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Having read the other books (Mortal Instruments, currently at Book 4) by Cassandra Clare, I found this prequel to be a fantastic edition. The first book of the Infernal Devices series is about Tessa Grey, who has followed her older brother, Nathaniel, to London from America after the death of her aunt. However, the minute she arrives, she discovers that London is not the one she has read about in books. The unseen world of the Faeries, Vampires and Werewolves plague a mysterious organisation known as "The Institute", who themselves are more than they seem to be. It consists of Charlotte, the steely leader, who fights demons in a world where women rarely speak out, let alone fight; Henry, the bumbling inventor and husband of Charlotte; Jem and Will the Shadowhunters shadowed in secrecy and the other Shadowhunters who keep London safe from the Downworlders.
I loved the frequently exciting plot, with it's sneaky references to the Mortal Instrument books and fast-paced storyline.
Readers of all the fantasy books out right now (Twilight saga, The Iron Fey, The Inheritance Series, etc.) will thoroughly enjoy this book and will, as I am, hanker after the sequel (6/12/11 so not long now!) and future books by this brilliant author.
After losing the only person who has helped guide her and raise her since her parents early demise, 16 year old Tessa has travelled halfway across the world to finally join her older brother Nate in London England.
After arriving in the dock, she soon finds herself facing more difficulties than she could ever imagine, especially since she has found herself kidnapped and being held captive for reasons beyond her own knowledge, with her co-operation keeping her brother alive.
When it finally emerges she is not quite the ordinary little girl she originally thought, but actually some-one with the power to transform her entire being into someone else, her life becomes decidedly complicated.
Her life soon becomes entangled with all sorts of mystical creatures and beings, all of whom she originally thought of as "storybook", but soon finds that their actual title's are "downworlders", will she be swallowed whole into a world of warlocks and vampire's, or will her newest best friends the shadow hunters be her saving grace?
I have to say this was not at all what I was expecting in a read, I soon became very aware of the plethora of different characters within the book, and I have since promised myself I really should take more care when reading a book synopsis, and not fixating on one word, in this case "vampires"!
That said I did find I enjoyed this book immensely, though found that due to the characters, especially the "shadow hunters" being entirely new creations to me, it took a while for there characters and origins to be explained, though after this point I found myself warming much more to them.
The entire book is set in London during the reign of Queen Victoria, and the scene's are really well set, with you feeling the grime and oppressive quality of the air outside, and the costume of many of the characters making this the sort of book I will always enjoy.
As this is the first in a series of "the infernal devices" books, this was always going to be the slowest and most detailed book to read, there is a great many characters that have to be introduced, with many of them warranting whole chapters to themselves for future, present and past descriptions.
This was a really interesting and detailed read, that did keep me guessing right until the end, and then twisted the assumed ending around onto it's head, with this books only downfall being the introduction of certain characters, meaning a slightly slower read.
Price wise this is available via www.waterstones.co.uk for the RRP £7.99
Thanks for reading x
After a client had recommended Clockwork Angel to me I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I had trouble finding it as she didn't tell me it was a young adults book!
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is the first book in her The Infernal Devices series and is 496 pages long in the paperback copy.
After the death of sixteen year old Tessa Greys Aunt, she finds herself alone in New York with the only family she has left over in England. Before long a letter from her brother Nathaniel arrives from England inviting her over to stay with him.
Things do not go to plan on her journey to Victorian England, as soon as she arrives she is greeted not by her brother but by two elder looking ladies who say they have been sent to collect her for Nathaniel, but instead they take Tessa back to their living quarters and keep her imprisoned there. It soon becomes clear these are not two normal old ladies, but ladies who are really Warlocks. The sisters try to get Tessa to use her power to change which Tessa knew nothing about.
Tessa is saved from the power of the sisters by Will who is a shadow hunter who protect mundane from all the demons and vampires and other magical forms in the world. Trouble is how long can they protect Tessa when she seems to have a power someone wants very badly.
This is one of few books where I found that each character who is part of the main storyline, has been detailed enough that we actually feel as if it is a group we are familiar with. This helps you to embrace the story more, especially when it come to Tessa and the shadow hunters who are the good side in the book because you know how warm and kind their characters are you genuinely care about what happens to them. There were many characters in the book but each one we recognise from a quality about them which we are shown in the earlier part of the book so I did not find that any time during the book I was getting muddled trying to think which character was which, this I usually find is what happens when I read books that have had to many characters added to it.
