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Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) Hardcover – August 31, 2010

1,493 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Infernal Devices Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
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.

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Cassandra Clare, Author of Clockwork Angel

Q: How does your new series, The Infernal Devices, relate to your previous series, The Mortal Instruments? Do new readers need to read The Mortal Instruments before they read the new series?

A: The Infernal Devices take place in the same universe as The Mortal Instruments, but a hundred and fifty years before the events of the Mortal series. You absolutely don't have to read The Mortal Instruments first; I've gotten very enthusiastic feedback from people who started with Clockwork Angel. However, if you are a fan of the Mortal Instruments, you'll see familiar family names--Lightwood, Wayland--and get to see what the ancestors of the characters you already know were up to in the Victorian age. There is at least one character who crosses over both series: the immortal warlock Magnus Bane. For those familiar with the Mortal books, it should be fun to meet him again; for those who haven't read them, it should be fun to meet him for the first time!

Q: Do you have a favorite character in Clockwork Angel?

A: Like Tessa, I'm torn between Jem and Will! They were both so wonderfully fun to write. Despite having a close brotherly bond, they're really opposites in personality. Will is a character who hides almost everything about himself; Jem is a character who is almost unendingly open and kind. Of course, when either kind of character reaches their breaking point, you have those moments of high drama and intensity that are catnip to writers!

Q: What characteristic or personality trait does Tessa possess that you most admire?

A: She is extremely persistent and unwilling to give up. When she's imprisoned, she doesn't stop trying to escape; she never stops trying learn new information; she never stops looking for her brother. She never fades quietly into the background; she plants her feet and asks questions--and gets answers, often from the unlikeliest of sources.

Q: How much research did you do for Clockwork Angel? What was the most interesting thing that you learned?

A: Starting in January of 2009 I took a six-month period of reading only books written during, or set in, the Victorian era--both fiction and nonfiction. I have an entire bookshelf now dedicated just to Victoriana. I also hired a research assistant who dug through primary source materials to find me letters and diaries written at the time. I was especially keen to find diaries of Americans traveling abroad, since Tessa is an American in London. I wanted to get a sense of what her impression as a foreigner would have been. One of the creepiest things I learned about was Victorian death photos, where they would prop up corpses to seem alive and take photos of them for their loved ones to have as keepsakes.

Q: Which type of character is the most fun for you to write--the hero or the villain?

A: There's a huge appeal to writing both, but there's something special about creating a really good villain. The villain stands outside society. He or she can say or do anything without fear of what the consequences will be for his/her relationships with the other characters. Sometimes the villain is the only one who can speak a vicious or painful truth and get away with it.

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Readers of Clare's “Mortal Instruments” series (S & S) will recognize the warlock Magnus Bane and the demon-killing Nephilim, but instead of modern-day New York, this book is set in Victorian London and takes a look at the historical role of the Shadowhunters (aka demon hunters). Tessa Gray, 16, has traveled from America to London to join her older brother. But instead of Nathaniel, she is greeted by the Dark Sisters, two evil women who kidnap her in order to develop her previously unrealized ability to change shape into another person. Their employer, a shadowy figure ominously referred to as the Magister, wishes to exploit Tessa's great power. The teen is rescued by a group of Shadowhunters who are perplexed as to the origin of her ability and unsure about whether her nature is one of good or evil. Together they must discover the identity of the Magister and thwart his devious plot that threatens London. Vampires, warlocks, demons, and steampunk elements such as clockwork monstrosities abound in this supernatural offering. From the erratic and volatile–yet charming–Will to the bumbling and amiable inventor, Henry; to the ethereal and gentle Jem, Clare has made each character unique. The action-heavy plot takes off from the first page, propelling readers toward a dramatic conclusion that fails to answer all the questions raised during the course of the tale, leaving the door wide open for the next installment. Give this book to fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty (Delacorte, 2003).Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

  • Series: The Infernal Devices (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416975861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416975861
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,493 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Cassandra Clare is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. She was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of books. Cassandra lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend, their two cats, and these days, even more books.

