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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
"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...
Published on 27 Aug 2010 by Red Rose

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming
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...
Published 14 months ago by Danielle (What Danielle Did Next)


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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 27 Aug 2010
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"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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork Angel, 21 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel (Paperback)
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get wound up in this great new series., 30 Aug 2010
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, 8 May 2013
This review is from: The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BelleBooks, 9 Jan 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork Angel, 19 July 2014
I started reading this book directly after finishing the Mortal Instrument series, and overall found the book enjoyable and became increasingly interested in what would happen next.

~ PROS ~
* A good book on it's own, you don't need to read the Mortal Instruments to enjoy it, but it you have read the original series there are some nice links between the two.
* Some good plot twists in the storyline :)
* An overall darker theme than the Mortal Instruments as the enemy was not very supernatural in comparison (I personally preferred this). Also topics Eg. drugs and gambling were prominent in the storyline.

~ CONS ~
* I found this book fairly hard to get into as the start was quite slow, however it does speed up later so it is definitely worth persevering with.
* I also found the characters less likeable than the characters in the Mortal Instruments, the main character Tessa didn't seem to have much personality to me. Will is pretty much a carbon copy of Jace as well, but considering their relation I found this understandable

I don't usually choose to read historical fiction however I gave this book a go as I had enjoyed the Mortal Instruments, and I quickly forgot the time difference when the plot picked up... If you do enjoy books set in the past though, give this one a try :)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very addictive., 1 Sep 2010
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, 4 Sep 2010
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I was offered this book last week for review by the publishers and the mere thought of receiving it filled me with excitment. Now have since received (mega mega excited) and read the book I can honestly say it met and exceeded all of my expectations. Put simply this book rocks.

I have only just recently got into Cassandra Clare having only just read the first book in the Mortal Instruments triology. I did think it was possible but I think probably love this series even more.

First off the historian in me loved the setting of this book. I loved the fact that it was so victorian, complete with the dingy streets and rubbish weather.Ii also loved the fact that it was researched well and that you could imagine it actually having happened. I kept expecting Jack the Ripper to pop up and get a royal butt kicking from Will. I loved the fact that poor Tessa was so horrified (as a proper victorian lady would) that Charlotte wore trousers and that Sophie, a mere servant, spoke back to Will.

Tessa as a character grows on you. I'm sure she will be compared to Clary and it'll be argued that she isn't as fiesty. My argument would be that she comes from a completely different world in which women are expected to be the perfect ladies and the thought that she would even back chat someone would be scandalous. I liked seeing how she comes out of the shell as the book progresses and can see much promise for the character as she grows into the person she is finally going to be.

As with Mortal Instruments there are a host of other characters who draw you in. Will and Jem are very much a double act who you can't help but love. Charlotte and Henry are also wonderfully endearing as Leaders of the institute. I loved the parts when Charlotte goes wading in with the boys in the middle of the fights Sally Lockhart stylee.

I found the whole notion of clockwork soldirs extremely creepy (in my head all I kept imagining were the Clockwork manequins out of doctor who) the whole notion freaked me out somewhat and made from brilliant reading when they were involved in any fights.

The final battle of the story was gripping. Without giving anything away I didn't see any of the twists or surprises coming and thought the outcome set up the charcaters brilliant for the next book in the series.

All in all an excellent book which I encourage you to read even if you haven't read mortal instruments. Although the book is a prequel apart from brief references nothing crosses over yet - I am hoping they might in the future. I literally cannot wait for the next one!!

[...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 July 2014
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good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!, 7 July 2014
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Amazing book, hooked from the very first sentence, even if I've read it many times before along with both sequels
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The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel
The Infernal Devices 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Paperback - 3 Mar 2011)
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