Alright, so I'm trying very hard to get out of this review slump. What better way than to review a book I absolutely loved? I hope the fact that I did indeed finish this review (and feel pretty good about it) means I'm back. :)
Overall Rating: 4.99 out of five
Characters: 6 out of five
Plot: 5 out of five
Cover Art: 4.8 out of five
Originality: 4.9 out of five
Concept: 4.6 out of five
Wow, I had a lot of them. But I wouldn't expect anything less, seeing as how many quotable lines TMI has.
"'Pulvis et umbra sumus,' said Will. 'I believe we are dust and shadows. What else is there?'"-Love this. Love this so hard.
"'Will crossed his arms over his chest. His eyes glinted dangerously. 'Oh, I can never get enough,' he said. 'Which, incidentally, is what your sister said to me when-' "-My reaction to this: 'Ohhhhh!'
"'Yes, yes,' said Tessa impatiently, 'and thousands of women all over England would pay handsomely for the privilege of such an opportunity. Can we put aside the display of your wit for a moment?'"-And this, ladies and gents, is why I adore Tessa.
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: Jem, 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.
Clockwork Angel is, in summary, made of so much awesome it practically spills from the pages.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, and soon to be City of Fallen Angels), so I'll be honest, my expectations for this book were high. Like, 'This is going to be the second coming of Christ,' high. The second coming of Christ it is not, but one of the best books I've read this year it is.
Tessa is a girl who basically gets her life tossed into the spin cycle. She's alone in London being held prisoner by a couple of creepy old sisters who get a kick out of causing her pain. Not to mention the fact that her body is constantly changing (and not in the 'Oh, she's becoming a woman sense.' She's literally a shapeshifter.)Because of this, she's obviously not dancing around singing show tunes. She's not moping around, fretting over how much her life sucks and not doing a damn thing to change her situation either. This is when my love for Tessa blooms. Within the first few pages I fell in love with her voice. She's a strong lead, with a sharp tongue. She's confused and caring and confident and a whole page full of words that begin with 'c'.
Tessa has a great voice and is well developed, but so are ALL of the characters. Even the minor characters are interesting and relatable. One of my favorite--I wouldn't call her minor at all--characters is Jessamine. She's not in many of the key scenes, and it's her absence that's interesting. She's a shadowhunter, so when she's not around for important shadowhunter-y discussions I wondered where she was and what was going on in her head. Basically I kept thinking 'Why is she the way she is?' I can't wait to see her develop more throughout the series as well as Henry*, Charlotte, Sophie, and even Nate**.
Now onto the love triangle/square/pentagon/signatureCassandraClare thing: Jem and Will are night and day. Completely and utterly different. From their looks to their personalities and reactions they seem to have nothing in common besides being shadowhunters. And the fact that they both have the hots for Tessa. Will is the one you initially want to know more about, being the brooding hot guy, but by the end I wanted to know more about both of them equally. Will is the first to catch your attention with his snark and good looks, but Jem is the one who makes you increasingly more curious. Will gives nothing, while Jem gives everything. I'm leaning towards one 'team' right now, but I'm sure it will keep changing with every twist and turn throughout The Infernal Devices.
The plot is very interesting, and I loved seeing Tessa learn about her power and the Shadow World. It was very different, but much the same as the experience Clary had in City of Bones. They're both new to the world, dragged into it by some familial issue, but while Clary is a shadowhunter, Tessa is a downworlder. Because of this their experiences were vastly different and I loved that. It was also fun seeing the connections between the series'. Every time a certain cat-eyed fellow came I practically screamed, 'MAGNUS!' Do not fear, he is still flashy, just 1878 flashy. Oh, and the Lightwood angst is definitely present. :)
Overall, I loved jumping into the world Clare created and can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series. Fans of TMI and first time Shadow World visitors alike will devour this novel.
Summing it up:
Clockwork Angel is a fantastic start to this new series and you're lamer than a popped collar if you don't pick this up! Clockwork Angel hits shelves*** on August 31st, as if you didn't know, so pick up your own copy!
* I love Henry. Even if he's a little scatter-brained. :)
**He's such a weak character. As in, 'You took my ice cream so I'm going to stamp around and mope until I get my way!' I hope he grows a pair in Clockwork Princess.
***I never quite understood this phrase. It makes it seem as though booksellers around the world are flinging books at shelves.
"Always Dirty, Never Clean"-Anarbor,