Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices series - Book 1) by Cassandra Clare.
Publication Date: August 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Format: Compact Disc
Genre: YA (Young Adult)
(Audio book from my personal collection)
Synopsis (Courtesy of Barnes & Noble):
Magic is dangerous - but love is more dangerous still.
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: James, 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'm not exactly sure where to begin with this review. I decided to purchase it because I had heard so many of my favorite bloggers singing it's praises and I wanted to use it as my first book in The Steampunk Challenge. The Steampunk Challenge is being hosted by Rikki at The Bookkeeper. I had decided to read at least 5 Steampunk books from October 2010 to October 2011. I may change the amount if I like the genre. If Clockwork Angel is any indication, I'll definitely be reading more than five. This was such an amazing book!
I had not read any of Cassandra Clares previous books in The Mortal Instruments series and I was unsure whether I should start with this one or not, but you know how it is... sometimes a book calls to you and you just have to listen. I certainly didn't feel like I was at a disadvantage not having read the other series.
Tess Gray arrives in England in hopes of starting a new life with her brother, after the death of an aunt who had been her guardian. She is promptly kidnapped by The Dark Sisters and taught to use an ability that she had no idea she possessed. Tessa can transform into another person, it only requires touching something that belonged to them. She is amazed to find that London is filled with many "downworlders", supernatural beings like vampires and warlocks. The Dark Sisters are preparing her for someone named, "the magister", who wants Tessa's power.
Tessa is rescued by shadowhunters, who are charged with protecting London from demons. In exchange for helping Tessa to find her brother Nathaniel, she will help them by using her ability. Tessa soon finds that she is drawn to both Jem and Will. It appears that Jem is suffering from some sort of malady and Will is a volcano about to erupt most of the time, but Tessa is drawn to them both. As they try to find the magister and destroy his army of clockwork men and women before the shadowhunters are destroyed. When Tessa is forced to make a terrible decision between her brother and her friends, the fate of the shadowhunters and all of London hangs in the balance.
I really enjoyed this book. In fact it will definitely make my top ten of the year. Because of my review schedule it is sometimes hard for me to find time to read or listen to books that I want to read for pure pleasure and this was one of those books. I'm so glad I took the time! The characters are so well developed. Tessa seems to be just an average girl until she becomes aware of her ability. At first it seems like a curse, but as the book goes on we see how she changes her opinion about it and begins to see it as something that can be used to help others.
Tessa's relationship with both Jem and Will is precarious. Jem is very secretive character even though it is apparent that he doesn't want to be. He is very beautiful and artistic, but he's hiding something and Tessa is determined to find out what it is, eventually she does and is shocked, but seems even more attracted to Jem. Her attraction to Will is much more palpable. You can almost feel her heart speed up when he enters a room and when they share a kiss it's explosive, much like Will's temper. Will has secrets of his own and we are left still wanting to know the answer at the end of the book... Which really makes me long for the next book in the series.
I have always liked the whole good vs. evil battle in a book, but there are so many shades of gray in this book that it takes on a whole new meaning. The twists and turns are amazing. I couldn't stop listening!
Clockwork Angel is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one a resounding 5 out of 5 apples. If you like the paranormal or if you like steampunk, this is a must read. If you want to start either of these sub-genres, Clockwork Angel is great place to start.
Click here to go to the sign up page for The Steampunk Challenge hosted by Rikki at The Bookkeeper.
Cassandra Clare is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments Trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. She was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of books. Cassandra lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend, their two cats, and these days, even more books.