This is the first book I have read by Cassandra Clare. I found it quite hard to get into at first which I was a little surprised at with it being a young adults book. I am glad I persevered with the book though as by the time it got to 3-4 chapters in the story started to flow alot better and I found myself slipping into the storyline and quite enjoying it.
Once I had got past the 3-4 chapter I didn't find there were any low parts of the book it seemed to keep an even pace through out although I was a bit put of with the ending of the book but I didn't realise until I looked it up that it was part of a new series so I can now understand how the story was just left as it was.
I didnt find the storyline to be predictive in anyway which I think was a big positive about the book as each time you came to the end of a chapter you couldnt help not putting the book down and reading the next chapter due to the suspense factor you just had to know what was going to happen next!
I have not read a book similar to this so it was refreshing to try something a little different I think the closest I could say the book comes to with previous books I have read is a younger version of the Dresden Files.
I would recommend this book but I would make sure I let them know that it is part of a series as I felt very disappointed and confused by the ending before I knew that it was to be continued............
Publisher: Walker Books
After the death of her Aunt, 16 year old Tessa sails across the ocean to Victorian England to find the only other family she has left, her brother Nathaniel. However, as soon as she steps off the boat, she is taken under false pretenses and is imprisoned by the Dark Sisters. Unknown to Tessa, London is full of warlocks, vampires and other supernatural people.
While keeping her imprisoned, the Dark Sisters teach Tessa that she has a rare ability, one which enables her to change into another person. Tessa is horrified but has no choice but to do what they tell her to.
Just when Tessa can take no more, the Shadowhunters come to her rescue. But, can she trust them or will they use her just like the Dark Sisters? All Tessa wants to do is find her brother.
This is the first book I've read by Cassandra Clare. I'm aware of her Mortal Instruments series, but have not yet read those books (though I plan to remedy that!). The Infernal Devices series is a companion to the Mortal Instruments series and Clockwork Angel is actually prequel to it.
Clockwork Angel features a weave of twists and turns and kept me (I would say turning the pages, but I was reading it on my Kindle!) reading on. I found myself fully immersed in the storyline and felt like I could have been there with Tessa and the other characters. I loved the Victorian setting, it gave even more of a dark feel to the story.
Tessa starts off a little naive, but her confidence grows as the book goes on and in a way we see her grow up over a short period of time.
Will tries to be the bad boy. He's volatile and has mood swings, but he's a hero and charismatic too. He's a difficult character to work out (the character himself doesn't want to give too much away, but his friends help us fill in some of the details), but I suspect we'll learn more about him in the next book.
Jem is the sweet one, so kind, friendly and helpful. He's weak, but is still a battler and shows strength and courage too.
Jessamine comes across as spoilt. She's a shadowhunter like Will and Jem, yet she despises being one. It's difficult to tell whether she's more of a danger to herself or to others!
Charlotte is only 22, but runs the Shadowhunters' Institute with the knowledge and capability of somebody much older and wiser, despite her bumbling husband, Henry.
As expected with YA paranormal/urban fantasy books these days, there is also the undercurrent of love. In fact, there's a bit of a love triangle going on!
While Clockwork Angels doesn't end of a cliff-hanger as such, it will leave you with questions and a desire to read the next book as soon as possible. Unfortunately for me, the next book in the series, Clockwork Prince, isn't out until September 2011, so I've got a bit of a wait!
So would I recommend this book? Definitely, I think it's one of the best, if not THE best, YA paranormal/urban fantasy books I've read in 2010.
Please note: This review is also posted on my blog.
Clockwork Angel is the first book in The Infernal Devices series and a prequel to The Moral Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It was released on 6th September 2010 by Walker Books UK and it is 496 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review!
Sixteen year old Tessa Grey embarked on a journey to Victorian England to join her brother Nathaniel but instead, she finds herself surrounded by trouble in a world that she doesn't understand. Tessa never thought that things like vampires, demons and Shadowhunters could ever really exist but she finds that she is more like them than she thought possible and there are people who want her for what she can do, even if she doesn't know much about it herself.
Alone and in danger, Tessa has no other option than to take the help of the Shadowhunters and rely on them to help her find her brother but she has a hard time coming to terms with what is happening around her and what she really is. Tessa cannot help but be fascinated by both Will and Jem, best friends with completely different personalities. The people that hunt her might not be the most dangerous thing after all.
