Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
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 (goodreads).
Cassandra Clare had a lot of fun writing this, a lot more fun than she had with The Mortal Instruments. Clockwork Angel is extremely well written with amazing characters and an intriguing plot to boot!
Clockwork Angel follows Tessa as she searches for her brother Nathan in London. She runs into the Dark Sisters who unlock a mystery power that she never knew she had. Just when she thinks that her life will be nothing more than to play puppet to the Dark Sisters and their unknown Magistar, Will Herondale rescues her from her prison and introduces her to a world that she never knew existed. While coming to terms regarding her true nature, Tessa teams up with the Shadowhunters to find find her missing brother.
The length of this book is intimidating for the first installment in a series, 476 pages, but I feel that if it were any shorter that it would take away from this amazing detailed world. Everything was perfectly placed with well-timed plot developments and twists and turns. The book starts off with Tessa receiving word from her brother to join him in London after their aunt dies. Nathan is not there to pick her up nor has his employer seen him in weeks. I was instantly hooked with the introductions to all of the Downworlders and Tessa's determination to find herself and her brother.
For me, the characters make the novel, especially the secondary characters. I fell in love with Mortal Instruments because all of the characters were so interesting and colorful. I'm pretty sure Clare outdid herself with this fabulous cast. The most interesting secondary character by far is Jessie. The reluctant Shadowhunter who is desperate to escape her fate. Although she was bratty and conceited, I loved her. She, along with all of the other characters, has so many layers that I wanted more scenes with her, more development, more everything! As the protaganist, Tessa was everything that I loved in a female heroine. She was strong willed, extremely loyal, and she was vulnerable in just the write places. Will and Jem, the future legs of the love triangle (we all know how I feel about those...) were just as interesting and were a contrast of each other; Jem being light while Will is the darkness.
The writing was damn-near flawless, it's like this was the series that Clare always dreamed of writing. The quips always brought a grin to my face, the characters all had distinctive voices and the descriptions were detailed and painted a beautiful picture of Clare's London.
Cassandra Clare's impressive prequel installment paves the way for a fantastic new series. The Clcokwork Angel has everything that a great novel has, a detailed world, a moving plot and characters that keep you coming back for more! I personally cannot wait to find The Clockwork Prince and sink my teeth into this gripping series!
Recommended for fans of the Mortal Instrument series and urban fantasy lovers.