Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Tessa Gray travels to Victorian England to live with her brother, Nathaniel, after the passing of their aunt. But instead of the quiet life she expects, she’s abducted by the mysterious “Dark Sisters” who teach her to use a power she never knew she had: the ability to change shape into another person. Under threat from the Pandemonium Club and the Magister, the head of the organization, Tess despairs of ever being free again. However, she is rescued by a group of warriors called the Shadowhunters, who free her from the clutches of the Dark Sisters and thrust her into a world unlike she has ever known.

I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up sort of on a whim when I was at the library the other day. They didn’t have another book I wanted, and my sister has told me that she thought I’d enjoy this one, so I decided to give it a try. I found the plot really engaging and didn’t want to put the book down. I was intrigued by the magic system and the Nephilim and Downworlds. I thought the organization and rules of the world were very clever.

The character were interesting, but they do feel a little unfinished somehow. They’re painted in broad strokes. Will Herondale, who is sharp, caustic, clever, and beautiful, borders on being more of a cliche than a fully realized character. However, he has some depth to him that pops up throughout the book that saves him from being too shallow (in fact, for all that I feel he’s not quite a fully realized character, yet, he reminds me a lot of someone I know in real life. So I’m not quite sure what to do with that.) I think, however, it’s less to do with the writing and character and more to do with the fact this is the first book in the series and just an introduction. The ending certainly suggests there’s a lot more to Will.

I also really liked Tessa. She’s your typical heroine where she thinks she’s average and ordinary, and then is thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I like how she adapts to her situation, and I especially like that one of the main ways she adapts is through books and reading. I like how she deals with Will and how sure of her own worth she is.

I’m a little less than thrilled that there appears there may be a love triangle in the series. I’m not totally opposed to them, but I’m not usually happy when they appear. I am very concerned as to how it will play out.

This book was a really fun read. I almost wish I hadn’t read it first out of my selections, because I have three more books to read before I go back to get the other Infernal Devices books. Unless, you know, I say screw it and just go and get them anyway. We’ll see.

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