I owe Tina (One More Page) the honor of introducing Cassie Clare's books to me. It was such a delight to have read The Mortal Instruments series. Now I can finally read City of Glass and start waiting for City of Fallen Angels.
Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
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.
I have to admit that I haven't dabbled much into the steampunk genre. I'm very careful with choosing which genres I'd like to read on, and its a wonderful thing that a book as good as this is what introduced me to the world of steampunk.
I have to give it to Cassie Clare. Mad props to her, really. I am in awe at how good she is with world building. She weaves a wonderful version of Victorian London right before my eyes, and its such a delight to read it. I prefer to be familiar with the "world" the book I'm reading is set to, so I'm always happy when authors take time into describing them without the book dragging on too much. One of the reasons why I love TMI was Cassie's ability to put you in a new world with such great detail you almost believe it exists. It almost feels like I live and breathe with the characters. I think the setting is perfect for the dark and mysterious world of the Shadowhunters.
I try not to compare this with TMI, but I guess it can't be helped especially if this is a prequel series to that. Tessa is unique in her own way. I love the fact that she reads books. I always think characters who read books tend to be smarter. She's brave and strong, having been thrusted into a new world where she doesn't know anyone else, alone and without a family aside from her older brother who was missing, suddenly realizing that she possess powers and she survived and lived through that horror. Tessa is inquisitive, not so feminine and she's just the right person for Will.
Yes, Team Will! :)
It's a struggle to try and figure Will out, especially when you have no idea what he really is. Around 90% of the time I want to strangle him and pummel him to the ground, but still I fell in love with his character. Beautiful, angsty and secretive with a shadowy past, I can only imagine what it will take for him to open up himself to anyone else, even to love. He's sarcastic and obnoxious and sometimes downright rude, but there's something about him that just draws you in. And then he'll drive you mad. :)
Jem, on the other hand is... a gem. He's everything you wish Will is. Lovely, charming, soft spoken, deep. I especially loved Jem's character because he seemed more stable than Will even with his sickness. He's very wise, despite of his age. He's the "balance", the equalizer to the whirlwind that is Will. There's something about him that you can rely upon, while Will is like a time bomb waiting to explode. I guess they are suited to be parabatai after all. Where Will is frank and spontaneous, Jem is level-headed and careful. They're the perfect complement to each other.
I will not give away a lot, but my favorite part of the book is Page 289 - 293. See for yourself and tell me what you think. I had a huge grin on my face when I was reading that.
I love the twists! I know a lot of people are saying that this is just a "replica" of The Mortal Instruments series, but I beg to disagree. This book had me anticipating what happens next, left me guessing and as I go along, I want to read more!
A lot of the important details and pieces that will help us know who and what Tessa is has been skillfully withheld to the very end. It is still very vague, atually. I for one am trying to figure out what she is. And then there's Will too. Mr. Herondale's got a lot of secrets as well, and there were very little clues left for us work on. Kudos to Cassie Clare again. That definitely made me anticipate the next book as soon as I finished reading Clockwork Angel!
Rating: ★★★★★ : AWESOMENESS! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!