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on 27 August 2010
"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.
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This is the first novel in a new series by award winning author Cassandra Clare. This series is written as a prequel to the Mortal Instruments series. Her first book, City of Bones was nominated, short listed or won 17 awards. It is also the first of her novels I have read. She is often asked if people should read the Mortal Instruments or the Infernal Devices books first. She states, and I believe, it does not matter.

This story is set in London in 1878; it revolves around three main characters, and their involvement with our world and a supernatural world. Our main character is Tessa Gray, a young woman who has just journeyed to London to connect with her brother, originally from New York. She arrives to be absconded by the Dark Sisters, who are training her in a talent she never knew she had. The other two main characters are Jem (James) Corstairs and Will (William) Herondale, both of whom belong to a group known as Shadowhunters. They help defend humans from those who are downworlders and demons. Downworlders are all of those creatures on earth who are not human - vampires, werewolves, warlocks, fairies and more. Set as part of a historic conflict between good and evil, the Shadowhunters have stood between mankind and slavery or destruction for generations.

The story is incredibly well written. The reader becomes transported back in time and into the city of London. As the story progresses, you find yourself thinking about it again and again. The characters and the story will just not leave your thoughts. At one point early in the story Tessa declares: "One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us." That really is true of all good books. The reader comes away changed - changed either in their outlook on the world, their philosophy, or even in their intentions towards their fellow humans. This book does that. The reader will see the battle between light and darkness differently. They will look at the world around them differently and wonder if what they are seeing is really real, or just seems to be real.

Prior to reading this book I had only read two short stories by Cassandra Clare. I enjoyed both but this novel shows the skill and power over words that Cassandra Clare has. It was an incredible novel and I now plan on reading all of her other books.
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on 4 October 2014
I am undoubtedly a diehard Mortal Instruments fan, so The Infernal Devices had in my eyes 2 possibilities: 1) It would be a disappointing copy set in a different era with similar characters or 2) I would soak up every word of Cassandra Clare’s writing and love it almost as much.

It was clearly possibility 2, and while I didn’t love it as much as The Mortal Instruments I never even considered I would so there was no loss. So much of it was unbelievably original that I realise there was no reason for fear in the first place, while I still thought and compared to The Mortal Instruments it was in my head its own story with its own characters.

There were similarities; for example Will is a lot like Jace, and since I’ve already completed The Mortal Instruments I can see why, but it didn’t get to the point where it felt like a copy. Jace will always be mine, but I can see where people are coming from when they claim Will as their ultimate book boyfriend/husband and I can’t wait to understand him deeper which I can only presume will happen in the sequel when we learn more of his back story. If you haven’t worked it out by now (and you should have) I will be constantly referencing The Mortal Instruments, which brings me to the fact that Jem has in a way taken Simon’s place. He blows Simon out the water though and while I never considered Clary with anyone but Jace, I can see Tessa with Jem.

Unfortunately I was spoiled long, long ago with what happens in Clockwork Princess and like I said I’ve read City of Heavenly Fire so there’s no surprises with what happens. I absolutely look forward to the journey though.

Even with this I did find that I could be surprised; and while I know some of the more major plot twists I didn’t know the details so I found myself as shocked as everyone else when... certain… things happened…

I loved every character; Tessa, Will *swoon*, Jem *double swoon*, Henry, Charlotte and even Jessamine just to name a few. What I was most looking forward to though was without a doubt more on my favourite gay warlock Magnus Bane. I’ve been waiting for the Bane Chronicles ever since I heard about it and so this was a great way of passing the time! Like all the others he has such a complex backstory, but I think Jem wins on that front as you’ll come to know when/if you’ve read this.

And if you haven’t read this then you need to! Like now! Cassandra Clare is such a brilliant writer that anyone who hasn’t read some of her work is missing out. She astounds me with the way she can create a world you can lost in so completely that when you’re reading it feels more real than you own. It’s something I treasure in books so I will always treasure hers.

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
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on 9 January 2012
I have had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a full year, and for some reason I just hadn't read it yet.
I have no idea why as I love The Mortal Instruments series!! After buying Clockwork Prince, I decided it was time to finally start reading the series!

The story is set in Victorian England and follows sixteen year old Tessa Gray as she makes her voyage to London from America to meet up with her brother. Little does she know that it is all a set up and she is soon kidnapped by the Dark Sisters and shown that she has a very rare power, she can change herself into the glamour of another person.

