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102 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another strong beginning
When Tessa Gray arrives in London on a ship from New York, she's eager to see her brother, Nate. But before she can find him, she's intercepted by two women, known as the Dark Sisters, who kidnap her and force her to learn how to use the strange magical powers she never knew she had, all the while promising her that she is lucky, and she will soon meet the sinister...
Published on August 31, 2010 by The Compulsive Reader

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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gave it a fair shot
Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.

Despite my personal feelings on the author, I read Clockwork Angel to answer two questions I posed to myself:

1. Does Cassandra Clare actually have talent?
2. Could possibly enjoy one of her novels if I put my feelings about her aside?

The answer was "no" to both questions for me. I'll explain...
Published on March 26, 2012 by Ashleigh


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41 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why write a new book if you can't create new characters, September 13, 2010
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drosophila (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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I liked this author's previous books. She did take some risks with her story line but overall Mortal Instruments were quite creative and interesting to read. I was looking forward to this book since I was under the impression that there will be no more Mortal Instrument follow-up focusing on the original characters. Apparently that decision is changed and she will continue with two more books. In general if the author was not planning to write more books in a series and changes his/her mind after, those books do not turn out very well organized but we shall see what happens. When it comes to this book: the good side is, it is well written and again interesting to read. But at the end, it was Clary and Jace`s story taking place at a different time/location with different names. Their personalities are the same, their conversations are the same... I am disappointed because of the lack of character creativity but the story was interesting. That's why I am giving this book 2 stars... Wait for the paperback and don't waste your money. If you get too desperate, open one of the previous books and read any chapter and imagine it takes place in old London...
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Big Yawn!, July 10, 2011
After reading the Mortal instruments I was excited to read Clockwork Angel. I was surprised to read that it had all the same charectors but with different names. It was also so spread out I had to make myself get through the book hoping that I was wrong. I felt the writer just said well I did great with the first four and making mad money I will just change the scenery the plot and the names. Its like when you watch a great movie than they do a part two and it totally sucks! I kept the mortal Instruments books but the Clockwork Angel went to the Flea Market!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Are you sure this is another book?, August 18, 2013
This review is from: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, Book 1) (The Infernal Devices) (Paperback)
Honestly I feel that Clary and all the characters from the Mortal Instruments all lived once before in Victorian London. Clary is basically an upgrade of Tessa. Jace is Will. The book starts of boring. I am a die hard TMI fan but when I read this book I felt like it was just another Clary story eerily similar to the first book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, December 12, 2011
This review is from: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, Book 1) (The Infernal Devices) (Paperback)
Good story, not the typical young adult fantasy read.
I am a professional in my 20s that spends a lot of time travelling... and I cannot stand that the adult section of the book shops are all fiction or crappy romance novels. I wandered into the Young Adult section expecting more boring teen "romance" and vampire mess and read several book covers. At first I passed this one up, but I was pushed to make a decision at the airport bookstore before 7 hours of planes and layovers. I liked it. I really, really liked it. I am almost done with Clockwork Prince now and am hoping that the rest of the series follows through for me like this book did.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible, but not good either, March 11, 2011
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Amazon Customer (Greenbelt, MD United States) - See all my reviews
I started this book from a slightly biased perspective, I must be frank. While I was not a particular fan of Ms.Clare's Harry Potter fanfiction, specifically the Draco Trilogy, I had encountered her work before, and was aware of her abrupt rise to popularity, and professional author status. Putting all this aside to critique the work at hand is not entirely possible. Why?

Because the finished work reads like Harry Potter fanfiction. Original (I use the term loosely) character Harry Potter fanfiction, but fanfiction nevertheless.

Ms. Tessa Gray arrives in London seeking her brother, Nathaniel, but instead encounters an entire hidden world and society unknown to the "mundanes." In turn she discovers she is not as ordinary as she may have thought before, and finds herself in an unusual and precarious position. Did I mention there were sexy men? There are. One is a jackass and the other is kind and tragic. When she undoubtedly ends up with the jackass because he's really just a wounded bunny rabbit at the end of the trilogy I will be terribly surprised. Terribly.

The prose is adequate and readable, which is to be commended, although the dialogue can border on painful. A characters who is considered to be great wits will torture a sentence until it becomes marginally amusing. However despite this, it does achieve, like Harry Potter, an easiness to read that keeps one dutifully trudging along through many plot twists of varying levels of cleverness and shock.

