Goodreads Summary: 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.
I’ve seen tons of readers praise both Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, but since I’m not really into angel/demon books, I’ve always passed on them. More recently, however, I’ve gotten recommendations from some bloggy friends that the angel mythology is these books is a little bit different and encourage me to try them, specifically Clockwork Angel. I am so glad I did!
This first book in the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Angel, is wonderfully written, has well rounded characters and is filled with action, betrayal, cool paranormal creatures, mystery and a beginnings of a love triangle that I think I will be OK with. The plotting is tightly done and the pacing is perfect. The main thing that stands out for me, however, is Clare’s excellent world building. The world of the Shadowhunters with its Victorian London setting is so well developed, I slipped right into it. The steampunk elements are awesome and I will admit that Clockwork Angel has me a little bit obsessed with steampunk books right now.
Tessa is a great character. She is strong and brave without being some ridiculous kick-butt character and I can tell that her relationships with both Will and Jem will get really interesting in upcoming books. And speaking of boys, I love Jem! He is so swoony and gentlemanly. He is the ‘good’ boy of the two and so I don’t hold out much hope of him being victorious in this love triangle, but you never know.
I listened to Clockwork Angel as an audiobook, so I must take some time to tell you about Jennifer Ehle as a narrator: she is absolutely fantastic! There are several characters in this book and Ehle voices them all pitch perfectly. She switches easily between American and British accents, never skipping a beat. While I’m sort of new at audiobooks, Clockwork Angel is the best one I’ve listened to and has set a new standard for all other audios. Yep, it’s that good.
I loved this book and while I recommend it for a great read, I HIGHLY recommend that you listen to it on audiobook! I own a printed copy of the next book in the series, Clockwork Prince, so I’m a little sad that I will be reading it instead of listening to it but I’m sure that Clare’s awesome writing will be more than enough to make me love the second book as well.
Content: Kissing and violence.
My Rating: The Best!