After escaping the Dark Sisters, Tessa befriends the London Shadowhunter community, who pledge help her track down her brother and try to find out some truths about Tessa's past in order to discover more about her unique power.

I did really enjoy this book, I don't think it was a great as The Mortal Instruments series. To be fair though there has been 4 of those books and I've grown to love the characters and this is only the first book in the new series, so I guess only time will tell.

At first I wasn't too sure about the setting for the book, Victorian England seems to be overused somewhat in YA fiction these days. Cassandra does manage to keep it fresh and exciting though and the descriptive language used throughout the book places the reader right into the heart of the story.

I did like these new characters, I think out of them all Tessa is my favourite. She is very different to Clary in The Mortal Instruments, and at the same time they have some very similar qualities. I'm glad that Cassandra didn't just write another Mortal Instruments but set in London, as that was what I originally assumed this book to be like.

The plot is exciting, fast paced and keeps the reader on their toes. There are a few twists and turns along the way which are well placed and well thought out. I didn't see most of them coming at all.

Overall, I still prefer The Mortal Instruments series but this is defiantly not one to be missed either!
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on 21 March 2013
After the death of her aunt, Tessa Gray travels from New York to Victorian London to meet her brother Nathaniel, at the dock she is met by the Dark Sisters who said they were sent by her brother to get her. Six weeks later and Tessa is being forced to magically change by the Dark Sisters for someone called the Magister. She is rescued by some Shadowhunters, a group of people, who are half human and half angel, and there job is to protect humans from Downworlders such as vampires and warlocks. As Tessa helps the Shadowhunters uncover who the Magister is and find her brother she finds herself drawn to 2 Shadowhunter best friends Will and Jem.

Clockwork Angel is the first in a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments and I love the mixture of steampunk and paranormal elements. This book is brilliant as it has all the things I have grown to love about Clare's work as it has action, romance and humour.

I really like Tessa as she is in a strange city, surrounded by unfamiliar people but she copes with it really well, plus she loves reading. All the other characters are really well written especially Will seems to not care about anyone but has a dark secret which makes him intriguing. However, it seems that a lot of the people in this book are similar to those in the Mortal Instruments and I hope Clare moves away from this in the Clockwork Prince.

Clockwork Prince is a brilliant novel which I would recommend to people who like Cassandra Clare's work or who like Steampunk books.
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First off I apologise for an overuse of ellipses in this review. Please just envision a pale Irish brunette tearing her hair out and gurning at those intervals if it helps!

Sigh...So I read The Mortal Instruments in the first two weeks of January this year and I swear I barely slept. I read before getting up, before breakfast, at tea break, after dinner. I was obsessed. Completely enthralled in the world of the Shadowhunters, I adored all the characters, Jace broke my heart as he struggled to find happiness, Clary didn't whine as much as other YA heroines which was a blessing and Simon, oh Simon, you cute little geek you! I discussed TMI at length on Goodreads and everyone assured me that The Infernal Devices were far far superior to TMI, I would instantly fall for Will, worship Tessa and be "Jace who?"

Hmm...Don't believe the hype is a lesson I've learned.

So I settled down into my fave chair, snuggled up with my doggy Gypsy and prepared to be overwhelmed with love and adoration for Cassandra Clare.

Eh...

Okay let's get the bad stuff out of the way first because I do have good things so I'll rip off the band-aid!

My main issue with this book was the characterisation. It was blah. Every character was just a watered down version of TMI. Tessa=Clary, Will=Jace, Jem=Simon, Jessamine=Isabelle. Tessa and Jem were the two shining lights in a murky pond of bland and even then...barely. I have never cared less about characters in my life. They could have been killed horribly and I would have shrugged and said "what ever!" Cassandra Clare seems to think for a man to be irresistible to a woman he must slouch, sneer and snark as much as possible. I know there's some deep dark secret and Will's got some inner turmoil that will be revealed (I hope) over the next two books but if you're going to set up that storyline please don't wait until the epilogue to truly make that clear! Jessamine, just ugh. I had a whole rant but she's not worth my time. Charlotte and Henry, who were they? At times I completely forgot!

The bad guys were so archetypal mannequins, moustache twiddling, rubbing their hands in glee I'm surprised there wasn't a big flashing arrow over them. The reveals were clumsily done and at no time was anything a shock. Everything was just so convenient and utterly frustrating.

