The Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices 1)
By Cassandra Clare
Witty Steampunk with a Shadowhunter Flair
Paperback, 479 pages
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released August 31, 2010
When Tessa Grey arrives in London, she’s met not by her brother who sent for her, but the dark sisters. The pair of women whisks her away and locks her up. After six weeks of grueling training, in which time the two women unlock Tessa’s ability to change into anyone, so long as she has something of theirs to hold onto, she’s rescued by a young man named Will Herondale and plunged further into a world she never knew existed. But finding her footing in the world beneath the glamours, Tessa will find herself confronted with several hard facts, and adjusting is made harder as the man the sister’s trained her for continues to pursue her.
This, the first in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, should really be read after the first three books. It’s where it fits in the publishing continuity, and there are several references that make more sense if you’ve read the initial trilogy (they’re not things that would confuse you if you read this first, but they are more fun with the background knowledge).
The departure from both time and place from the initial trilogy to this book is interesting. Cassandra does it marvelously. As I read this novel, I was always aware of the different time, and the current setting, but it had all the same feel of the first three books. Even without the initial characters, Clare’s voice and pacing shone through marvelously.
The back of the book makes a big thing out of a love triangle that is so subtle I almost missed it (until it shows up more prevalently at the end of the book – though to be honest it could be a love pentagon). I think there’s something wonderful in that. Because thinking back, you can totally see the little moments, but it’s not so in your face that it distracts you from the main plot.
I will be interested to see how the rest of this prequel series goes, and how it unfolds more information for what’s occurring in the present day series as well.
Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
If you enjoyed the first three TMI books, you’ll be smitten with this one too. I’d say it’s a buy. But if you’re not sold, but enjoy steampunk and the paranormal, totally borrow this one from a friend or your local library.
Other Works by Cassandra Clare:
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book 1)
City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book 2)
City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments Book 3)