well), but about the friendship between Jem and Will. It's about family ties and betrayal. And even the minor characters have their own space when it comes to (different types of) relationships. This all made the story powerful and at times quite painful. It also helped the plot and the story dynamics.
The characters are very believable and well fleshed out. And again not only the major ones, but the minor ones, too.

To be honest, I'm usually not very fond of the romances in YA books. Sometimes they even irritate me, usually I'm just happy there's no insta-love. But this book, this book tortured me and I loved every minute of it.

“Jem seemed to look through her then, as if he were seeing something beyond her, beyond the corridor, beyond the Institute itself. "Whatever you are physically," he said, "male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside." He smiled them, seeming to have come back to himself, slightly embarrassed. "That's what I believe.” 



Coffee Monster said...

Yay! I'm glad you read it, you're gonna love CP even more, and TMI series are even better than TID, more action! I cannot wait for the rest, 1 more year for Book 3 in TID, 2 more years for book 6 in TMI, then 3 more years for the third series to begin. I'm gonna die!!!

I'm so glad you liked it. :D I felt this one was the weakest of them all.

Petra said...

Hehe, yes, I think I'm going to like CP even more as well. Especially because there's Jem on the cover! :D
But I love the idea that these two series (and the new one as well) are connected together and not just because they are about Shadowhunters. :)

Rachel said...

Glad to see you enjoyed this,Petra. I did too. Cassandra Clare is a favorite writer of mine, even if she does deal out some pretty brutal cliffhangers. The next book has a big one. :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

i can't believe i still haven't read this series! great review!

Book Whales said...

I find the Infernal Devices better than the TMI series. I love your review on this and glad that you enjoyed it too :D


Petra said...

Thank you all! It was great book! :)

@Carrie at In the Hammock Blog
You should read it! :)

Kyle Patrick Magistrado said...

The Infernal Devices is a series you definitely need to check-out! One of my favorites! :))

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