One thing that must be mentioned are the characters. Tessa Gray is the last in a long line of cipher females in fantasy. She's kind of plain! Like me! She reads books! I read books! She has no real personality! I have no real--you catch my drift. There is the previously mentioned the "he's only an ass because he has a tragic back story" love interest and the "mysteriously ill but kind and handsome" love interest. Both very tragic and sad I'm sure.

The plot does contain some mildly surprising turns, and a potentially interesting universe. Too bad such boring people live in it.

2/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved Mortal Instruments, but this was a disappointment, September 9, 2011
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I was very excited to find this on the shelf at the library, so that I didn't have to wait for my hold to come in; I immediately put down the other book I was reading to get started on this one. I had really enjoyed Clare's Mortal Instruments books, so I had high hopes for Clockwork Angel.

I have to say, though, that I was a bit disappointed. There were too many plot points that didn't quite work for me, and I didn't love the characters either. I'll still read the next one, though, and I'm particularly optimistic because I didn't love City of Bones either, but the series grew on me as I went along.

More detailed discussion of Clockwork Angel, moving into spoilers:

There was one major plot issue that I just didn't understand; maybe I was asleep when this was explained--why did Tessa go to de Quincy's party as Camille, rather than having Camille go herself? Camille was in favour of the whole thing, had a particular message to pass on to de Quincy, and wouldn't have had to worry about acting a part that she knew almost nothing about. I'm not clear on what was gained by having Tessa go instead, except of course that that let us go along in Tessa's head and gave her a chance to use her power--which seems like a case of making the desired plot drive the characters' actions, something that I really dislike. So I think I may just have missed something here; hopefully someone can explain.

Then, there was the fact that de Quincy somehow escaped. At a time when the fight was almost done, and there was only one other vampire left in the room. And it had supposedly not even been a very difficult fight. How on earth could the Shadowhunters screw up so badly? It just didn't seem believable to me.

Finally, a more subjective issue: I didn't much like Will. He's just obnoxious, and even though he's undergoing some deep internal suffering, I don't think that's enough to excuse his behaviour. Nor do I think his hotness makes up for his personality. I'm really hoping for Tessa to end up with Jem instead, although I can't say I expect it to happen. Fingers crossed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Infernal Devices, January 6, 2011
Clockwork Angel is the first installment of The Infernal Devices series, a precursor to The Mortal Instruments series. The story is set in London in 1878 and it revolves around a young woman named Tessa & the London conclave of Shadowhunters. Tessa comes to London from New York to live with her brother Nathaniel, her only remaining relative. Upon arrival, she is taken by the Dark Sisters, who claim to have Nathaniel imprisoned, and is forced to comply with the Dark Sisters wishes in order to save her brother. Tessa learns that she has a very rare and unusual ability, one that is highly prized by members of a world she never even knew existed. She is rescued from the Dark Sisters by Will Herondale, a Shadowhunter, and is brought to the Institute where she meets Charlotte, Henry, Jessamine and Jem, all Shadowhunters. She is also befriended by the help, Agatha, Thomas & Sophie, who all have the Sight, which sets them apart from other humans, known as mundanes. Tessa adjusts to this new world and her new abilities rather well, perhaps out of necessity to retain her sanity, and does her best to aid her new friends in their attempt to bring down The Magister, the head of the notorious Pandemonium Club, a group of mundanes & Downworlders that is killing humans. Along the way, Tessa is thrown into a world of Shadowhunters, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other beings she only believed existed in fairy tales. She finds out that her life is truly not as she thought: her brother, her parents & her Aunt Harriet seemed to be knowledgeable about her abilities, and yet all was kept from Tessa, presumably to keep her safe. She does not learn the truth of her existence, but as there are two planned sequels, one can not expect to find all the answers in a single volume.

Tessa also learns that her new friends, soon to become her second family, have secrets as well. Jem's unusual appearance and mysterious illness are explained later in the story, but there seems to be more to Jem's family and background that has yet to be explored. How Will came to be at the Institute and his reasons for keeping everyone, including Jem, at arm's length are barely touched upon. Jessamine's family, too, seems to hold secrets, as she, like everyone at the Institute, is an orphan and under mysterious circumstances.

