Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. Discover the riveting first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
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.
About the Author
Cassandra Clare is the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Red Scrolls of Magic, as well as the internationally bestselling Dark Artifices trilogy, Mortal Instruments series, and Infernal Devices trilogy. She is the coauthor of The Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson; Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman; and Ghosts of the Shadow Market with Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasserman. Her books have more than 50 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and made into a feature film and a TV show. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at CassandraClare.com. Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at Shadowhunters.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderryCopyright © 2010 Cassandra Clare
All right reserved.
London, April 1878.
The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts. William Herondale jerked back the dagger he was holding, but it was too late. The viscous acid of the demon's blood had already begun to eat away at the shining blade. He swore and tossed the weapon aside; it landed in a filthy puddle and commenced smoldering like a doused match. The demon itself, of course, had vanished—dispatched back to whatever hellish world it had come from, though not without leaving a mess
“Jem!” Will called, turning around. “Where are you? Did you see that? Killed it with one blow! Not bad, eh?”
But there was no answer to Will's shout; his hunting partner had been standing behind him in the damp and crooked street a few moments before, guarding his back, Will was positive, but now Will was alone in the shadows. He frowned in annoyance—it was much less fun showing off without Jem to show off to. He glanced behind him, to where the street narrowed into a passage that gave onto the black, heaving water of the Thames in the distance. Through the gap Will could see the dark outlines of docked ships, a forest of masts like a leafless orchard. No Jem there; perhaps he had gone back to Narrow Street in search of better illumination. With a shrug Will headed back the way he had come.
Narrow Street cut across Limehouse, between the docks beside the river and the cramped slums spreading west toward Whitechapel. It was as narrow as its name suggested, lined with warehouses and lopsided wooden buildings. At the moment it was deserted; even the drunks staggering home from the Grapes up the road had found somewhere to collapse for the night. Will liked Limehouse, liked the feeling of being on the edge of the world, where ships left each day for unimaginably far ports. That the area was a sailor's haunt, and consequently full of gambling hells, opium dens, and brothels, didn't hurt either. It was easy to lose yourself in a place like this. He didn't even mind the smell of it—smoke and rope and tar, foreign spices mixed with the dirty riverwater smell of the Thames.
Looking up and down the empty street, he scrubbed the sleeve of his coat across his face, trying to rub away the ichor that stung and burned his skin. The cloth came away stained green and black. There was a cut on the back of his hand too, a nasty one. He could use a healing rune. One of Charlotte's, preferably. She was particularly good at drawing iratzes.
A shape detached itself from the shadows and moved toward Will. He started forward, then paused. It wasn't Jem, but rather a mundane policeman wearing a bell-shaped helmet, a heavy overcoat, and a puzzled expression. He stared at Will, or rather through Will. However accustomed Will had become to glamour, it was always strange to be looked through as if he weren't there. Will was seized with the sudden urge to grab the policeman's truncheon and watch while the man flapped around, trying to figure out where it had gone; but Jem had scolded him the few times he'd done that before, and while Will never really could understand Jem's objections to the whole enterprise, it wasn't worth making him upset.
With a shrug and a blink, the policeman moved past Will, shaking his head and muttering something under his breath about swearing off the gin before he truly started seeing things. Will stepped aside to let the man pass, then raised his voice to a shout: “James Carstairs! Jem! Where are you, you disloyal bastard?”
This time a faint reply answered him. “Over here. Follow the witchlight.”
Will moved toward the sound of Jem's voice. It seemed to be coming from a dark opening between two warehouses; a faint gleam was visible within the shadows, like the darting light of a will-o'-the-wisp. “Did you hear me before? That Shax demon thought it could get me with its bloody great pincers, but I cornered it in an alley—”
“Yes, I heard you.” The young man who appeared at the mouth of the alley was pale in the lamplight—paler even than he usually was, which was quite pale indeed. He was bareheaded, which drew the eye immediately to his hair. It was an odd bright silver color, like an untarnished shilling. His eyes were the same silver, and his fine-boned face was angular, the slight curve of his eyes the only clue to his heritage.