I'm well used to rolling my eyes at stereotypes so the fact that CC seemed to have gotten her "The Big Book of British Stereotypes" and "This is What Victorian England Was Like" out as reference books when writing was another tear-my-hair-out moment. The Simpson's writers could have done a better job at accuracy.

Okay what did I like?

The overall plot of the Clockwork Army was intriguing and I'm looking to the continuation of that storyline. Tessa's mysterious origins was another highlight as was Tessa overall. I liked her tenacity, her intelligence and her values. Jem's sweetness, patience and background story made him my favourite. The origins of the Shadowhunters and the politics was explored more and I appreciated the knowledge gained in particularly the status of the accords in the times before Valentine. I'm hoping the complexity of the TID world is expanded in the later books and will hopefully match TMI. At time of writing I'm about a 1/4 into Clockwork Prince and I am more sympathetic to Will and definitely more invested in the storyline but I think that's due in large part knowing that CA was part one of a story. If one read it in the hopes that it would have the ability to be enjoyed as a Stand-Alone novel in its own right, they would be sorely disappointed. There was no plot point that was resolved in CA, everything was left open ended and instead of making me feel like " I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW", It was disappointing and lacked resolution. Perhaps Lauren Oliver got writing tips for Requiem from this! Personally if I had read this when it first came out and didn't have the luxury of returning to my Kindle menu and selecting part two I honestly don't think I'd have bothered.

Perhaps Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess will make me eat my words.

I truly and honestly hope so but for now I'm going to firmly place myself on Team Jace&Clary.
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This is the first novel in a new series by award winning author Cassandra Clare. This series is written as a prequel to the Mortal Instruments series. Her first book, City of Bones was nominated, short listed or won 17 awards. It is also the first of her novels I have read. She is often asked if people should read the Mortal Instruments or the Infernal Devices books first. She states, and I believe, it does not matter.

This story is set in London in 1878; it revolves around three main characters, and their involvement with our world and a supernatural world. Our main character is Tessa Gray, a young woman who has just journeyed to London to connect with her brother, originally from New York. She arrives to be absconded by the Dark Sisters, who are training her in a talent she never knew she had. The other two main characters are Jem (James) Corstairs and Will (William) Herondale, both of whom belong to a group known as Shadowhunters. They help defend humans from those who are downworlders and demons. Downworlders are all of those creatures on earth who are not human - vampires, werewolves, warlocks, fairies and more. Set as part of a historic conflict between good and evil, the Shadowhunters have stood between mankind and slavery or destruction for generations.

The story is incredibly well written. The reader becomes transported back in time and into the city of London. As the story progresses, you find yourself thinking about it again and again. The characters and the story will just not leave your thoughts. At one point early in the story Tessa declares: "One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us." That really is true of all good books. The reader comes away changed - changed either in their outlook on the world, their philosophy, or even in their intentions towards their fellow humans. This book does that. The reader will see the battle between light and darkness differently. They will look at the world around them differently and wonder if what they are seeing is really real, or just seems to be real.

Prior to reading this book I had only read two short stories by Cassandra Clare. I enjoyed both but this novel shows the skill and power over words that Cassandra Clare has. It was an incredible novel and I now plan on reading all of her other books.
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on 11 June 2015
This was my first foray into Cassandra Clare’s books and I was not disappointed at all. A friend kept recommending her writing to me, and also told me to start with this series because I would adore Jem and Will. Also something she was not wrong about.

That first line drew me in. I cackled for like, a full minute, at 5am, yeah not smart if you don’t want to wake the entire household up. I was only going to take a sneak peak. I was finally too exhausted to carry on at around 9am and gave in. So technically this book took me two days to read.

I have seen the City of Bones movie so I noticed some foreshadowing surrounding the carriage in the prologue and my instant reaction was OH S***. And then Cassandra Clare proceeds to effortlessly rip my heart out on the first paragraph of Chapter One. I have never cried at the start of a book before. I shed a few tears by the time chapter two came along let me tell you. Within one prologue and one chapter, the author got me so invested in her world that I literally just want to sit down surrounded by her books and read every single one of them back to back.

I adored Jem and Will from the moment I met them. My opinion on Will changed throughout the book however. Tessa took a little longer. But soon enough I was completely in love with the whole cast and when any of them were in despair, I despaired. I wanted to cheer when they won and were happy and of course I cried. A lot. This book actually made me cry and if you’ve read this you’ll know the parts that I cried at. Especially the big one. My favourite character was Jem. There was no way this book wasn’t going to make me sob uncontrollably.

