Clockwork Angel tells the tale of Tessa Gray who crosses the Atlantic to England in order to live with her brother, after her aunt dies. An orphan since she was a child, her brother is the only family she has left.
But what she doesn’t expect when she lands in dreary London is that she will be kidnapped, and made to do the bidding a pair of sisters, The Dark Sisters, who instruct her in a secret talent Tessa didn’t know she had. Tessa is able to Change, into anyone, and the Dark Sisters ready her for marriage, to a man named The Magister.
Tessa is luckily saved by rude, but handsome Will Herondale, a Shadowhunter, who takes her to the Institute, where Tessa struggles to learn about this strange world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders and where she fits into all of this.
Its only when Tessa begins to accept her ability to Change that she is able to take control of her life, and help those around her.
If you’ve been following my Goodreads page, you might have noticed that I had marked this book as ‘read’ and had even given it a rating of 1 star. In actuality, I hadn’t read it until now. I had only read a bit of it, but had gotten bored, and abandoned it.
But after hearing so much advance praise of Clockwork Prince (the sequel), I decided to give this one more shot. And I’m so glad I did.
Clockwork Angel starts off slow, mind you. Its something that other readers have noticed, but if you stick around for awhile, the action definitely picks up.
The book is marketed as a prequel to Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, but after having read them years ago, I think readers who haven’t read the first series will also enjoy this.
I’m a big sucker for historical novels, especially ones set in Victorian England (Gemma Doyle series anyone?) and so the setting and the descriptions really ensnared me. Clare’s descriptions felt spot on and definitely added mood to the story. Tessa’s way of speaking and mannerisms definitely spoke to the time she was living in. One of my biggest concerns with historical fiction is their accuracy in characterization. Obviously, its fiction and hard to be accurate with everything. But at least make sure the characters don’t speak like we do! And Clare definitely delivered on that front.
While Tessa wasn’t my favourite character, I loved seeing her experiences in this world in which she had no experience. Her fierce loyalty to her brother was also admirable, especially when others made fun of her about it.
Will is sort of an Edward character. To refresh you, this means one of those darkly handsome boys who are cold but still make you fall in love with them. Despite this Edward-ness, I’m still intrigued by him. He is a jerk and he doesn’t really have many redeeming qualities (except his porcelain cheeks and sculpted face and blah blah blah; Tessa goes on about his features a lot), but by the end of the story, I still want to know why he is the way he is. Maybe its because Clare has only brushed the surface on his character? Whatever it is, the ending definitely makes me wince as I try to imagine what he’s going to do.
Strangely enough, the plot of this book is kind of hard to describe. There is no point A to B then C, before the climax at D and then the ending at E. Things just sort of happen, which is not a bad thing, it was just strange not knowing what way the story was going, or what the purpose of certain events or motivations of certain characters were.
But I’m still really excited to read the sequel, especially after the cliffhanger ending.
So for that: 4/5