Author: Cassandra Clare
Publish Date: August 31, 2010 by Simon & Schuster
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: Jem, 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.
I think it’s rare that a prequel series stays true to the original world while developing fresh new characters and a plot that is all its own. But, in Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare does just that. I’m sitting here in complete awe at everything I just finished reading.
For those of you who worried that there would be limited Cassie Clare-swoony-to-die-for-style romance because of the strict Victorian setting, please don’t worry. In the book trailer, Tessa says, “I always wondered what my first kiss would be like. I never imagined that it would be so brief, desperate and wild. Or that it would taste like holy water and blood.” And yeah, those scenes are that good. That deliciously good.
Now, before I get lost with the romance aspect of it, let me tell you that the plot is as wicked and twisted as anything in The Mortal Instruments. In fact, it’s the strength of all of Cassie’s secondary characters that make the plot so dizzying. In true Cassie Clare style, there’s action on every page and it doesn’t stop, not even at the last line. Without spoiling anything, I have to say that although I adore the Love Triangle of Will, Tessa and Jem, I also love the character arc of Jessamine. She’s a nod to a classic character type I love — the girl who doesn’t want her lot in life and in her own determined way, she will change her destiny.
And then there is the world. Cassie’s Shadowhunting world is so rich and all the details are there only in a new setting. You see warlocks, vampires and shape-shifters but there’s also a new menace. A new villain who, yes, will challenge Valentine in the Ultimate Baddest Baddie category.
There are a mere ten days left until Clockwork Angel’s release, have you pre-ordered your copy, yet? Don’t wait. Make yourself a pot of tea, grab some biscuits and start reading. I guarantee you will not be able to put the book down until you finish it.