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Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title:  Clockwork Angel
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre:  Young Adult/Paranormal
Read: December 2011
Rating: 4
Locate It: Amazonor  Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:  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.

My Thoughts:   This is another one of the books that I was drawn to because of the cover.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Clockwork Angel the first book in a young adult series called The Infernal Devices.   This book introduces us to the Clare’s paranormal Victorian London.  It’s a dark, slightly scary London.  Clare did a great job creating her world combining bits of history and bits of her own imagination.  

While Clare’s writing does lean towards simplicity, she successfully bring the reader into her world with a mix of both historical reality and steampunk/paranormal fantasy.  I really liked her development of the relationships between all of the characters but especially the two main protagonists (well, maybe three).

Clare is a fairly new author but this is her second series.  This book is seen as a sort of prequel to her first series as there are familial connections between many of the characters.  When I read reviews of this book before deciding to read it, a few reviews mentioned that if you had read the Mortal Instruments series first, you might not like this book as much.  Well, I read the first two books of the Infernal Devices series (Clockwork Angle/Clockwork Prince) first and found that I like this series better.  So, it probably just depends on which one you read first.

I’d definitely recommend the book for teens and adults alike but because it can be a a bit dark in spots, I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone under 14 or 15 years old.

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