There were dark stains across his white shirtfront, and his hands were thickly smeared with red.
Will tensed. “You're bleeding. What happened?”
Jem waved away Will's concern. “It's not my blood.” He turned his head back toward the alley behind him. “It's hers.”
Will glanced past his friend, into the thicker shadows of the alley. In the far corner of it was a crumpled shape—only a shadow in the darkness, but when Will looked closely, he could make out the shape of a pale hand, and a wisp of fair hair.
“A dead woman?” Will asked. “A mundane?”
“A girl, really. Not more than fourteen.”
At that, Will cursed with great volume and expression. Jem waited patiently for him to be done.
“If we'd only happened along a little earlier,” Will said finally. “That bloody demon —”
“That's the peculiar thing. I don't think this is the demon's work.” Jem frowned. “Shax demons are parasites, brood parasites. It would have wanted to drag its victim back to its lair to
lay eggs in her skin while she was still alive. But this girl—she was stabbed, repeatedly. And I don't think it was here, either. There simply isn't enough blood in the alley. I think she was attacked elsewhere, and she dragged herself here to die of her injuries.”
“But the Shax demon—”
“I'm telling you, I don't think it was the Shax. I think the Shax was pursuing her—hunting her down for something, or someone, else.”
“Shaxes have a keen sense of scent,” Will allowed. “I've heard of warlocks using them to follow the tracks of the missing. And it did seem to be moving with an odd sort of purpose.”
He looked past Jem, at the pitiful smallness of the crumpled shape in the alley. “You didn't find the weapon, did you?”
“Here.” Jem drew something from inside his jacket—a knife, wrapped in white cloth. “It's a sort of misericord, or hunting dagger. Look how thin the blade is.”
Will took it. The blade was indeed thin, ending in a handle made of polished bone. The blade and hilt both were stained with dried blood. With a frown he wiped the flat of the knife across the rough fabric of his sleeve, scraping it clean until a symbol, burned into the blade, became visible. Two serpents, each biting the other's tail, forming a perfect circle.
“Ouroboros,” Jem said, leaning in close to stare at the knife. “A double one. Now, what do you think that means?”
“The end of the world,” said Will, still looking at the dagger, a small smile playing about his mouth, “and the beginning.”
Jem frowned. “I understand the symbology, William. I meant, what do you think its presence on the dagger signifies?”
The wind off the river was ruffling Will's hair; he brushed it out of his eyes with an impatient gesture and went back to studying the knife. “It's an alchemical symbol, not a warlock or Downworlder one. That usually means humans—the foolish mundane sort who think trafficking in magic is the ticket for gaining wealth and fame.”
“The sort who usually end up a pile of bloody rags inside some pentagram.” Jem sounded grim.
“The sort who like to lurk about the Downworld parts of our fair city.” After wrapping the handkerchief around the blade carefully, Will slipped it into his jacket pocket. “D'you think Charlotte will let me handle the investigation?”
“Do you think you can be trusted in Downworld? The gambling hells, the dens of magical vice, the women of loose morals . . .”
Will smiled the way Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven. “Would tomorrow be too early to start looking, do you think?”
Jem sighed. “Do what you like, William. You always do.”
Tessa could not remember a time when she had not loved the clockwork angel. It had belonged to her mother once, and her mother had been wearing it when she died. After that it had sat in her mother's jewelry box, until her brother, Nathaniel, took it out one day to see if it was still in working order.
The angel was no bigger than Tessa's pinky finger, a tiny statuette made of brass, with folded bronze wings no larger than a cricket's. It had a delicate metal face with shut crescent eyelids, and hands crossed over a sword in front. A thin chain that looped beneath the wings allowed the angel to be worn around the neck like a locket.
