As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

November 9, 2010

CLOCKWORK ANGEL by Cassandra Clare, 2010

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)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 (Amazon).

Review by Amy Finnegan

I read this book when I was getting tired of supernatural novels, but this was a very pleasant surprise. For one thing, the setting is Victorian England and the author does a good job planting her readers in the time period, but doesn't let the antiquated language, or the details of the furniture, carriages, and clothing interrupt the story.

This is first and foremost a character book, and the fact that these characters also have supernatural abilities comes second. I liked that. There is still quite a lot of action in the story, however, which pulls the story along with swift pacing.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) shifted me from being a reluctant fan of "steampunk" to a reader who is willing to admit that I actually like this growing sub-genre. If you have yet to hear the term "steampunk," you're not alone. I would describe it as being a sort of a hybrid of historical fantasy and science fiction - the past and future meshing together for a big bang effect.

For instance, in this book, we have demon hunters going up against an army of clockwork creatures (basically robots). Other recent books of this nature include Scott Westerfeld's LEVIATHAN, and Gail Carriager's SOULLESS. And the ultimate steampunk novel is a classic that almost everyone has heard of: THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells.

CLOCKWORK ANGEL is actually the first book in a prequel series to go along with the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS books by Cassandra Clare. So, do you need to read the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS novels first? In my opinion, no. In fact, I think this is Clare's best writing, so I would start with this book, and if you like the world it creates, move on to the other series while you wait for the sequel to this one.

Market: Young Adult

Language: Moderate
Sensuality: Moderate
Violence: Lots of fighting, gory but not grotesque
Adult Themes: Death, kidnapping, dark magic, paranormal characters and elements

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore Cassandra Clare, and she didn't disappoint with Clockwork Angel. I can't wait for the next installment!