"Clockwork Angel" is the first of a new series of books called "The Infernal Devices," which is set in London during the Victorian Period and acts a kind of Prequel to the Mortal Instruments Trilogy. Though it's probably recommended to read The Mortal Instruments first before reading this, you don't have to since the two story-lines don't interweave in any way and the fantasy elements are explained really clearly again in the first few chapters of the book.
The plot revolves around Tessa Gray, a sixteen-year-old girl, who journeys from New York to London to live with her older brother Nathaniel, after the death of her Aunt, her one sole guardian. However on arriving she is meet by the strange and mysterious Dark Sisters and their coachman who insist that they were sent by her brother to collect her and it soon turns out that the sisters have a terrible fate in store for Tessa. They keep her prisoner while trying to train her to harness a unique power that she never knew she had, a power that makes her one of the most hunted people in the city. Soon Tessa is introduced to the Downworld of London, a place of warlocks, fey, vampires, werewolves and of course the Shadowhunters, a group of warriors whom she later seeks refuge with.
Cassandra Clare is quickly becoming my favorite author and with her latest book, it's not hard to see why. As all her books, "Clockwork Angel" is highly addictive. The plot is engrossing and filled with so many unexpected twists that you don't expect, none of which I want to give away. The fantasy elements are also really well done, so that it still fits within the realistic setting of Victorian London and doesn't become too overwhelming but the best part of the book has to be the characters. Clare has a wonderful talent in making you love and care for her characters in only a couple of chapters. All of them are fleshed out, with secrets, histories and motives for everything they do, even the minor characters all have an important part to play but each uniquely different. The most infuriating character of all has to be the handsome yet morally corrupt Will Herondale, who is similar to Jace, since Clare has raised so many questions about his elusive past and motives. One of the biggest mysteries which I look forward to seeing revealed is that of Tessa who is also a very likable and believable heroine who though strong and brave also likes to fantasize about her most loved novels and characters as plenty of teenage girls would do.
I also love the way Clare develops romance in her novels sine it is not cliched or quick with an instant connection with first sight, rather more, it develops slowly so that it becomes believable. Being the first book, there is some romantic elements but the characters are developing more as friends
Clare paints the time period nicely as well, though don't count on it being very geographically accurate, as there is more emphasis on atmosphere that she evokes of the setting rather than the historical facts. The writing is also well done and improves with each novel she writes though the novel really primarily is a work of YA fiction.
So if you're looking for a fun light read and well-written escapism fiction then this really is the book. Just sit back, relax and enjoy reading it.