Tessa knew the angel was made out of clockwork because if she lifted it to her ear she could hear the sound of its machinery, like the sound of a watch. Nate had exclaimed in surprise that it was still working after so many years, and he had looked in vain for a knob or a screw, or some other method by which the angel might be wound. But there had been nothing to find. With a shrug he'd given the angel to Tessa. From that moment she had never taken it off; even at night the angel lay against her chest as she slept, its constant ticktock, ticktock like the beating of a second heart.
She held it now, clutched between her fingers, as the Main nosed its way between other massive steamships to find a spot at the Southampton dock. Nate had insisted that she come to Southampton instead of Liverpool, where most transatlantic steamers arrived. He had claimed it was because Southampton was a much pleasanter place to arrive at, so Tessa couldn't help being a little disappointed by this, her first sight of England. It was drearily gray. Rain drummed down onto the spires of a distant church, while black smoke rose from the chimneys of ships and stained the already dull-colored sky. A crowd of people in dark clothes, holding umbrellas, stood on the docks. Tessa strained to see if her brother was among them, but the mist and spray from the ship were too thick for her to make out any individual in great detail.
Tessa shivered. The wind off the sea was chilly. All of Nate's letters had claimed that London was beautiful, the sun shining every day. Well, Tessa thought, hopefully the weather there was better than it was here, because she had no warm clothes with her, nothing more substantial than a woolen shawl that had belonged to Aunt Harriet, and a pair of thin gloves. She had sold most of her clothes to pay for her aunt's funeral, secure in the knowledge that her brother would buy her more when she arrived in London to live with him.
A shout went up. The Main, its shining black-painted hull gleaming wet with rain, had anchored, and tugs were plowing their way through the heaving gray water, ready to carry baggage and passengers to the shore. Passengers streamed off the ship, clearly desperate to feel land under their feet. So different from their departure from New York. The sky had been blue then, and a brass band had been playing. Though, with no one there to wish her good-bye, it had not been a merry occasion.
Hunching her shoulders, Tessa joined the disembarking crowd. Drops of rain stung her unprotected head and neck like pinpricks from icy little needles, and her hands, inside their insubstantial gloves, were clammy and wet with rain. Reaching the quay, she looked around eagerly, searching for a sight of Nate. It had been nearly two weeks since she'd spoken to a soul,
having kept almost entirely to herself on board the Main. It would be wonderful to have her brother to talk to again.
He wasn't there. The wharves were heaped with stacks of luggage and all sorts of boxes and cargo, even mounds of fruit and vegetables wilting and dissolving in the rain. A steamer was departing for Le Havre nearby, and damp-looking sailors swarmed close by Tessa, shouting in French. She tried to move aside, only to be almost trampled by a throng of disembarking passengers hurrying for the shelter of the railway station.
But Nate was nowhere to be seen.
“You are Miss Gray?” The voice was guttural, heavily accented. A man had moved to stand in front of Tessa. He was tall, and was wearing a sweeping black coat and a tall hat, its brim collecting rainwater like a cistern. His eyes were peculiarly bulging, almost protuberant, like a frog's, his skin as rough-looking as scar tissue. Tessa had to fight the urge to cringe away from him. But he knew her name. Who here would know her name except someone who knew Nate, too?
“Your brother sent me. Come with me.”
“Where is he?” Tessa demanded, but the man was already walking away. His stride was uneven, as if he had a limp from an old injury. After a moment Tessa gathered up her skirts and hurried after him.
He wound through the crowd, moving ahead with purposeful speed. People jumped aside, muttering about his rudeness as he shouldered past, with Tessa nearly running to keep up. He turned abruptly around a pile of boxes, and came to a halt in front of a large, gleaming black coach. Gold letters had been painted across its side, but the rain and mist were too thick for Tessa to read them clearly.
The door of the carriage opened and a woman leaned out. She wore an enormous plumed hat that hid her face. “Miss Theresa Gray?”
Tessa nodded. The bulging-eyed man hurried to help the woman out of the carriage—and then another woman, following after her. Each of them immediately opened an umbrella and raised it, sheltering themselves from the rain. Then they fixed their eyes on Tessa.