Readers of The Mortal Instruments series will find some familiar names in the story. Benedict and Gabriel Lightwood are, most likely, ancestors of the Lightwood family found in the modern series. Will is Herondale, most likely an ancestor of Jace. We also find Magnus Bane in this series. Personally, Magnus is a favorite of mine from The Mortal Instruments series and I look forward to learning more about him in The Infernal Devices.

I really enjoyed this book. I particularly enjoyed how the women are not portrayed as typical of the time period. Even Jessamine, who is determined to leave the Institute and live as a lady should, is fully trained and capable of combat. Charlotte runs the Institute on her own and Tessa, sheltered her whole life, seems to find her inner strength and courage as the story progresses. Although I am not generally a fan of 'historical' fiction, Clare seems to use the time and place setting as merely the background for the story, without imposing the rules of polite society to the point of restraining her characters. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next book in the series, Clockwork Prince, scheduled to be released in September 2011.

Follow my book review blog by readerbarbara at blogspot dot com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent historical/steampunk mash-up, December 13, 2010
Plot Summary: Sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray leaves America after her Aunt passes away. She's bound for London where her older brother has a job, but when she arrives Tessa is picked up by a pair of ladies known as the Dark Sisters. They imprison Tessa in their large, damp home, and begin her training in a skill she never knew she possessed - Tessa can shapeshift into another person by holding one of their personal items. The Dark Sisters tell Tessa that they're preparing her for their master, known only as The Magister, but before the ceremony can take place, Tessa escapes with the help of a Shadowhunter named Will. The Shadowhunters are half angel/half human beings who police the Downworlders - vampires, werewolves, warlocks, etc. - and Tessa learns that her abilities put her under their jurisdiction. Tessa agrees to use her shapeshifting skills to help Will and his friend Jem in their investigation if they'll help her find her missing brother.

(The Infernal Devices Trilogy: Book One)

I had a good time in this gloomy, Victorian London setting filled with all kinds of supernatural creatures and steampunkish gadgetry. Clockwork Angel wasn't really challenging in any way, but this is the kind of young adult adventure that can be enjoyed by all kinds of readers, most especially those who want a fast story that's easy to digest (think of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, but add vampires and angelic warriors). I thought Cassandra Clare kept both the setting and her heroine in character, and by that I mean that it stayed true to the times. Tessa was constantly appalled by any kind of informality or breach of propriety, and London was resolutely gray, gray, gray.

Clockwork Angel also reminds me strongly of The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. I mention this because if you like one, then there's a very good chance that you'll like the other as well. Both stories feature two boys who are brothers in arms, and while one is drop-dead gorgeous, deadly in combat, and completely standoffish, the other is friendly, weaker, and hampered by some physical illness or injury. This sets up a triangle where the heroine is attracted to the gorgeous bad boy while the good boy pines for her in silent misery. It's not an original formula, perhaps, but it works.

I think this story is riding the big wave of mashup fantasies that have a little bit of everything, and are therefore pleasing to a wide audience. According to Ms. Clare's website, the next two books in the series will be Clockwork Prince (September 2011) and Clockwork Princess (Fall 2012).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Satisfying! Completely delivered on all its potential, October 6, 2010
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So many books start with such strong, exciting concepts and then dull down in the execution so that you're left with a shiny, nicely packaged book and no passionate drive to read any further. CLOCKWORK ANGEL is absolutely NOT that kind of book. The concept is fantastic and the book absolutely delivers on all its potential. Just picture it--a lone girl with a mysterious power crosses the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in a fog-covered, gaslit Victorian London, where the occult is all the rage behind closed doors, and enterprising men dream that the scientific inventions of their own making can surpass God himself. Throw the uneasy and recent cease-fire between the Downworlders and Shadowhunters into the mix, and we have a story lush with possibilities--and wow, does Cassandra Clare use all that romance and atmosphere of the time period to her advantage!

On top of that, of course, is the multi-channeled love triangle, though it's something far more complex and powerful than the typical teenage love story. Tessa is ostensibly the one with the choice between the two boys, but the bonds that bind them (of friendship and love, of course, but also guilt and desperation) go so far beyond simple friendship that one almost wonders if either will be willing to forsake the other for his ladylove at the end of the series. There is Will, the brash, dashing young Shadowhunter whose devil-may-care attitude and surly exterior hide a heavy secret and a good heart that only manifests itself when he interacts with his friend Jem. Jem is the other end of the spectrum--gentle-eyed, sincere, violin-playing and soft-spoken, he is as much of a warrior as Will, but a horrible episode in his past has left him with an ailment that is slowly killing him.