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#12 in Books > Teens
#12 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 117 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 Magister. Terrified and confused, Tessa is rescued by two young Shadowhunters, Will and Jem, and is taken to the London Institute, where she learns that her powers are just the beginning of a strange, magical world she never knew existed, full of wonder, but also full of hate, prejudice, and danger...and Tessa is in the center of it.

Clockwork Angel, the first in Cassandra Clare's new Infernal Devices trilogy, is a descriptive and elaborate book and a strong start to what is sure to be another knock-out trilogy. It takes about thirty pages or so before the book, which is set in the Victorian era, to reach familiar ground readers might be looking for, but once it does, the book unfolds quickly and smoothly. The times dictate that the mannerisms are a bit more refined in the characters, but Clare manages to sneak in plenty of humor and fun alongside the darker and riskier action scenes. There are a plethora of excellent new characters readers are introduced to, and each one is very realistic, and many have their secrets and mysteries--for Tessa, it is her heritage, and Will and Jem both have hazy backgrounds that are bound to become bigger issues later on.

One conflict that Clare portrays quite well was the struggle for the women Shadowhunters to be proper young ladies and women that society demands while balancing the Shadowhunters' need for strong fighters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Reading Nurse on May 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
My Thoughts: FINALLY! FINALLY! FINALLY! These were just one of those books that I had been meaning to read for so long now and it just kept being pushed back. But now that the series is over I had no excuse to start reading this ASAP! I am a huge fun of the Immortal Instruments (especially the first 3 books) and had the privilege of meeting Cassie Claire last summer in a San Diego book signing. She herself personally could not stop raving about how much she loved writing the Infernal Devices and was really encouraging everyone to read them. I was able to pick up the first book and get it autographed :)

What I Liked: The main thing I noticed from the beginning was how much I had missed Cassie Clare's writing and the specific font that her publishers use for her books. She writes so eloquently with so much detail and description that is such a joy to read. I loved meeting the new characters and seeing glimpses of the old ones. I love how there is so much mystery behind each character and that Ms. Clare keeps you guessing with each page. Yes, towards the end some of the details of Tessa's past was revealed but there is so much more left to unravel. Then there is Will. Will oh will. There were times you couldn't help falling for him, and there are times you just want to slug him because he is being such a douce! I think his past is the one I am most anxious to find out about. And I hope he does end up redeeming himself in the next book! Then there's sweet Jem! He is pure goodness itself, but I am hoping to see him rebel a little and become more of those bad boys we all can't help to love!

What I Didn't Like: There was none of that raw passion that we all now Cassie Clare loves to write! (Common now; Jace, Clary and that back alley scene! HELLO!!!) I know that she will not disappoint and I am dying to start book 2! But Alas I have to get a good student and study for my quiz today first!
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34 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Paige VINE VOICE on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 why.

I detested City of Bones when I read it; Jace was a jerk, Clary was annoying, the book was badly paced, and it was also badly written. I gave it back to the friend who loaned it to me after just half the book and have not read another word of the book in the three years since then. So why, then, would I like reading a novel that takes these characters, gives them a superficial makeover, and drops them in Victorian London?

They may have different names and different descriptions, but these are the same personalities I've already seen and disliked in the other series. The plain-but-actually-pretty girl who delves deeper into the world of the Shadowhunters in order to find her missing relative, falling in love with a Shadowhunter in the meanwhile and discovering she can't be with him the way she wants to--that could be both Tessa and Clary. The jerkish male with an ego the size of a planet, an infinite store of stupid one-liners, a tortured past, and a propensity for treating the people he loves like crap--both Will and Jace fit this.

Well, I'll take back some of it for Will. Honestly, Will is worse than Jace because he sounds like a boy from the twenty-first century, not anyone from Victorian London. They're both jerks who need to go screw themselves despite their tortured pasts, but at least one of them isn't anachronistic.
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