They were an odd pair, the women. one was very tall and thin, with a bony, pinched face. Colorless hair was scraped back into a chignon at the back of her head. She wore a dress of brilliant violet silk, already spattered here and there with splotches of rain, and matching violet gloves. The other woman was short and plump, with small eyes sunk deep into her head; the bright pink gloves stretched over her large hands made them look like colorful paws.
“Theresa Gray,” said the shorter of the two. “What a delight to make your acquaintance at last. I am Mrs. Black, and this is my sister, Mrs. Dark. Your brother sent us to accompany you to London.”
Tessa—damp, cold, and baffled—clutched her wet shawl tighter around herself. “I don't understand. Where's Nate? Why didn't he come himself?”
“He was unavoidably detained by business in London. Mortmain's couldn't spare him. He sent ahead a note for you, however.” Mrs. Black held out a rolled-up bit of paper, already dampened with rain.
Tessa took it and turned away to read it. It was a short note from her brother apologizing for not being at the docks to meet her, and letting her know that he trusted Mrs. Black and Mrs.
Dark—I call them the Dark Sisters, Tessie, for obvious reasons, and they seem to find the name agreeable!—to bring her safely to his house in London. They were, his note said, his landladies as well as trusted friends, and they had his highest recommendation.
That decided her. The letter was certainly from Nate. It was in his handwriting, and no one else ever called her Tessie. She swallowed hard and slipped the note into her sleeve, turning back to face the sisters. “Very well,” she said, fighting down her lingering sense of disappointment—she had been so looking forward to seeing her brother. “Shall we call a porter to fetch my trunk?”
“No need, no need.” Mrs. Dark's cheerful tone was at odds with her pinched gray features. “We've already arranged to have it sent on ahead.” She snapped her fingers at the bulging-eyed man, who swung himself up into the driver's seat at the front of the carriage. She placed her hand on Tessa's shoulder.
“Come along, child; let's get you out of the rain.”
As Tessa moved toward the carriage, propelled by Mrs. Dark's bony grip, the mist cleared, revealing the gleaming golden image painted on the side of the door. The words “The Pandemonium Club” curled intricately around two snakes biting each other's tails, forming a circle. Tessa frowned. “What does that mean?”
“Nothing you need worry about,” said Mrs. Black, who had already climbed inside and had her skirts spread out across one of the comfortable-looking seats. The inside of the carriage was richly decorated with plush purple velvet bench seats facing each other, and gold tasseled curtains hanging in the windows. Mrs. Dark helped Tessa up into the carriage, then clambered in behind her. As Tessa settled herself on the bench seat, Mrs. Black reached to shut the carriage door behind her sister, closing out the gray sky. When she smiled, her teeth gleamed in the dimness as if they were made out of metal. “Do settle in, Theresa. We've a long ride ahead of us.”
Tessa put a hand to the clockwork angel at her throat, taking comfort in its steady ticking, as the carriage lurched forward into the rain.
Excerpted from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare Copyright © 2010 by Cassandra Clare. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
A Reading Group Guide to
by Cassandra Clare
About This Book
The year is 1878. When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. 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 secretive, demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she finds herself torn between. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork demons, the Club is out to annihilate the Shadowhunters and rule the British Empire, and Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world.
· What is the Pandemonium Club? The Shadowhunters think the Club has more power than it actually does. Why do they have that impression? What has been done to manipulate the Club’s image?
· Tessa gradually uncovers information about herself and her powers, but she still knows very little about why she was “created.” Why is it important to her and to the Shadowhunters to find out? How does Tessa’s view of herself change over the course of the story?
· Chapter 3 begins with a Robert Browning quote, “Love, hope, fear, faith—these make humanity; These are its sign and note and character.” Do you agree? What other characteristics do you think are the hallmarks of humanity?
· Tessa, Jessamine, and Charlotte all have very different ideas about the appropriate roles for women. How much of each woman’s attitude do you think comes from the beliefs of the day, and how much from her own experiences?