Their friendship and their very different but believable reasons for loving Tessa--in fact, all the bonds and relationships in this book, have layer upon layer to them--it really amazes me. You certainly won't be getting that "love tunnel vision" silliness that you find in a lot of YA/shoujo works (*cough*Fushigi Yugi*cough*Twilight*cough*). Even the more peripheral characters and relationships are rich with layers and old/evolving emotion; you can feel how long certain struggles (Henry and Charlotte--wow!) and unrequited loves have gone on (poor Thomas and Sophie). Even our little glimpse of Magnus in the 19th century and his current sugar mama vampiress, Camille, is rich enough that just that tiny glimpse gives you a portrait of where Magnus is emotionally in his long journey through time (toward Alec ;D).

Tessa is a fantastic main character; she's much more her own person than, say, Clary, who was more of an every-girl keyhole into the world of Mortal Instruments. In the way these characters are drawn and in the pitch-perfect (and period-perfect!) writing voice, you can see how much Cassandra Clare has matured as an author. I loved the Mortal Instruments books (especially the latter half), but Clockwork Angel absolutely blows it out of the water. This isn't just teenaged fun (though there is that)--this is a true, rich, complex dramatic novel, and I couldn't recommend it enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly impressed, October 4, 2010
Okay, I'll start out by saying that while I did enjoy the M.I triolgy, I wasn't a "huge fan". I wasn't in love with Jace, Clary kind of annoyed me, Alec was a boring stereotype, Simon had a few good lines but the love triangle was tiresome, well I don't think I need to go on. Point is, it was enjoyable but medicre to me. I had heard rumors on the internet about a new series but hadn't really paid much attention so when I saw Clockwork Angel in the bookstore I was a tad surprised. I got it thinking "what the heck, it's something to read on the tube." I was wrong. Because once I started reading I couldn't stop.

Honeslty, if you think these characters are the same as M.I you need to read a little deeper. Will does share Jace's sarcastic reparte but he is a lot darker, more closed off and guarded. From the start we know Jace has the ability to love and get close to people due to his relationship with the Lighwoods, but we don't see that with Will. Other than Jem we have no proof that Will is able to make a connection with any other human being. Where Jace was sarcastic and condescending, Will is mean and flat out cruel, he pushes people away and has little empathy for others. Jace wants love, he wants his father's love, he wants Clary's love, even when both seem impossible. Even when Will does feel, he shuts it down almost immediatly. Of course it is hinted at that he has a big secret, a mystery he is trying to hide. But at the same time I feel more "hope" for Will than I did Jace. Will just seems like a more in depth character, there is something about him, I can just see him opening up and being loving and fiercely protective while still retaining his personality. It makes me excitied to see where Clare takes it.

Jem is rightly named because that is exactly what he is, a hidden gem. I LOVE his character. He's deep, thoughtful, insightful, funny, loving, he's darn near perfect. Add to that his tragic background and his current struggle and you have the perfect side bar story.

Even Jessamine with her rudeness and selfishness is infinately more interesting to me than Isobel. She had her own story, her own reason for the way she is, and in my opinion a lot of room to grow and progress. Charlotte and Henry are also pleasant characters that I came to adore in only one book.

And then there is Tessa, who I was not annoyed by not one time! (can you say thank the angel! ;-]) she is strong but feels more "real". She is honest with herself and her feelings, she doesn't whine or feel sorry for herself, and she can totally kick butt when she needs to. I love it. But she is also influced by the time so it was interesting to see how Clare handeled the strong female vs. social rules conflict.

The plot on the other hand is pretty similar, but so far I am connecting and enjoying this one a lot more. It feel more mature to me personally. Over all I am very excited for this series. I know that as of now it is not as loved in the fandom as the M.I but I'm thinking once the next book comes out and people have the time to bond to the characters that will change.
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Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, Book 1) (The Infernal Devices)
Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, Book 1) (The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare (Paperback - October 4, 2011)
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