Hello, Happy Labor’s Day! I am thankful not to work and enjoy a bit of free time, this is why I thought it was the right moment for me to post this review. It was about time, since I have finished reading this book last Saturday, haha.
Clockwork Angel is the first book of The Infernal Devices series. I had already read The Mortal Instruments series, still by the same author, and somehow decided to stop because I didn’t want to read six more books, but curiosity got the best of me and this is why I also bought this other one.
This trilogy is set at the end of 1800 in London, and the period itself is very alluring for a lover of England and everything English like myself. The characters are between 16 years old and above, in fact this book is a young adult. Despite being directed to a teenage public, it faces important dilemmas of life and people: who we are, where do we want to go, why others behave in a certain way, and naturally first loves as well. This is the age of discovery.
The main female protagonist is Tessa “Theresa” Gray. She is 16 and she is travelling from New York to England to reunite with her brother Nathaniel after their aunt has died. She hopes to find bliss in the European country, but soon discovers that stay there won’t be easy, after she doesn’t find her dear family to wait for her at the dock. Tessa finds out she has an ability that makes her special, and she is held captive because of this in the first few chapters. What she only cares about and that keeps her from doing something she will regret, is see her brother and read books. Naturally, she also wants to escape because keeping a human being locked is not something someone would do if they haven’t a hidden goal, right?
She is finally able to run away when a tall and handsome guy with blue eyes and dark hair, comes to her rescue. She believes he is associated to the people who keep her there at first, but then he tells her that he is a Shadowhunter and that she and his fellows have come to her rescue. This guy is William “Will” Herondale, an arrogant and rude guy who loves to make jokes and show others how he is the most splendid and smart creature on Earth. You may already guess that this is just a smoke screen. Will is not really a bad guy nor impolite. Only he knows the reason for his behavior, and he has built a wall around himself not to let anybody find out. He hides his personality behind poetry and famous books and he plays the piano.
Then we have Jem “James” Carstairs, a shadowhunter who was born in Shanghai. The first night Tessa is at the London Institute, Jem is indisposed and she meets him later. Unlike Will, he is a kind guy and seems very forgiving, but he also has a secret that is killing him… Literally. Jem plays the violin and this is how Tessa meets him the first time, their rooms are close to each other and she hears the melody he is playing. Very sweet.
Other characters are Jessamine Lovelace, basically the childish and female version of Will but worse. She regrets that her parents have left her alone and she dislikes shadowhunters despite she is one of them. Charlotte Fairchild and Henry Branwell, the heads of the Institute and a married couple. The first seems to have grown up fast because she is barely 22 years old. She is a reasonable woman and forgives her husband who loves to invent things rather than manage the Institute.
Against them there’s someone called Magister who wants to rule Great Britan then expand his reign outside of the country as well. He wants to use an innovative machine that he thinks will kill all shadowhunters, a clockwork army. Tessa, Will and Jem and the others will investigate further and find out what are these things and how they are built. This sounds like Frankenstein, a man who wanted to create androids to go beyond the limits of science, but then only created a monster that despised humans because they could not see further his scary appearance. Here the androids do not seem to have a mind, but they are scary as well and they are made of steel, which makes them harder to defeat quickly.
The characters of this series are realistic. They are rude, angry, gentle, sad, joyous… They seem to be real people despite they are only fictional. So far Tessa is able to stand her ground and gladly she is not dominated by the main men, who consider her their equal and love her as she is. Will is my favorite character of the three. I don’t know, but I feel he has the deepest dilemma in his heart and it’s intriguing. I love characters with psychological complexes, and he is one of them. This doesn’t mean the other characters don’t have any complexes. But regarding me as a reader, I am more attracted to darker people who have to keep their heart locked because of something they cannot overcome (yet).
The story is also interesting and every chapter makes me want to read more. The descriptions are finely done, one thing that disappoints me a little could be the shortness of romantic scenes, but you know being this a Young Adult novel and for some publishing houses it could be deemed as “child literature” (WTF?) the kisses and make out scenes cannot be too much. For the record, I do not expect anything like Fifty Shades of Grey. But I would like longer moments of this genre without them turning into annoying like the example I quoted above. I am thankful Cassandra Clare has a tumblr blog where she sometimes posts excerpts, fan arts and scenes she had to edit for the final draft of the book. I think she also wanted some thinks to be longer than they were. Anyhow, I don’t complain. This book is captivating as it is, and I could not look away from it while I was reading. Now that I am continuing with the second book, Clockwork Prince, it’s the same. You’ll know what I thought about it in the following days.
For the moment, peace! ❤