Review: “Clockwork Angel” by Cassandra Clare

Here’s the thing, I read all of The Mortal Instrument series and thought, “Hey, these are good.” I kept hearing that this series, The Infernal Devices, was a lot better, and while I thought TMI should have ended way earlier than it did, I stuck with it, and have finally been able go read this prequel series. Frankly, I am glad to dive into it. Victorian England is one of my favorite periods of history and I like the Shadowhunter world enough to keep go even further and come back to it again.

Saying that, I’m getting the vibe that this series might just be an overhyped one for me. Okay, maybe not this series since it’s a prequel and it’s a bit too early to tell, but I’m not as obsessed with this world as I am with, say, Harry Potter, or other popular YA series. I mean, I did enjoy the book but–well, let me start the actual review.

clockwork-angelTitle: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: August 10, 2010
Length: 479 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…”

My rating: 3/5 stars

I’m not going into this book blindly since I’ve already read TMI. Clare reminds us a bit of the world-building, which has always been good, and reintroduces us to characters we met in TMI. The only problem I really have with this book are the characters. I don’t find anything extraordinary about Tessa except what she can do, and even by the end of the book, we don’t know exactly what she is. I’m not inclined to like any of the characters except maybe Charlotte Branwell who, as 23, is runs the London Institute with her husband, Henry. Truthfully, I want to know more about Charlotte but that’s besides the point…

I don’t like Will. I don’t know what it is about Clare that makes her write incredibly stuck-up, snobbish, over-the-top “I’m the best ever!” characters. I saw it in Jace and I see it now again with Will. Will has “dark secrets” but this should be absolutely so excuse to be an absolutely poop head to the people who care about you! Maybe I’m taking this out of context? I don’t know, but it’s awful and Will better have some freakin’ awesome storyline with amazing character development over the course of the next two books or I’ll wish him dead. (Yes, yes, I’ve seen enough fanart to know that stuff happens with Will and Jem and Tessa.)

As for Jem, he’s just a little cinnamon roll. Innocent, carefree (sort of), and he’s half-Asian! Much wow. Many awesome! But his backstory is heart-breaking. I feel as if I will cry by the end of the series and it’ll all be Jem’s fault.

As for the other characters… They all fell flat. #sorrynotsorry I can’t like Jessamine (sp? I listened to this via audiobook) either. I can understand in a sense, why she dislikes who she is, but I feel as if it’s one of those things you have to accept–it’s not like you have to like it yet I feel she’d be turning her back on her family and her entire history. But whatever.

But I will say that Clare knows how to write plot twists! I mean, I definitely was not expecting the ending at all. I also like how quick-thinking Tessa was. She gets a few points in my book for that. I want to keep reading because I really want to know who she is since she’s a mystery to everyone at the Institute.

I’m not particularly eager to read the next book but I do want to know how the story ends as I know many of these families do (may?) come into play in Lady Midnight.

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