Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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.
The Steampunk style mixed with what is quickly becoming one of my favorite worlds to revisit time and again made Clockwork Angel an very enjoyable read. Clare has a fantastic gift of being able to bounce between her character’s viewpoints so that the reader doesn’t actually notice when perspectives are changed. It all comes together so that you are effortless reading a well rounded story full of everything I love about both the YA and Fantasy genres.
Will is written a bit like her other main male character from the Mortal Instruments series- heavily guarded and cocky- where as Jem (James) is the complete opposite of him, sensitive and observant. (Needless to say, I’m definitely on Team Jem!) Tessa is a very strong female lead who is easy to love and connect with, even if what she is experiencing in life is a whole world away. Its so hard to remember that just 140 short years ago our world was so different and new, that a trip from New York to London was done via ship and once the ocean was crossed the London in this book is merely a shadow of what it is today. Clare used the London that stood back in 1878 and did some amazing research in order to make it as authentic as possible while still fitting it into a believable fantasy world.
I would suggest that if you haven’t read any of Clare’s work before that you read the Mortal Instruments Series first as Clockwork Angel, the first in the Infernal Devices Series, is actually a prequel. The Mortal Instruments explains more on how the world of the Shadowhunters works where as Clockwork Angel reads as if the author expects you to already know about the world of the Nephilim.
I would rate Clockwork Angel a 4.5/5 If you like YA fantasy then definitely look into reading some of Clare’s work, she’s quickly becoming one of the genre’s most well rounded rising stars.