Clockwork Angel – 4.5/5
I have heard a ton of hype around this book and this trilogy claiming that it was way better than The Mortal Instruments series. Well…I must say, I definitely have to agree! 🙂 This is the way a YA fantasy/paranormal book should read – thank you Cassandra Clare! This book is fun, has great characters, and is very captivating.
Quick Synopsis: Tessa Gray comes to London to look for her brother, Nathaniel, but is kidnapped upon arrival by the Dark Sisters. Tessa learns that she has the ability to transform into another person and The Magister wants her for himself, for some dark reason. Tessa eventually joins up with the Shadowhunters to figure out not only how to rescue her brother, but to running from The Magister.
This is the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy – which is the prequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments series. This trilogy takes place in London 1878, which was the thing that really drew me to this book automatically. One of my favorite book settings is London and particularly in this time period. I just think there’s something so elegant and regal about it all and I find it so much fun to read. There isn’t a ton that I can say that is spoiler-free, so I will let you know that I loved: the setting, the world building, and the character backstory arches. What I did not love: the romance and the “bad boy” YA troupe.
What will I read next in the Shadowhunter world? Since I’m going in publication order, I’ll be going with City of Fallen Angels – book 4 in The Mortal Instruments series.
With that being said, the rest of this review is going to contain spoilers – continue at your own discretion!
Okay, so clearly I very much enjoyed this book as I gave it a pretty high rating. There were definitely more things that I loved than not loved, but since there were a few pieces that I did not enjoy, I’ll get into those first. The two things that I didn’t enjoy about this book really do go hand in hand, unfortunately, so I’ll just talk about them together. I was not a huge fan of the romance in this story because it had the “bad boy” YA troupe that I cannot stand. The “I can turn him good” mentality from the young girl, which is always heartbreaking to read for me. I hear a lot of hype around Will Herondale, as a character, and I cannot figure out why…? I am hoping that I see some kind of character growth from him throughout the next two books, but as of right now, this romance is definitely not jiving with me.
Now, the pieces that I loved!!! First: like I said earlier – the setting! London 1878! Come on! 🙂 It was beautiful, intricately described, and felt so elegant. I loved seeing the small details throughout the book that really highlighted the time of the setting and the interesting social nuances that impact the characters differently from the other books in The Mortal Instruments series. The setting definitely made the book so much more fun to read!
Second, I loved the world building! Finally! Thank you Cassandra Clare! 🙂 That was my issue with the first two books in The Mortal Instruments series; I definitely felt that the world building felt so weak and so rigid. It was difficult to get into this fantasy world when I was still trying to learn and understand the world and everything that goes into it. I don’t know if it is because this trilogy is the prequel trilogy, but the world building in this book was so much more streamlined, happened earlier in the book, and was so easy to follow. This is really the part of the fantasy genre that I love the most – the world building. I love reading about the make up, the rules of order, the ancestry, etc. Since this is the prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, this book really added so much more depth to the story within the other series.
Lastly, this sort of goes hand in hand with the world building, which were all the different characters’ backstory arches. Characters in fantasy stories tend to have more intrigue about them and so, learning about where they came from adds so much depth to the characters. My favorite characters have to be Jem and Charlotte, most definitely! I don’t get the hype around Will, it truly might just be that I am not drawn to the “bad boy” character archetype. Jem, on the other hand, is definitely my kind of book guy – haha! He has such a tragic backstory to his character, and yet he is so kind and selfless. I wish that more YA books gave more spotlight to characters like this to show more healthy characters and character relationships. Charlotte is the perfect maternal figure, who is strong and fearless. I love how, as a woman in the 1800’s, she is the one who truly runs the Institute and doesn’t back down against those who try to defy her. Love strong women in YA books! 😀 I’ll be honest in saying that the two main characters, Will and Tessa, were not my favorite. Le sigh…
Definitely loved this – I thought it was so much fun! And YAAAS to Magnus Bane making an appearance!!! 😀 I cannot wait to continue in the Shadowhunter world!!