On 1 December, 2015, I finished the book Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. On Goodreads I had been drawing out my end time, because I was reading City of Heavenly Fire (also by Cassandra Clare) at the same time, but I actually finished, so here’s the review.
One thing to keep in mind while staring at this book on a Barnes and Noble shelf is that it takes place in the same world as the Mortal Instruments, just 130 years earlier and across the Atlantic Ocean. I recommend reading City of Bones before you jump into Clockwork Angel, because we get to learn a bit more about the Shadow World and how things work.
Clockwork Angel takes place in 1876 London, England, so you know we’ll hear about a bunch of Victorian era stuff, as opposed to modern-day in America, where The Mortal Instruments takes place. Basically, this series is a classical “‘ordinary’ girl is suddenly whisked into another world that will change her life forever” story, but there are twists and turns. Unlike in City of Bones, where Clary falls in love with Jace, (my least favorite couple and characters of all time.) Tessa, our main character, has a lot more going on.
Tessa Gray is our main character, and when she first arrives in London from New York to visit her brother, two warlocks, claiming that they know her brother, come to take her to their house, and train her with the abilities they know she has. We meet other characters as well, such as William Herondale and James Carstairs, who are parabatai, which means that they are bound to fight together and protect each other for the rest of their lives. We meet Miss Jessamine Lovelace, and Charlotte and Henry Branwell. (For those of you who’ve read Harry Potter, Henry is a lot like Arthur Weasley.)
Then, we have two of my favorite characters, Sophie and Thomas, who aren’t Nephilim, or Shadowhunters.
I’m not going to tell you guys anymore, mostly because this introduction was really long, and I haven’t even gotten into the book review yet, so you haven’t read Clockwork Angel before, this is your chance to go and read it, come back, and read everything that comes after this.
**The Booktalk (Spoiler Alert!)**
Alright guys, let’s just jump into it: How many of you fell in love with Thomas, and was devastated when he died?! I was so upset when that happened, and it didn’t help that I was reading that part at about 11:00PM on a school night. When my dad came upstairs, I quickly turned off my reading light and hid my book under the covers. You know what he said?
“C’mon. Go to sleep.”
…My favorite character just freaking DIED and you’re telling me to GO TO SLEEP?!
To put it kindly, I was really upset. Especially when Sophie denied any non-platonic feelings for Thomas, and he died without getting to tell her himself how he felt about her.
There’s also the fact that Sophie (apparently) loves Jem. I mean, I love Jem, but in this book, it was like he was getting in the middle of everything!
First, we learn that Will and Thomas were best friends until Jem showed up, and then Will seemed to throw most of his attention onto Jem, and then we learn that Thomas loves Sophie, but that she doesn’t return his feelings because she loves…you guessed it.
Go figure. I know Jem is really nice, but I felt bad for both Thomas and Sophie in this book.
Only one of my friends have read the Infernal Devices, and I asked her if I should read them.
One thing to keep in mind about this friend: She’s a bit overenthusiastic about things. Especially books I haven’t read. When I was reading the part where Tessa was in the Dark Sisters’ mansion, I was actually really close to putting the book down. I don’t know, I think it was just the fact that the book moved really slowly in the beginning, though that was what my friend told me to look out for. Cassandra Clare’s books are really amazing, there’s always just one point in the middle of a series where you think, “Hmm. These books just don’t really interest me anymore.”
That happened when I was reading City of Ashes a little over two years ago. I read City of Bones in the summer of 2013, and I quickly moved on to Ashes, but I got bored about ¾ of the way through, so I stopped and picked it back up almost exactly two years later. I know, sad, right?
But hey, the same thing happened with The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. I was getting bored, but I kept going and the Heroes of Olympus series is really great, and I recommend it to those of you who haven’t read it.
Now back to the book: there are a lot of topics to cover. There’s the fact that the automatons were seriously creeping me out, what with the saw hands and the ripped up flesh hanging from their “faces.”
There was also that crazy plot twist about Nathaniel being with the Magister the whole time, and Mortmain being the Magister instead of de Quincey, who was killed for no reason. I’m not saying that he was completely innocent, (He was on the Magister’s side.) but he really didn’t need to be killed, you know?
When Nate was telling his story to everyone in the Institute, I was really just searching for Jessamine’s name, and hoping that she would stop making a fool of herself in front of him. I felt kinda bad for her when she was talking about thinking he might’ve actually liked her, and when her disappointment was obvious towards the end. Even though she acted like a Class A b**** earlier on in the story, what with those very inaccurate and offensive descriptions of everyone in the Institute to Tessa before we even got 100 pages deep!
Mr. Henry-Arthur Branwell-Weasley
Like I mentioned in the No Spoilers section above, Henry Branwell of Clockwork Angel is an awful lot like Arthur Weasley of the Harry Potter series. He’s even ginger! I know Arthur isn’t exactly an inventor, but they both collect and are interested in muggle/mundane things. Their wives are often treated unfairly because of their dishonorable love of these things the people in their worlds are actually supposed to hate.
Henry Branwell came a little less than a century before Arthur, though, so it’s fine. Henry was born in either 1855 or 56, and Arthur was born in 1950.
Overall, I really liked this book, and, even though it’s been a while, I do want to continue with the trilogy, moving on to Clockwork Prince, and you will be seeing book reviews of all the books I mentioned here sometime in the near future.
Thank you so much for reading!