· Why are books so important to Tessa? What do they add to her life? Do the Shadowhunters have things in their life that serve this same purpose?
· A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is mentioned several times throughout the story, most noticeably when Will and Tessa are about to enter de Quincey’s party. Why do you think the author chose this particular book? What themes are common to both?
· How does Jem deal with his addiction and its effect on his health and his life? Has it changed his personality? Why does he ask the others to stop searching for a cure; why do they agree? Is his reaction to addiction normal?
· Will’s philosophy can be summed up by a quote by Horace, “Pulvis et umbra sumus,” which means “We are dust and shadows.” Why do you think this resonates with him so deeply? Do his actions bear witness to this belief?
· What caused de Quincey to betray the Nephilim? Were the Nephilim surprised by this betrayal? Should they have been?
· Clockwork Angel is set in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Why are the clockwork people so frightening to Tessa and the Shadowhunters? How does the Magister’s clockwork army affect the power balance in his fight against the Shadowhunters?
· What does Tessa want from her relationship with Will? Why does Will force distance between them?
· Books are very important in Tessa’s life, and she uses literature to help define other people and determine if she can trust them. How do the books you own and love define your character? Create a book collection based on a specific theme or philosophy that is important to you. Annotate the collection, explaining how the books work together to create a complete picture of who you are.
· There is a lot of tension between Downworlders and Shadowhunters in Clockwork Angel. Have students role-play a negotiation to help bring peace between the two groups.
· Cassandra Clare references many classic works of literature in Clockwork Angel. Choose one of these works to read. Write a short essay about the themes in the work, and why you think they resonated with Clare enough for her to include them.
· Will finds his personal credo in a quote by Horace. What quote or saying best sums up your philosophy of life? Assemble a collection of quotes from famous works—both classic and contemporary—to convey to others what this philosophy is.
· Compare an 1878 map of London with a modern map. Locate some of the streets and landmarks that Cassandra Clare describes. How has the layout of the city changed? Which streets and landmarks are still standing? Compare old images of buildings and streets with modern photographs or Google maps.
· Create a clock or other clockwork machine, either from a kit or from plans that you draw up.
· Will and Tessa are fond of quoting poetry. Write a poem of your own that describes the place where you live, the way you are feeling, or something that you have done.
· Clockwork Angel serves as a prequel to Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, and as such, offers some backstory for them. Create a Shadowhunter family tree by charting out which characters in this book might be related to characters in the Mortal Instruments. What traits do they share? What trends can you see developing?
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Clockwork Angel instantly rejuvenated my love for YA urban fantasy. The dark, edgy quality of the writing and plot was breathtaking. Cassandra has a way of creating a world that starts to creep into your self conscious and devours your thoughts. At first, I was a bit skeptical, I didn't think this prequel would live up to the actual Mortal Instruments series. But, I was ecstatic to find out that I was beyond wrong. The characters and overall story was creative and compelling. The Victorian era was the perfect scenario with a refreshing outlook of people's mannerisms in the past. Tessa, one of my favorite characters, was a very unique individual who had the power to shift into another person. Her ability was wanted by powerful figures who managed to shake up her existence. The moment Tessa entered the institute, I was taken back to the Mortal Instruments. I enjoyed seeing this place in a different light with assorted shadowhunters. Now, this wouldn't be a Cassandra Clare book without some drool worthy boys. The badass and cocky Shadowhunter was Will. His appearance of blue eyes and dark hair made me swoon at his every word. However, he did have moments where I would have loved to punch him. Of course we also need a nice, sensitive, good-looking boy to balance Will, and luckily I found that in Jem. He was such a sweetheart and knew just the right things to say to Will and Tessa. I felt like his name should of been 'Gem' because in my opinion, his pure heart was a rare treasure. Also, I want to randomly point out that I love how Cassandra introduces Asian characters. I found that in Simon in the Mortal Instruments and now with Jem being half Asian. She definitely knows how to fulfill my Asian fetish in men. :) Okay then, I don't want to give too much away, because this was a book I want everyone to experience, especially Cassandra Clare fans! It had everything from amazing fighting scenes to dramatic twists and turns. The ending left me utterly speechless and I am officially hooked and cannot wait to continue on with this masterpiece of a series!