What I thought
After reading the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series and hearing about this one, I was desperate to read Clockwork Angel. Although I have read two of The Mortal Instruments books, I knew that it wasn't necessary in order to read this one. I thought it was a very clever idea to have two series that can both work as stand alones but also merge really well with each other.
From the very first page, Clockwork Angel is exciting and mysterious and drew me in instantly. After being thrown straight into the Shadowhunter world, I was wondering how things were going to be different this time around. Clare's descriptions of Victorian England are so vivid that I could imagine myself walking the same streets and Will and Jem. This world has a very eerie feeling about it and it is surrounded by mystery. I felt as though anything could have been coming around the next corner which kept the story exciting and intriguing throughout.
I am a huge fan of historical fiction/ romances so to have this mixed in with Shadowhunters, vampires and demons was like Heaven for me. I really don't think that I could have asked for more with this book and even though the raunchy parts were obviously missing compared to historical romances, I didn't mind at all. It really would have been out of place in Clockwork Angel anyway. I wish I knew of more YA books that are historical because I know I would love anything slightly similar to this.
The plot was exciting throughout and I was avidly awaiting what would happen next every time I turned the page. Clare used a fantastic mix of action and mystery throughout and although there wasn't really a whole lot on the romance side, I can see this being expanded on in future books in the series. What made this book so good for me was the mix of characters and how each personality really came into their own as the story went on. Even though there are quite a lot of characters at times, it was never hard to follow who was doing what or what they meant to each other.
Tessa was a marvellous protagonist and there was so much that I loved about her. When she arrives in England, she thinks she is going to reunited with her brother but all is not what it seems. She soon finds that her brother has been kidnapped and now so has she. I have no idea what I would have done in her position apart from maybe sit in a corner and cry my eyes out. I know I wouldn't have been strong enough to deal with the Dark Sisters and to do the things they made her do. When Tessa finally gets rescued and taken to the Institute, she has no idea what is going on because she always thought she was human and none of these other beings existed. I really liked the fact that she was very vulnerable and naive when she arrived at the Institute because it gives her character a lot of room for growth. As Clockwork Angel went on, Tessa did start to become more sure of herself and what was happening around her and she also began to show that she was a lot stronger than everyone gave her credit for. I'm excited to see where Clare takes Tessa and what kind of character she will become.
Will has so many similarities to Jace (of The Mortal Instruments) that at times, it was hard to see past that. He's mysterious, cocky and extremely full of himself but then that was what I loved about Jace so of course, I loved Will too. There is just something about these bad boy characters that I cannot help but fall in love with, even if they are being complete asses at times. As a Shadowhunter, Will is strong and confident and he isn't afraid to make that known. I loved how sure of himself he was or rather, how he made out he was sure of himself. Will seems to have quite a few buried secrets and I can't wait to find out what is really going on with him in future books.
I really wish that Jem had been featured more because he was so interesting. From very early on, we get to find out that there is something wrong with Jem but nothing about what it is. I loved the mystery that surrounded him, where he came from and what he was all about. Jem really seems to care and isn't full of himself at all. He's very grounded and down to earth, even though he kills demons etc for a living. Jem seemed to be a lot older than he actually is and maybe that comes from his past that we only get a snippet of in this book. Jem really stood out to me because he was so different to Will. The difference in personality between Jem and Will worked perfectly and gave the chance for them to bounce off of each other.
Usually in a book where there is some kind of love triangle going on, I am firmly on one side. Not this time though! I was extremely torn between both Will and Jem and I still have no idea who I prefer. If I was forced to choose, I would have to say Will at the minute just because he features a lot more than Jem and we get to hear a lot more from him. In the back of my mind, I want to like Jem more but I can't really see that scenario happening.
I enjoyed seeing Magnus Bane making a couple of appearances and after the cliff-hanger Clare left us with, I know he is going to play a bigger part in the books to follow. He was always one of my favourite characters in The Mortal Instruments because he is so interesting and there is a lot that we don't know about him. I really, really hope that he is around a lot more from now on and we get to find out about his past.
Cassandra Clare has done it once again! She knows how to hook the reader within a couple of pages and keep them until the very last page. Her imagination is so fantastic and vivid that I always feel a part of the story myself. Clockwork Angel is by far my favourite book this month!