Monday, August 30, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. The Book Report

I spent the entire weekend dutifully devouring the latest novel from phenomenal author-- and New York Times Bestseller, Cassandra Clare-- Clockwork Angel.
And it got me out of my "I need Mockingjay" funk.
The first in a new series, The Infernal Devices, the story is a prequel to her debut series The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass) and is set in the atmospheric and gloomy backdrop of Victorian London in 1878.
Once again, we delve into the world of the Shadowhunters.
For those of you not in the know-- and for shame if you aren’t-- The Shadowhunter’s are a group of clandestine demon hunters that reside all across the world and originate from Idris.
And, to be honest, they’re fricking awesome and you should get yourself formally acquainted.
Anyway, this is the premise for Clockwork Angel.

Magic is Dangerous.
Love is more dangerous still
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gas lit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by-- and torn between-- two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all

Okay, I’ll admit, at first I was hesitant. Not because of Clare’s writing, which I have complete confidence in and marvel at just how talented she is. She writes compelling and beautiful prose that’s captivating but not overwhelming and not pretentious or overly decadent like other writers--(Stephen King: Here’s looking at you, kid)-- I was never able to really get into the whole Victorian novel, until Clockwork Angel came along. I feared that, like Pride and Prejudice, The Age of Innocence and others of the kind; I would not be able to handle it.
My fears were unfounded.
Just like The Mortal Instruments series (which, along with Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and The Darkest Powers series, is one of my favourite series to read and re-read), Clockwork Angel is action packed and thrilling, as well as ridiculously hilarious.
Considering I read the majority of the book in public places, and got very funny looks from the bouncer when I had it in my handbag in the nightclub, the fact that I gaped, laughed and cried made some people kind of uncomfortable.
But you know what?
It was so worth it.

Let’s break this down into three parts:

The plot:

It was a completely original plot, like nothing I have ever seen before. Usually, due to the amount of books I have read, and bookshelves I have broken, I can predict things before they happen. Not this time. Every twist and turn just sucked me deeper into the maelstrom of suspense and action and kept me utterly hooked till the very last page, where I cried out, begging for more.

Ugh, that sounds kind of kinky. Ignore that.

In other words, the story is ridonkulously awesome.
Another plus is that, even if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments series, you can read the Infernal devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) and understand the Shadowhunter world and customs almost instantly. Just enjoy revelling in the Steampunk-y goodness.

*Note: If you giggled at the word Steampunk, join the club! You’re as big a kid as me*

And guys, if you’re worried that the story will be too “girly” for you; think again.

Considering the first line reads:

“The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts”

I don’t think you’re going to have a problem.



One word.


Clare has this wonderful knack of writing drool worthy boys. Although I did miss my Simon (My favourite character from TMI, as well as Isabelle, even though they’re all awesome), I was easily distracted by the amazesome-ness -- (just coined a phrase.)-- That is Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs.

For the first time in my life, I can’t choose a team.

Yes, I am a team chooser, so sue me.
Although that is the very definition of a frivolous lawsuit.

Will: Tall, black hair, blue eyes, hilarious, irritating and lovable at the same time.
Jem: Tall, Silver hair, Silver eyes, very funny, and possibly the sweetest boy alive….

I honestly can’t decide.

Insert growling noise here.

Both grow fascinated with Tessa, who has *spoiler alert* the ability to change her appearance and absorb a person’s memories and feelings while she becomes them.

Which, to be honest, is one of the coolest powers I’ve ever heard of in fiction.

Also, I want it.


There are two seriously smouldering scenes that leave the reader breathless.

And all because of a hand.

Just a gloved hand.

But wow.

Sorry, I digress.

The romance element is breathtaking, but there is enough action and suspense to suit everyone.

And finally.

The Characters:

Like all of Clare’s characters, everyone is likeable but complex and compelling and you genuinely grow to care for them. So much so that they almost seem like real people.
Another plus is that they’re all freaking hilarious.

Possibly my favourite line (one of many) would have to be from Mr. Will Herondale. If you read the Mortal Instruments series, you’ll see where Jace gets his sense of humour from.
Actually, I think Will is funnier.
Actually, I think Clockwork Angel, as a whole, is funnier.
And that’s saying something, folks.

Will Herondale:

“Miss Gray, Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs”


“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 an opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn’t.”

But Will is not the only hilarious person. Each character has biting wit and cleverness that left my sides sore from laughing.

I do love a funny female protagonist; and Tessa delivers.
As does Charlotte, Sophie and Jessamine.

God, I love them all. It’s ridiculous.

Also, I am happy to report that there is an appearance by the one and only, three different kinds of fabulous Warlock, Magnus Bane.
I mean seriously, what’s not to love?


As a whole, this book ticked every box for me, and I’m desperate for the next copy. I’ll have to sate my need for City of Fallen Angels (the next book in the Mortal Instruments series--Boo to the Yah!) by reading and re-reading Clockwork and Angel and the others.

Time well spent.

5/5 Stars.