Things I didn’t like though.

- Tessa being judgemental on people’s looks. Honestly I would have liked her more if she wasn’t such a bitch in this department.

- Love triangle. God I hate these with a fiery passion, but I will persevere, because I’m not really in this story for romance. I prefer the action and the concept of shadowhunters. And Jem, let’s be honest.

- Which brings me to my next point and the only reason I didn’t throw this book at the wall when it kept happening was the character mentioned above. What am I talking about? Slut shaming. Yup. I hate it in real life and I abhor it in books. Especially from characters we’re supposed to love. Did nobody tell the author you can have perfectly awesome sassy characters without them being terrible human beings that people want to stab over nd over again. I liked Will at the beginning, he was cocky and sassy and funny. Why this. WHY.
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on 27 March 2015
As a reviewer I dislike mapping out the entire story, I would rather you found that out for yourself... so here is what I though of the book...

Being an avid fan of The Mortal Instruments series it was a given that I would get around to reading The Infernal Devices. Back when Clockwork Angel was first released I did give it a try but found it hard to separate by mind from the Jace / Clary storylines; so I parked it, on the bookshelf where it waited until I was ready. Last month I finished book six of M.I. and was left with a list of questions which cleverly could only be answered by restarting Clockwork Angel.

So I read it. And I really enjoyed it. While it is set in the late 1800s the familiar themes run through it; Shadowhunters, Idris, Institutes and glowing blades. There is an oblivious heroine and a smart mouthed hero, there is a range of supporting characters that bolster the lead performances and almost 500 pages of storyline links that pull on your Nephilim family history recall. I liked Tessa, which is always a deal breaker for me as a reader. If I can't stand who I am reading about then I fail to care about where the story is heading. Tessa kept me engaged, Will and Jem kept me guessing and the appearance of the much beloved Magnus Bane kept me turning those pages.

However, while I'd like to say this is a new story from a different age I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated that at stages in the book it just felt like a Jace and Clary homage. I even found myself reading about Will and his dark ruffled hair and being surprised as I had been visualising the golden mane of his (I'm guessing) decedent. Tessa too came across conflicted in ways so like Clary yet honestly I liked her better, Tessa has a bit more sass about her.

Visually, as a British reader, Cassandra Clare's London did flow nicely like a movie reel through my mind as I read on. I did wonder if that was helped by my being raised on the history of smog, foul Thames and Victorian clothing but being well written I anticipate readers will be enveloped into that world easily.

On the whole I give this book a solid 4 / 5.

Three points:
1. Don't start it if you are mid Mortal Instruments, let it hold its own when you have finished those.
2. Remember Will isn't Jace... though you will still want to find a darkened corner and drag him there.
3. Buy the next book in the series as Clockwork Angel is a fast read and wonderfully ends with a question.

:) xx
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on 5 January 2014
Having read only the first in The Mortal Instruments series, despite owning the first four, I decided to pick up Clockwork Angel, the first in The Infernal Devices trilogy, a spin-off series of sorts, thinking I could read the series' alongside each other.
Let me start off by saying that Cassandra Clare's writing from City of Bones (Mortal Instruments 1) to Clockwork Angel has greatly improved. The story flowed more smoothly and the world building far surpassed that of City of Bones; but enough with comparisons, on to the actual book in question.
Clockwork Angel was immersive from the get go, grabbing my attention tightly and never letting go. The multitude of characters were all written extremely well, and it didn't take a long time for me to feel like I'd been acquainted with these characters for much longer than an introductory novel. There are characters you love, characters you hate and one character in particular (at least for me) that I loved to hate, but my review shall contain no spoilers so you'll just have to read it to find out.
Not a bad word written so far, so why 4 stars you may be asking? There were a few instances, granted by a few I mean very few, where the main character, Tessa, contradicted herself. For example Tessa is talking to Will about Boudica and is astonished that Boudica fought etc and did unladylike things, then on practically the next page she says about how she doesn't like people to tell her she can't do things because she is female. To me this is a contradiction, and while it might be harsh to drop a star for such instances it's one of my pet peeves. I'd have given 4.5 if I could but alas.
If you enjoyed City of Bones, or the Mortal Instruments series in general pick this book up, I guarantee you won't regret it. Even if you disliked City of Bones give this a go, as I previously said this is much better. If you like fantasy with a little romance and some action and a more than healthy dose of mystery then this is the book for you.
A.
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