Magic… love… England in the Victorian era… what more could you ask for? If you can believe it, Cassandra Clare offers all of that and then some in her new novel, Clockwork Angel, due in stores August 31st. Clockwork Angel is the first in a series, The Infernal Devices, of prequels to the widely popular Mortal Instruments series. The books in each series complement each other which makes it even better since you are not required to read one set before the other. Clare draws you into the Downworld and makes you believe that this could have actually been a part of Victorian London. The characters come to life and you find that you actually care for them, which doesn’t happen all the time.
Tessa Gray: Tessa is a sixteen-year-old girl who is extremely well read. Practically everything she knows about the world she has learned from books, which could work to her advantage or could quite possibly cause a few problems. She has grown up living with her aunt and brother in New York due to the early death of her parents. When her aunt passes away, she embarks on a journey to London to stay with her brother, Nate. Unfortunately, Nate is not present when Tessa gets off of the boat and the Dark Sisters are waiting in his place. This opens up a whole new world, the Downworld to be exact, that Tessa had no idea existed. She has powers she would never have even dreamed of possessing. With her brother gone and herself in an unknown world, she can’t help but wonder, “If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?”
Will Herondale: Will, oh Will. Will is a young man who has a personality that switches from hot to cold in a matter of seconds. He is a Shadowhunter (Shadowhunters try to rid the world of demons) who is not very personable except for when it comes to his best friend, Jem, and perhaps Tessa will work her way in there as well. He is a fierce fighter and that carries over into his everyday life as well. He enjoys a good drink, gamble and the company of a lady.
Jem Carstairs: Jem has a troubling past, his parents were killed by demons when he was young, and quite a troubled present. He remains an excellent Shadowhunter even if he is hindered by an illness that keeps him incapacitated at times. This causes Jem to appear as if all the color has been drained from him, leaving him with silvery hair and eyes. Jem forms a bond with Tessa in almost the complete opposite way that Will does. He has a kind soul and really tries to see the best in people. Lying is not a habit Jem keeps.
THE STORY: The Dark Sisters have kidnapped Tessa to force her into harnessing her power. They are preparing her for The Magister, the leader of the Pandemonium Club, who wants Tessa’s power all for himself. Tessa finds herself in the hands of the Shadowhunters and she feels as if she has fallen into one of the novels she loves so much. There is a war brewing and Tessa is forced with having to make some very difficult decisions. She is trying to focus on saving her brother, but keeps getting drawn into the problems in the Downworld.
THE VERDICT: You might as well go and pre-order this one now because, trust me, you’re going to want it. I can’t wait to read this one again and really catch all of the little details. I am so excited to see who Tessa decides between: Will, Jem or neither, but most importantly, I cannot wait to see Tessa grow and come to terms with all of the life changing events that occurred during Clockwork Angel. Tessa steals the show for me and has the potential to become one of my favorite literary characters. It is going to be a long wait until the next one comes out (especially with that cliffhanger at the end of the epilogue)… I suppose I’ll have to start the Mortal Instruments series to keep me occupied.
You can follow Cassandra Clare on the Twitter and check out her website! Have you read The Mortal Instruments series? What other books are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know on the Twitter, in the comments section or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Also, check out our ideas for other summer reads.
Kaitlyn Kline is an intern with College Lifestyles. She is an Edinboro University of PA and Alpha Sigma Tau alum as well as a current graduate student at Point Park University. She loved Clockwork Angel so, so much and pretty much wants to read it again right now.
*We have not received any compensation or gifts for reviewing this book, except for the book itself, of course. We have expressed our sincere opinions in this post.*