Friday, 30 September 2011

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices book #1) by Cassandra Clare

 Infernal Devices: Book One-Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (August 31, 2010)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Series: Infernal Devices #1
Rating: 5 of  5 

Magic is dangerous-but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all

Well I think Cassandra Clare has out done herself again! This new series is absolutely brilliant, more so then ‘Mortal Instruments’ (although the down side is that juicy Jace is not in it). Tessa Gray has been kidnapped and told that she is not human. Poor Tessa’s life has gone upside down and nothing is as if it had seemed to be. She has been told that she is in fact a warlock and is needed by her kidnappers to contact the dead. All Tessa knows is that she needs to flee this torturous house and find her missing brother, whom the kidnappers had said was in grave danger.  She needs to  find help and surprise surprise, like any story involving a damsel in distress, that help comes from a dashing dark knight, who is called Will Herondale, a Shadowhunter (although I’m not complaining. If Will came to my rescue, I’ll be more than happy to play the part at being weak and hopeless!).

I ‘eeiked’ at their first encounter. I love it when the first time the two protagonists meet they can’t stand each other, thinking that they are superior then the other (in this case Will was the character who thought he held an air of authority), yet there is obvious tension between the two. Double eeik.

So anyway, after the bantering and bickering between the two, Will eventually, rescues her and takes her into the London Institute where she is told she will be safe. However she thinks differently, what with a mysterious Magister looking for her and wanting to use her powers for his own dark use and the fact that she still does not know where her brother is or the true identities of her parents. Tessa wants answers!

I was extremely excited when characters from the ‘Mortal Instruments’ series were in this book such as Magnus Bane and Camille. I love it when books from different series interlink with each other, especially with these two series. ‘Infernal Devices’ is a prequel to the ‘Mortal Instruments’, set in the Victorian period. Both series helps to answer some unanswered questions in either one.

The character in ‘Infernal Devices’are all unique from the characters in ‘Mortal Instruments’.  They all hold their own personal pain and hurt, which Cassandra has written so perfectly, making them seem like they are real and relevant. However, Cassandra has made Will quite similar to the way Jace acts and behaves, both being sassy, arrogant but self-destructive and inflicted with long term wounds. I guess it’s because they are related, it made sense for them to act quite similar and I guess no book is complete without that one bad boy that all girls swoon over (including me). Jem is another Shadowhunter in the Institute, a close friend to Will and one who also likes Tessa.

It seems like there has to be two guys who likes the main girl (mind you, a girl who always has something wrong with her) and they always seem to be described quit the opposite to each other. However, I really don’t mind the typical plot in this book. Jem is described the antithesis of Will, a fairer, slender and gentler boy who is fiercely devoted and carers deeply for Tessa and is not afraid to show it, unlike Will. Although I desperately like the whole bad boy image from characters such as Will and was willing for both Tessa and Will to take their confused relationship to the next level. I could not but help to feel annoyed with Will for deliberately hurting Tessa on several occasions and because of this; I began to like Jem even more. His really sweet and treats Tessa well.

Tessa’s character grew on me. At first I thought she was a dull person (and the sombre, grey setting in the book, made me to believe that it reflected brilliantly on her character). However, after I saw that she was actually trying to actively help and change her situation I started to like her (unlike Bella, who just screamed into her pillow after Edward left her and made no effort to move on!). Yet, throughout the whole book, she still seemed to be a lost, confused girl who was still getting her bearings. Well I suppose that is the best reaction anyone would get after finding out you are not who you thought you were and things other then humans and animals existed. I did expect more action and courage from her, but again I must admit she did try to get out of her shell and not accept the fact that she was easy prey. Cassandra did acknowledge the fact that young ladies during this period of time would not do half the stuff Tessa had done. It would have been seen unlady-like (although I don’t know how that would have been since the book is fictional and such things do not exist in real life).

I was rather happy that Cassandra wrote this series set in London. Again, it allows us to compare with ‘Mortal Instruments’ and its setting in New York. She depicted a different picture for ‘Infernal Devices’, one where the characters were dealing with the slums of London, rather than the fresh snow or the exotic summer that ‘Mortal Instruments’ seemed to have. But also, it shows us how Shadowhunters behaved in another period of time and most importantly, because I’m from there! The Victorian period also gave it the much needed spooky, darker, sinister feeling that Tessa and the characters were dealing with. Again, Cassandra wrote a setting that very much complements the plot of the book.

Overall, this book has everything, romance, tragedy, action, similar to ‘Mortal Instruments’ yet it is much darker and intense. I have a theory that some of these characters will show up in the fifth book of ‘Mortal Instruments’. Although, technically they would have died years ago, I think Cassandra would somehow find a loophole, to include these characters. Considering that they were mentioned a lot in the fourth book of ‘Mortal Instruments’, it might be possible.

I can’t wait for the second book; ‘Clockwork Prince’ and know who Tessa will choose between Will and Jem, to unravel the secrets of the past and to know the many unanswered questions such as Tessa’s true parentage.

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