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is as good as the Mortal Instrument Series. It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
I've heard a lot of customers talking about Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and one lady told me this is a prequel (series again) of sorts to the Mortal Instruments. I decided to read this first since I just got caught up with Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series and the paranormal/victorian steam punkish style seemed to be a nice bridge to Clare's newest book. The main characters are teens, of course, but without the melodrama that so often kills the mood of a novel. I liked how the romance took a back seat to the actual action and plot, yet nothing felt "thrown in" last second. A wonderful delight to read and well worth the buy.
I never thought that Cassandra Clare would ever top the Mortal Instruments trilogy. I could not put Clockwork Angel down and I was enthralled by every word. One of the best absolute reads of my life. This book pushes Cassandra Clare to the top of my favorite author's list.
A girl has discovered a secret world of demons, angels' spawn, and darkness. It is revealed that she has a strange power no one has ever seen before. Thrown headfirst in to a world of violence and chaos, she is taken in by the Shadowhunters, protectors who stand between humans and their destruction at the claws of the demons. While learning who she is, she finds herself torn between two boys: one is brooding, obviously attracted to her, and off-limits. The other is sensitive, supportive and her confident. The book is a whirlwind of violence, romance, danger, drama, (predictable) plot twists, divas and a race of guardians with superiority complexes. Sound familiar? Cassandra Clare followed a blueprint almost identical to her first series, the Mortal Instruments, when she wrote this book. Don't get me wrong. It's a great read for lazy Sunday afternoons, before bed or on the beach. Just don't get your hopes up for anything new and you won't be disappointed. You might even come away eager for the sequel. All in all not bad, but not terribly good. Hopefully we'll see something new and different in Clare's next piece.
ALL RIGHT PEOPLE!!! Listen to the two points I have to give to you. One, the reason so much of the Infernal Devices has that of the MIS series is because Clare intended those who read one series didn't have to read the other. And plus, if you think about it, the series really is different. More on the world of Downworlders. The history of the Shadowhunters. And second, of course the chara are similar. Will is Jace's anscestor, and like Magnus said in book 4 (CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS), Will is more like Jace even though he looks like Alec. And Clary... Well, let's just say that if Clary saw Tessa in book three, GRAY is similar to FRAY, and a little bird told me Tess might show up in the MIS again.... well, something is going on about those two that seems awfully strange.
The problem with creating an entirely new story in an already established world is that there are expectations from everyone who has read the previous stories. As someone who read and loved the Mortal Instruments series, I had high hopes for the opener in the Infernal Devices series. Unfortunately, Clockwork Angel came up short. Overall, the plot and the characters seemed too much like those from the TMI world. Will is startlingly similar to Jace, just as Tessa has many of Clary's traits; Jessamine even reminded me of Isabelle and Jem has a more introverted personality like Alec. It just felt all too familiar. Almost like a retelling with different names and locations. Instead of a villain like Valentine raising a demon army, the Magister is planning on employing an army of clockwork people infused with demonic energies. Both people are power hungry and out for themselves. It took me a while, but I was able to move past the similarities and enjoy the story for its Victorian touch and slightly steampunk nature. Aside from the TMI similarities, the main problem I had with this book is that it was incredibly slow. The build up took far too long. I couldn't even bring myself to truly care for the characters or the story until I broke the 300 page mark. After that, it was much more fast-paced and the plot really started moving along. Even with such a slow start, I did enjoy Clockwork Angel. Any fan of the Shadowhunter world will appreciate seeing the familiar characters like Magnus Bane (and Church!) and hearing about the Lightwoods that Isabelle and Alec descended from. Will's backstory is alluded to over and over and that really piqued my interest. Tessa's obviously unique nature presents many possibilities in the future and Jem's illness sure had me curious. While this wasn't quite what I had expected, I'll be continuing the Infernal Devices series to see just where Clare plans on taking us. Opening line (from prologue): The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts. ~ pg. 1 Favorite line: "If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside." ~ pg. 283
