Monday, December 20, 2010

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

Synopsis: 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, who are the 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. 


Sorry for not posting yesterday. With Christmas coming up and all, I spent yesterday with family. So here's two posts for your enjoyment! Yay!

I've read the Mortal Instruments series, so I was familiar with Cassandra Clare and her writings before Clockwork Angel came out. Nothing was much of a surprise in Clockwork (and I mean the Shadowhunters, the Downworld, yadda yadda yadda). I actually enjoyed City of Bones and such more than Clockwork. I just thought that the plot was better and the characters were more dynamic.

Tessa is helpless at the beginning when she's with the Dark Sisters. I was a little annoyed with her, and restless for Will and Jem to come in and save her. She really didn't know how to break out, and when she tried to, she got caught. Honestly, I was getting frustrated with her. But I understood her predicament as much as a reader living in a totally different world does. She was strong, in her own way, and that came out more at the end of the book facing all the bad guys.

Will didn't remind me at all like Jace (see Mortal Instruments) like I thought he would be. He was more pompous and less proud of the Shadowhunters, although he was deeply devoted to them. He was funny, though, around the middle when Jem and he were trying to teach Tessa. I found myself laughing at him just as much as I laughed at Jace. He was a deep character, and you hardly learn why he's so closed. It bugged me, a lot. But now I'm excited for Clockwork Prince, which, I hear, is the next book.

Jem is a sweet character. He embraces Tessa into the Institute more than Will and everyone else, and he really related to her problems, making him the only friend Tessa really has in London. You learn about his "disease" toward the end of the book, and I felt really bad for him. He gives so much insight into his life, letting Tessa understand him for who he is before she judges him. And he gets judged many times throughout the book.

Over all, I thought Clockwork Angel is a wonderful introduction for the rest of the series. It had the problem come in slowly, letting Tessa get settled before the action began. I'll admit, it was rather slow for the first chapters of the book but it picked up considerably when the Shadowhunters learn about everything Tessa left behind. Tessa finds out more about herself throughout the book than any other character, but I didn't think any one character was dynamic. They all pretty much stayed the same. I'm hoping that as the books go on, Clare will write them to change more.

The Cover: I like how they kept the same layout, but changed it up a bit. It really set the theme for the book (dark and mysterious). I loved the little angel on the cover, portraying Tessa's angel. I'm pretty sure that Will is the handsome gentleman on the cover, but who knows? The purple swirls mixed with the London landmarks really caught my eye against the other young adult books on the shelves, making me want to pick it up. Lovely.

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