Clockwork Angel is the first installment of The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, which is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments series.
Tessa Gray eagerly awaits her reunion with her beloved brother as she sails towards England in 1878. Only her brother is not the one waiting for her when the ship docks. When she is kidnapped by a secret organization and tortured by two terrifying women, Tessa is sure that she must be living in a nightmare. How else could she be shifting into other people?
It is finally time for her to meet the Magister, who has waited longer than she would have thought possible to possess her powers, Tessa meets a young man who saves her from the monsters. He takes her to the London Institute, where she learns about the Downworld. Vampires. Werewolves. Warlocks. Along with many other supernatural creatures.
As the secrets of her past are revealed, Tessa must come to terms with the fact that the world is not what she had thought. As they search for the monsters behind her kidnapping and the murder of mundanes, Tessa is torn between saving her brother and helping the Shadowhunters defeat those who hurt her. Will she do what needs to be done or will love blind her at the worst possible moment?
Clockwork Angel was so much better than I expected it to be. I had read the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series before reading this book and was shocked by how different the writing was. It is set in Victorian England so I expected it to be different than TMI books but I was shocked by how much Clare’s writing had improved. It was so much easier to read and connect with.
I was left with so many questions at the end of this book, but I also got a resolution. Clare did a good job of balancing my need for answers and making me want to read the next book to get the rest of them. I definitely need to know what is going on with Will and I need to know what is going to happen next.
I loved Tessa. She was everything I wanted her to be. She fought within herself about who and what she was supposed to be and what was “proper”. She was a Lady but she was also willing to do what needed to be done without hesitation. She grew as a character over the course of the novel, which I find one of the most important aspects of a book. Even if the plot is amazing, I struggle to like a book if there is no growth in the characters.
There was quite a bit of worldbuilding in this novel, but I think that if anyone had started with this book instead of TMI series then they would have a had time understanding it. Well, maybe not understanding everything, but knowing the depth of everything that is going on. For example, Henry is an inventor and one of the many devices he is working on is actually used in TMI series. If I hadn’t read the first three books in TMI series first, I would not have known the significance of that.
There were also several familiar names in this novel, such as Herondale and Lightwood. I am really interested to see how these family’s end up where they do in the time between this novel and TMI series.
Overall, I think this is my favorite Clare book so far. While I enjoyed the first three books in TMI series, I loved this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and HIGHLY recommend it!