blog: http://bit.ly/8XDfcZ Whoa, this book is so much darker than I recall The Mortal Instruments series ever being. Seriously, the villains' transgressions involve the flaying of skin and craziness I couldn't help but compare to Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. I thought zombies were creepy but wait till you get a load of the creatures in Clockwork Angel. They are creeeepy! lol The story is set in Victorian London and follows Shadowhunters Will and Jem in their efforts to assist Miss Tessa Gray in finding her brother, while also finding out if the numerous humans, or mundanes, going missing are due to Downworlders violating the Accords. Tessa arrived in London from New York at her brother Nathaniel's behest but almost instantly she is kidnapped and held hostage by Dark Sisters. She is found by Shadowhunters tracking evidence of the mundane murders, but her trauma has also revealed a secret to her, and the Shadowhunters are determined to find out all they can in order to try and keep peace in the city. So many mysteries remain unanswered for Tessa and she isn't about to trust just anyone. Especially when she realizes no one knows where her brother is or if he is even still alive. This story is a bit complicated, with tons of moving parts and characters, just like pieces of a clock. It might be a little difficult to hang on to at first but if you stick with the moving parts and make it to last chapters in order to see it all begin to come together, readers will definitely appreciate the story and the set-up that this book 1 provides for the rest of the trilogy. This book is a solid stand-alone, not at all spoiling any of the surprises in The Mortal Instruments books, and instead truly complimenting them with a fuller picture of the Shadowhunter world and history. So don't be concerned to read Clockwork Angel if you haven't read the other series; it's perfectly safe. Last week, Cassandra Clare had a live chat via Simon & Schuster and Ustream.tv and she made an exciting announcement. TMI is going to have THREE additional books!! Books 4, 5, and 6 are tentatively titled City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire. A friend of mine attended her signing at Barnes and Noble that same day after the chat and said that the info was pretty much the exact same as what I saw on the chat but that she did say there would be character deaths in these books. It's PURE speculation but for whatever reason we both feel it will be Simon, lol! Go figure. You can watch the chat below so check it out! http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/871694
I really enjoyed the story but found that Miss Clair was repetitive in the personalty's of some of her characters. Such as Will who is almost exactly like Jace from the earlier mortal instruments series. And other repetitive personalty's through out the book. That is why I give this book only 3 stars had I read this book before reading the mortal instruments I would have enjoyed it much more.
I got this book because of my love for The Mortal Instruments series. Going into it I understood that we would still be dealing with Downworlders and Shadowhunters, but instead of the story being set in present time NY, this time we would be in 1878 London. Aside from the century and the location, the basic plot is a lot like TMI series. But unlike TMI series, this book seems a lot slower paced. There were quite a few times when I was just going to give up, and stop reading, but geez...let me tell you, I'm glad I didn't. Not just for the fact that I realized that Magnus Bane is in this book (and who doesn't love Magnus?), but also because it was around the half way point in the book when things started to pick up. I will definitely continue on reading this series.
I can't wait for this book to come out! The Mortal Instruments was an excellent series (and can't wait for The City of Fallen Angels coming out next year!) and I'm looking forward to reading about this new set of characters. If you haven't read any of Cassandra Clare's books, READ THEM NOW!!!!!
