June 16, 2011

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Series: Infernal Devices
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: August 2010
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.

Infernal Devices is the prequel to Mortal Instruments but the team is more or less the same: two guys and a girl Nephilim make the team plus a random damsel in distress set to join the crew after being saved by them.

We meet Will Herondale, (who is very reminiscent of Jace Wayland) quick witted and very dashing, the mysterious James Carstairs and the reluctant Jessamine Lovelace. Then there's Tessa Gray, a shapeshifter, who is on a mission to look for and save her brother. Here she discovers the world of Downworlders, Vampires and other supernatural beings roaming the streets of London during the Victorian era.

What's good about this series is that although it's a prequel, you don't have to read this before moving on to the "modern" set. The story is not directly related to City of Bones and the rest of the books and in fact, you can read both series at the same time as Cassandra Clare is releasing volumes of Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices simultaneously. If you like period novels over a 21st century setting, then this is for you as you. You get to keep your fascination for the supernatural sort with 19th century London in the background, complete with petticoats, carriages, morning coats, hats and the like (gotta love historical fiction)!

It's more or less an echo of the Mortal Instruments series as far as Clockwork Angel goes (or probably because I read both series in succession it got blurred in my head), probably because the characters of both series are related somehow and there are similarities in their traits. Aside from having a different plot, the dialogue is pretty much similar (Will is as sarcastic and guarded as Jace) and then of course there's the ever present forbidden-love angle. I wasn't trumped by Clockwork Angel but I was very much entertained by the setting, the gadgets and Magnus Bane. 

However this didn't deter me from wanting to read Clockwork Prince because based on the Cassandra's tweets, it sounds like it's much more exciting than this one. The plot thickens *rubbing hands together*. I also want to know where Tessa's destiny will take her, if she can fit the Nephilim world being a Downworlder. Will Jessamine betray them since she hates being a Nephilim? And Magnus Bane, oh Magnus Bane, you are my favorite, thank you Ms. Clare for including him in this series as well.

Book two of the Infernal Devices is scheduled to be released December 6, 2011. So if you know someone who's following the series, you know what to get them for Christmas. Cassandra tweeted a samples of this book

Book Three titled Clockwork Princess doesn't have a release date yet.


  1. Thanks for the review! There are a few people in the book club that have been pushing hard for this book for months, it sounds like they'd probably be better off just reading City of Bones.

  2. It's ok, I guess when you've become a fan of someone you just want to follow all their work. It's just too closely related to the Mortal Instruments I guess because the characters ARE related. LOL


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