Book- Clockwork Angel (#1 of The Infernal Devices)
Author- Cassandra Clare
Publisher- Simon and Schuster
Publication Date- August 31st, 2010
Okay so let me start by saying that I have already finished this series and have read The Infernal Devices at least a hundred times. I am reviewing it for two reasons- one, I was requested to review more Shadowhunter books in the comments (shoutout to you Katie!) and two, this series is the most beautiful, agonizing, heart touching and heartbreaking series ever which deserves to be read by the entire human race. So I will do my best to pretend I haven’t read the next two books and that I am totally unbiased even though I know the big secrets of the rest of the series. (I am VERY VERY biased, I’m just pretending I’m not). This is one of my favourite series in all YA books, and Clockwork Angel gives it a magical, painful, heart wrenchingly beautiful start. This trilogy will bring down a barrage of feelings and will wreak havoc on your emotions- brace yourself.
When twice orphaned, sixteen year old Tessa travels the long distance from America to England in hopes to be reunited with her brother, she is unaware of the darkness shrouding her. At the port, instead of being greeted by her brother, Tessa is exposed to the horrors of the London Downworld- vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and other terrifying supernatural folk, who are only kept at bay by Shadowhunters- warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of an organisation called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa is faced with the shocking revelation that she herself is a Downworlder, with the rare ability to transform, at will, into another person. And the Magister, the shady figure who runs the Pandemonium Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own. Lonely and hunted, Tessa is saved by the shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she uses her powers to help them. Tessa soon finds herself falling for and torn between two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will (he’s mine), whose dark and mysterious past forces him to distance himself from everyone and make the world believe the worst about him. That is, everyone but Jem- and now Tessa. The search for the Magister pulls them deeper towards a plot which threatens to destroy all shadowhunters, and Tessa realises she may have to choose between saving her brother, or helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
What I liked:
The book is set in the Victorian Era, which gives London a very timeless and mysterious feel. Clare makes the setting very convincing- I could just imagine old winding streets, buildings of stone, girls with dresses and parasols and everyone being really cordial and polite (everyone except Will that is).
The plot was outstanding. Clare is such an effortless writer- she weaves the most intricate plots with such ease. Though the book starts out a bit slow, it is still very intriguing, and after you pass the halfway mark, it’s a wild ride- I was constantly on the edge of my seat. There were many things happening in the second half, but I never felt confused and never felt things were over the top. Everything is tied together, and the second you think all the secrets have been revealed, the plot twist punches you in the gut and leaves you stunned. The series is very original and unique, and I think this is one of Clare’s most sophisticated works.
However, my favourite part of this book is the characters. Real, relatable, it makes me so happy to read about such amazing characters.
Starting with Tessa- I really liked her. She isn’t my favourite YA heroine but she’s in the top 7. She’s one of the few heroines who has no training, not much strength, but is so intelligent. Being an avid reader, Tessa thinks like a character from books (I know she IS a character from a book but that’s not what I mean). Smart and witty, she constantly proves her intelligence throughout the book. She’s very curious and eager to know everything, but at the same time also is confused and scared to be a part of the Shadow world- she just wants a normal life. Overall Tessa was a really strong and likeable character in the book.
Coming to my book boyfriend- Will Herondale. I love him. I absolutely adore him. Charismatic, witty, intelligent, has blue eyes and black hair, not to mention his dark and unknown past. I am so attracted to boys with a troubled past. I WANT DETAILS. I want to know why he pushes everyone away and why he makes people believe the worst of him, why he pretends he has no feelings when he so obviously cares for everyone. He has a dark secret which forces him to do this, and this secret is slowly consuming him. It leaves me so distraught, because he NEEDS love, and I’m always tempted to just start screaming “LET ME LOVE YOU” every time I read about him. He clearly loves Jem- that’s one thing he doesn’t hide, and I love how much he cares for and protects Jem. His wit is amazing, his sarcasm usually ends up sending me into fits of laughter.
Over to Jem- he’s my second favourite character in the series. Elegant, polite, kind, compassionate, he is the calm to Will’s storm. I hate how he is treated because of his illness and I feel very protective towards him. His affection for Will is obvious and very endearing- they both are closer than even brothers. I love how friendship is just as important- if not more, than love in this book, which makes it so unique, because nothing can taint a bond as pure as Will and Jem’s. I love most of the characters in this book but there are so many that I’m not mentioning them all.
Now to the romance. I normally hate love triangles. I feel like they usually takes all the respect from one character and makes them look bad. That doesn’t happen here. This is my favourite triangle, because the boys don’t hate each other- they care for each other’s happiness more than their own. And Tessa is so equally torn between the two. And both of them are so amazing in their own ways that I sympathise with Tessa’s position. Though I ship Will and Tessa more, I love Jem enough that I wouldn’t be able to bear seeing his heart broken. That’s what’s so unique about this book- the highlight of these three is more than love, its friendship- and love and friendship together is what makes it infinitely more beautiful.
What I didn’t like:
Nothing. This was a masterpiece crafted and presented to us on a silver platter. You might find the first 100 or so pages a bit slow, but trust me it’s worth it.
5 out of 5 stars. A complete package of joy, laughter, wit, sarcasm, blinding pain, frustration, despair, anger (I’m running out of emotions), this book is a must read for everyone.