I thoroughly enjoy the way that Clare writes. It’s inviting yet her vivid and larger than life descriptions make everything pop. Clare combines the old with the new and the weird to create a unique & seamless whole for this world that she drops her readers into. She gradually builds up this world, allowing readers to dip their toes in, rather than having to plunge in head first and sink or swim. I really enjoyed this approach. This is an intensely stimulating and very interesting story. I loved it to bits. Clare doesn`t simply present her characters to you. She invites you into her world and introduces you to new friends bit by bit. I enjoyed getting to know the ins and outs of what it means to be a shadow hunter. The in-depth look at where they came from and what they do was Tessa learns about them made me feel like part of this world. Each individual`s take on what it means to be a shadow hunter also gives you a feeling of who they really are inside. This story was chilly and frightening at times yet very exciting throughout. I couldn’t put it down. Although targeted to an audience in their late teens anyone and everyone is bound to enjoy this.
I've honestly had this on my Nook for months. I have read the first two of the moral instrument series and really enjoyed them. This one is very difficult for me to get into and a little redundant.
This is a pre-series to the mortal instruments. If you loved the Mortal Instruments, then you will love this series. Its a non-stop read and has all the characteristics of a great novel. Mystery, monsters, romance, and suspense. One of my absolute favorites!
A mystifying, haunting, action-filled read, CLOCKWORK ANGEL kept me guessing what would happen to Tessa next. Cassandra Clare's character development and persona skills in this book are awesome and in-depth, like in all of her books. The details and descriptions were so dead-on, I feel like I could go to London and, just from reading this, know exactly what to expect. I actually like Tessa's character a little more than Clary's, from The Mortal Instruments (TMI), the series that [chronologically] comes after this series, The Infernal Devices. [Sorry, Clary!] Tessa was bolder, and stood up for herself more often, IMO. I felt like Clary only stood up for herself when her friends and she were in some sort of trouble. I don't have a problem with Will, but his condescending way of speaking to people, even when their day is going badly, can sometimes get on my nerves.* Jem was a good character, well thought out, too. I really enjoyed how Magnus from TMI was brought into CLOCKWORK ANGEL. I did in a way enjoy the introduction of the Shadow World of City of Bones, the first book of TMI, better than the way the MC, Tessa, finds out about it here. She simply reads a book called The Shadowhunter's Codex. So, if they have that, why didn't Hodge [from TMI] just give Clary a copy of The Codex and tell her to read it, instead of orally explaining the whole Shadow World deal? . . . The events that go on throughout this book are thrilling. Hunts, killings, and a war to see who will get to keep Tessa. Everyone is always trying to come up with a slyer trick, which prevents you from putting the book down! As for the team question, I'm Team Jem - but I will forever be Team Simon just as much from TMI! Go Simon! Overall, CLOCKWORK ANGEL was an exciting, action-y book: 4 1/2 stars. -JP :) This review was originally posted on my book review blog, here: yaurban.blogspot.com/2010/09/clockwork-angel.html
I expected to love it just as much as I loved her other books, the Mortal Instruments trilogy, and I was right! I fell in love with the characters and at some points I definitely thought I could predict what would happen next but was proven wrong. I love the twists and I could not put the book down. I got somewhat upset when people tried to interrupt me when I was reading, but that just emphasizes how awesome the book is. The end left me hungry for more. I can't wait for the next book!
This will forever be my favorite book series
All of Cassandra Clare's books have invoked stong emotions from me. It's a beautiful thing when an author can draw deep emotions from their audience. I highly recommed this book.
This is one of my favorite books from the series. It has drama and action.
My daughter loves this series by Cassandra Clare & after having met her at Book Con in NY Earlier this year, has run through this series with a passion!
Yeah yeah i know... its a ya novel.. but srsly the writing is great and beautiful and ahhh *feels* I had read the mortal instruments and while that series was good, i had no idea clare could write like this. Highly recommend this beautiful and romantic story.
This book is such great book. I wish i could have read this series before i read the mortal instruments series. Because then some things that i read in the mortal instruments i ididnt understand that well and this book helped me better understand. Ellenajust_rated
One of my all time favorites
My one complaint is that two of the characters seem to simply be a rehash of Clary and Jace, but like the Mortal Instrument series, the side characters were amazing and entertaining.
I literaly could not stop reading all the books in the series. If u liked infernal devices then you should also love the