Clockwork Angel Review

Saturday, September 4, 2010



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: Jem, 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.
Taken from GoodReads.


We start Clockwork Angel in London, following teenage Tessa Gray after she was lured under to London under false pretense and as her human life slowly unravels and she discovers through strenuous, painful, and torturous means that she isn't as human as she thought she was. A rare breed of Downworlder, Tessa is thrust headlong into a battle between the world of the Shadowhunters and those who seek to destroy the powerful race of Nephilim. Along with Will Herondale, Charlotte Branwell, Jessamine, Henry and Jem, Tessa must take a side and make a choice.

That's an extremely vague overview of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, but I know there are a lot of people who have yet to read it, so I'm not going to spoil it for them. First of all, I should say that I've had a horrible time with prologues lately, so I skipped it, read the first chapter, and went back. I'm still not a fan of prologues, but I'm going to start with what I liked about this book. The plot moved quickly, the language was clear, and the characters were perfectly defined. I enjoyed the time period...I think it is more fitting and intriguing than that of The Mortal Instruments.

Here's where it gets tricky for me though - the characters are fun, that's not in question, but is it just me, or are they pretty much replicas of those from The Mortal Instruments? Will is Jace (who, by the way, still appeals to me more), Jem is Alec, Jessamine is Isabelle, and Tessa is Clary. The parallels and similarities in this character set-up was a bit too much for me. And, for the record, I think Tessa was a bit too over-the-top, and her reactions to things quite confused me at times. In that sense, I really preferred Clary.

Basically, what I'm saying is that Clockwork Angel is a good read, but it's not so different from The Mortal Instruments. I guess I was hoping for more of a prequel in the set-up of the world, but Clockwork Angel almost seemed to assume we knew what was going on from The Mortal Instruments which, I think, defeats the purpose of a prequel. That said, I still enjoyed the writing of this book, and it was definitely entertained. I give this book a 4 out of 5, and I will recommend to fans of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and The Mortal Instruments series.

15 comments:

  1. Nice review, this one sounds so intriguing. That's a bit disappointing that the characters seem the same as in the Mortal Instruments, though. It would be cool to see some fresh, different characters...but it still sounds interesting!

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  2. I just bought this book today and can't wait to read it! Thanks for the review. I wish it lived up to everything you expected it to but you make a good point about prequels standing on their own.

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  3. I thought there were a lot of similiarities with characters too, but I love the story still

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  4. hahahaha!
    Sorry I'm laughing, but the whole "just like MI" thing I have heard SO many times from SO many people. And see, I have to shake my head a little at the originality of MI in the first place. So while this looks good, and I'll probably read it, it's good to know that other people who's opinions I respect have noticed the same thing!

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  5. Nice review. I have wanted to read a book by her for some time now and this, oh, I do wanna start with this one

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  6. Not read the Mortal Instruments series and I really enjoyed this book...couldn't really stand Will, I loved Jem. Great review.

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  7. I adored the Mortal Instruments and I've wanted to read it FOREVER. With your review, I'm sort of iffy to read it, ya know? But I'm sure it's good either way! :]

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  8. Great review!
    I've been considering this one.

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  9. Great, honest review! I have been looking forward to this one and am glad to know it's very similar to The Mortal Instruments.

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  10. Great review. I liked the Mortal Instruments story, but I guess I was expecting something more original too. I am still going to read this, maybe I will just wait for the library copy. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I agree that the characters were similar to the MI series, especially Will, but I thought the story was different enough that they stayed separate for me. I loved Jace so I couldn't help but love Will:) Nice review, you made some good points! I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with book two.

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  12. I can't wait 2 start this one!

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  13. The characters are replicas of those in TMI? And there's no Simon? Whoa. Well, it's a good thing I like Alec and Isabelle. Jace will always be my fave (dreamy sigh). I'll have to read this soon :D Nice review!

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  14. Well it is interesting that you have pointed out the parallels between TMI. I have yet to read that series. CA was my introduction to CC, and I thought the book was brilliant. I adore Will. If you say that he is similar to Jace, then all I can think is I have to read these books now, but I wonder if it will wear on me after a while.

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  15. My thoughts exactly! While I haven't read this book yet, I have read reviews and summaries of it, and always thoúght that the characters sounded very similar to the MI characters! One girl,one good and one bad boy = a love triangle. I wonder who Tessa will choose...;)

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