Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

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: James, 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.

In Clockwork Angel, we are introduced to Tessa, who ventures off to Victorian London, after receiving a ticket and a letter from her brother, Nathaniel. Because she is alone and has no other family in America, she goes aboard the ship to England. Once there, she doesn’t see her brother, but she does meet the Dark Sisters – two women who kidnap her to work on her ability. Tessa can transform in another person at will, and this makes her a disirable person to the mysterious Magister. After leaving the Dark Sisters, she lives in the Institute, which is the home to Shadowhunters.

Let me say first, that I haven’t read any of the books in the Mortal Instruments series. This book can function as a standalone book from TMI and that’s why I decided to read it first.

I had a hard time getting into the story. The first 150 pages were sort of boring, only showing Tessa and her ability, and the Institute. Even though I understand it’s to set up the story, I found myself having a hard time reading the book and I was seriously considering putting the book down. It took so incredibly long to get somewhere. Around page 200 or so, we finally get to see some action. That’s where it started getting interesting!

We see Shadowhunters, Downworlders and just Mundanes (I liked to think of them as Muggles), who are humans, and we get action. Yes, finally action! After that, the pace picked up quickly and I had a hard time putting the book down when I finally got past the 250/300 page mark or so. Cassandra Clare wrote some pretty nice action scenes, which I really enjoyed reading.

I want to point out that I had a hard time imagining what the other characters were like. Will was gorgeous, yet incredibly annoying, selfish and arrogant, and I have the feel that we haven’t seen half of Jem yet, which makes it hard to see what he’s really like while reading scenes with him. The back of the book tells me that Tessa is torn between the two best friends, but if she is, it doens’t transfer from the pages to me as the reader.

Having said that (Hi, Simon Cowell!), I want to say that I actually really enjoyed reading the second half of the book. It left room for the sequel, Clockwork Prince, which I will be picking up when it comes out.

My overall rating:

3,5 stars – because the second half of the book made up a lot to the boring first part of the book.

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