Book Reviews

Review: “Clockwork Angel,” Cassandra Clare

September 26, 2010
Review: “Clockwork Angel,” Cassandra ClareClockwork Angelby Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Published by Walker Books on August, 2010
Genres: Angels & Demons, Historical, Steampunk
Pages: 479

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.

I loved going ‘back in time’ in the Shadowhunter world; hearing all the familiar names and characters was fantastic. You can’t miss this one if you’re a fan of The Mortal Instruments!

What can I say? I have been awaiting this book’s release since I first heard it announced. Everything about it enticed me; Victorian London, shadowhunters, a descendent of Jace as one of the main characters, steampunk clockwork creatures… the list goes on!

I can do nothing more than praise Cassandra Clare’s writing. Wow. She really puts you in the same environment as her characters! And she makes you absolutely tear yourself apart when choosing between the two male leads! Yup. While I don’t think it’s a huge, obvious love triangle, the reader finds themselves unable to resist picking either Will Herondale or Jem Carstairs as their preferred gentleman.

I still don’t know what side I’m on *shifty eyes*

While Will is all sexiness and raw lust, Jem is gentle and kind. We all know I’m a sucker for the bad boy with his deep, midnight stares… so that’s probably why I haven’t thrown Will to the wind just yet. It’s obvious he’s broken inside and therefore decides to take this out on others, believing he’s ‘protecting’ them from himself. Yawn. We’ve heard it all before… but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t take Will up on one of his many enticing offers ;)

Jem, on the other hand, is the ‘white knight’ to Will’s ‘black knight’ as Tessa observes. You want to snuggle up to him like a puppy and have him gently touch your hands with his glass-like fingers. I wouldn’t mind watching him play the violin, either. His steady voice is the only one able to reach Will in the moments that matter.

Yup, I’m torn. I don’t even know who I want Tessa to be with.

The tension between her and Will is so palpable (one nobody can deny) so I think in the end I’m team Tessa/Will… BUT… it’s so very obvious Jem has feelings for her, too. She cares for him as well, but I don’t think the romantic feelings stretch further than a bit of wonderment about him. She’s constantly worrying about Will and how he feels about her, leaving little space for worry about Jem’s feelings.

I actually loved Jessamine. I’m really interested in seeing if she will accept her Shadowhunter destiny or continue with her desire to leave the life of a demon slayer. I loved how she totally owned that goblin (?) in the park.

As for Tessa, I liked her a lot more than Clary from The Mortal Instruments. I’m so curious about the clockwork angel she wore around her neck. Why did it power up and fly away, only to come back? The case of her origins is also a mystery I’m eager to uncover.

I can’t believe the book ended like it did. Yes, it was a cliffhanger… but it was less than that, too. I was expecting another paragraph of speech from Will. Something that made us gasp, not simply Magnus asking a question.

It was a great read, but something stopped me from giving it a full five stars. I think it’s because I didn’t feel we got enough answers for all the questions that were given. There wasn’t a huge ‘ooohhhh, duh! that’s why ….’ moment where all the hints seemed to click into place for me.

I’ll DEFINITELY be continuing this series. So, are you Team Will or Team Jem?

Recommended to: Fans of The Mortal Instruments, though it isn’t necessary to read the original series as this is set in the 1800’s before the events of the others.

About Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.


  • Reply Alicia the Awesome May 19, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I loved this book and the sequel! I’m officially both Team Will and Team Jem but at heart, I’m 85% Team Will. I can’t wait to read the third book to know how it ends, and yet I’m terrified it might not be an ending I like! (stinking love triangles) So I’m still putting it off…but for everything else I agree with you! I still haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series either. Too many books on my TBR! Soon I’ll get to them (in the next few decades or so…) (: eeeek I’m totally fangirling over Will right now it’s crazy
    Alicia the Awesome recently posted…Book Review: Brave New World by Aldous HuxleyMy Profile

  • Reply brandileigh2003 September 27, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I loved this book. I personally like Will, but for Tessa, I will have to give Jem a chance to shine in the next book. Great reveiw!

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    • Reply Brittany September 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Me too! I love seeing people with different opinions :D


  • Reply Parajunkee September 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I’ve very much interested in reading this…especially now after your review.

    • Reply Brittany September 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      Oh, you’ll love it :D If you do, let me know what you thought ;)!

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