Book Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

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.

I absolutely love The Mortal Instruments series so I was a little afraid that Clare's new prequel series, The Infernal Devices, would not measure up.  That fear was put to rest as I closed the cover of Clockwork Angel.  I feel treasonous saying this, but I think I enjoyed Clockwork Angel even more than City of Bones!

Now, comparisons between Clockwork Angel and The Mortal Instruments Series are inevitable.  I urge readers to keep in mind that Clockwork Angel is only one book, and if you are going to compare, compare it to City of Bones only.  Because at first I compared it to the entire trilogy and that is not fair.

The book is set in the same world as City of Bones, with the differences being the time period and location---London instead of New York.  The main characters are Shadowhunters living in the London Institute, and there are a few parallels to The Mortal Instruments characters, namely Will and Jace, in my opinion.  That is where the similarities end.  The villains are different in Clockwork Angel, our heroine is different, and there are a couple of major twists at the end that I did not see coming.  My only complaint is that the book ends with a cliffhanger and now we have to wait, wait, wait to find out what happens next.

Lovers of fantasy, historical fiction, and YA in general will love this book.  I would recommend it to anyone.

Just One Gripe: 
The book is somewhat of a slow starter.  I read the first half in one day, then put it down for a week.  As soon as I started the second half, the story picked up a lot of speed.  I'm telling you this as a warning---if you find yourself dragging through the first half, just keep going because the plot moves so fast through the second half you won't be able to put it down.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
Clare's imagery and world-building is simply outstanding, as always. 

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score:  24/25


  1. Gah! Another book on my tbr pile right this moment. Thank God I have a three day weekend from work so I can finally get to this book. I met Clare at an author signing and she was great. Thanks for the review, Kelli!

  2. Seems to be one of those books you either love or hate. I'm reserving judgement until I read it for myself though I have to say I love the cover.

  3. I really liked this book! I think I'm going to enjoy this series even more than the MI. The whole Jace/Clary bro/sis bit really kinda creeped me out, even though I KNEW they couldn't be bro/sister it just...yea, kinda tainted the whole thing for me....

    I think the Shadowhunter world works really well in this historical setting!

    Love it!

  4. I really enjoyed this one too. thank for the review.

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. Thanks for the slow start warning. Slow starts are so hard for me :)

  6. I can't read your review since (1) I have the book and have yet to read it and (2) I have yet the read City of Bones. Yeah, I'm behind.

  7. Thanks for the review! I can't wait to get to read this one. It's sitting on my shelf, but I have yet to read the Mortal Instruments series. I, too, am behind (I am referring to The Book Vixen, of course). I've had a few books like that, with a slow beginning; so slow that you want to just put it down, but later on it picks up and it's REALLY GOOD.

  8. great review! i soo want this one!
    Im glad you liked my review on "Blind Faith"
    see u there soon,
    ps im your newest follower

  9. Brilliant review! I enjoyed this one, but I'll admit I was a disappointed by all the crossovers with TMI. I thought the character setup was a wee bit too formulaic, but the world Clare created was incredible :)

  10. Great review! Very tempted to read this one before I embark on the trilogy TMI. Is that advisable? Let me know.

    Great cover, one of the best I've seen in a long time.

  11. I really enjoyed CA, loved the Steampunk aspect - so awesome! I love Will something fierce. However, he doesn't replace Jace!

  12. Thanks for reviewing this - it goes straight on my TBR list!!! :-)

  13. I agree with you 100%! I really like this one too!

  14. LOVED this one, and I agree that Clare's worldbuilding skills are unmatched, she does a beautiful job sucking you into what she's created. Really nice review Kelli!

  15. Yep, I think I like this one best too.

  16. LOL! I was just asking Natalie for her review. Glad I looked around and found that you had already posted something, Kelli.

    You don't know how much this review puts me at ease. I've only read CA, but I'm excited to start on TMI books, too. Still, I felt apprehensive since I heard a lot of people complaining that it is too similar to TMI.

    If you saw a different, that is good enough for me.

    P.S. I was so engrossed in CA the entire time I read it. I never noticed it being slow. Maybe because the Shadow Hunter world was new to me.

    Thanks again!

  17. My sister loved this book and keeps trying to convince me to give it a try. After your glowing review, maybe I should. It sounds like and exciting novel, I usually like a little more romance though ;)


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