Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: McElderry Books
Age: Teen
Species: Shadowhunters/ Downworlders/ Mundanes
Rating: 5/5
Interest: Shadowhunters/Infernal Devices/Characters
Source: Bought

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. (summary from goodreads.com)


Wow! It's been so long since I've written an actual review. I feel so guilty!

I picked up Clockwork Angel on a whim a week or two ago. I have absolutely no clue why. Cassandra Clare's books and I have had a... tumultuous relationship in the past and I haven't picked up one of her books in years. (Even though I mysteriously kept buying all of them.) Anyway, given Clockwork Angel's length and time period I was dubious as to how riveting the series could really be. There is almost nothing worse than trying to describe action and create drama in a dry historical prose loaded with Victorian vernacular.

Color me pleasantly surprised. I have fully re-entered the Shadow Hunter *ahem* Cult *ahem* I mean fandom based on Clockwork Angel. Terms, clothing and limitations of the victorian era were incorporated into the novel, but didn't drag it down with pages of boring explanations. It is true that some of the characters feel like they were rinsed and repeated from The Mortal Instruments series. (Will is pretty much Jace, Jessamine is about as vain, if a little more than Izzy. Tessa is similar to Clary in being introduced to the scary world of shadow-hunting.) Even with the similarities, Clare manages to still make distinct and individual characters that I loved to read about. 

I don't think it's necessary or even that much of an advantage, to have read the TMI series before starting ID. The best part I can think of is seeing who everyone is related to and noticing the little ironies from book to book. For instance, two bitter rivals in ID have progeny that are best friends and parabati in TMI which is awesome. An inventor that no one takes seriously is making odd inventions in ID which are used in TMI. Someone who thinks they can reproduce in ID, but seeing their last name in TMI. There are slight cameos like Camille (vampire) and Church (immortal demon-tainted cat?). I love Magnus Bane to a ridiculous degree of obsession, so seeing him in Victorian England is a source of never-ending amusement to me. It's all really funny and spectacular, pretty much. I keep waiting for Clare to troll us really bad through the books though. 

Clockwork Angel has nearly boundless action, suspense, secrets, creepy things, dark moments, powers and all around emotionally traumatizing. CA  still manages to be pretty freaking hilarious in the midst of all this though. There were moments I literally cracked up for 5 minutes straight  at some comment or another. I cannot explain how much I loved the main plot of CA, so good but so incredibly creepy. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at clockwork the same again. Tessa's ability is too awesome. Jem, oh my goodness Jem. I would marry that man in 2 seconds flat if he were real. Will, I think he would be one kick ass drinking buddy, and you know, he's hawt. I could go on for pages more about all the characters I loved because, wow, there were so many. (Charlotte and Henry for all time, man.)

The basic gist of this review is, I loved Clockwork Angel, you will too, so go read it. Yes, the length and emotional drama are pause worthy, but believe me you will be so incredibly happy you read this. I, who takes a while to read books, read this in one night. I think I love CA way more than The Mortal Instruments series. (Throwing pointy objects is not nice!) Seriously, there's so much action and conspiracy, with just a bit of romance, not the gag inducing kind. Please, go read it! Then read the sequel Clockwork Prince. However, if you try to give me CP spoilers I will harvest your soul and eat it with ketchup for dinner.

Teaser Lines: “You know," Gabriel said, "there was a time I thought we could be friends, Will." 

"There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn't.”


(I laughed so hard, I was crying.) 

Happy Reading,

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