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Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices) Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Cassandra Clare, Author of Clockwork AngelQ: 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.
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Top customer reviews
The clockwork automatons are intriguing, as they are made from neither Heaven nor Hell and thus the Shadowhunters have no experience dealing with them. They create a unique foe to fight against and are a greater mystery – as our heroes do not know who truly created them, or their nefarious purpose.
Each chapter is headed with an excerpt from a poem that Tessa might have found herself reading over the years. Each is not only a wonderful addition to the story but if you enjoy them, perhaps it will lead you to seek them out in their original forms. I personally do not find myself frequently reading poetry, but the first time I read this book I fell in love with the poems selected. It caused me to go in search of them and read poetry. Perhaps you too will find yourself inspired.
As with the Mortal Instruments, our main character is a female who is unfamiliar with the Shadow World at the beginning of the novel. Before long, she is completely embroiled in the world, the politics and must learn as she goes. In this novel, our heroine is given the Shadowhunter Codex to read which allows her to quickly understand the roles of the Shadowhunter and the world she didn’t even know existed. I have always liked Tessa and felt a kinship to her, as we are very similar.
Tessa is quite tall, especially for a woman in the Victorian era, brunette and loves books more than anything else (other than perhaps her family.) Her Aunt was a very learned woman, so Tessa received a decent education and fostered a love of reading. She is able to quote from books that she loves and does not discriminate between books considered high-brow and those considered for the lower class of society. Tessa is very intelligent and not afraid to voice her opinions, even though it was not widely accepted at that time for women to be sharp of tongue. She also does not like chocolate, which endeared her to me immediately as I also am one of the few people it seems who does not like chocolate.
Our two male leads are Jem and Will, who are parabatai but quite dissimilar from one another. Jem was originally from the Shanghai Institute but found himself in the London Institute when his parents were murdered by demons. He is quiet, kind, intelligent and loves Will like a brother. Will is a Herondale, with all of the charm that comes with it. He is more reckless, boasts about frequenting brothels and dens of vice, and despite his outward attempts to appear cheerful is prone to melancholy.
The Institute is filled with other Shadowhunters and servants with vastly different personalities who bring a lot of interesting storylines with them. Charlotte and Henry are the heads of the Institute, despite their young age. Henry is a brilliant inventor, although a bit scatterbrained. Jessamine was forced to live in the Institute after the death of her parents, but she has never desired to be a Shadowhunter.
The first book introduces us to the Shadow World of London, as Tessa is invited to travel from New York to London to live with her brother. Her plans do not turn out as she had expected and it leads her on an adventure with the Nephilim. It is fascinating to see how different the Shadowhunters of this era are, and yet utterly the same. It was also interesting to see how the Shadowhunters view the Downworld. While it was not entirely equal to the time of the Mortal Instruments series, you realize that is has improved in the century since the Infernal Devices and must be leagues above the treatment in the earliest years of the Nephilim.
Whether Clockwork Angel is your first foray into the Shadow World, or not, it is a highly entertaining and well-written novel that I could not recommend more. Many people feel that this series is the best of the three, so if you’ve been considering reading any of the Shadowhunter Chronicles but were not quite sure – perhaps this is a good place to start. I personally would recommend reading a number of the Mortal Instruments before beginning this series, but that is just my opinion. Either way, if you have not yet read this book – please go do so now! It is one of my favourites and I hope that it will be yours as well.
Of course, I am going to continue with the series. I am hoping the Infernal Devices gets better though. I know most people loved it more than the Mortal Instruments so I am thinking it will!
I already adore two characters in this series, and I'm excited to see where they end up by the end of Book 3.
The pace is relatively good, and there are definitely a few twists that left me feeling pretty betrayed.
I can already see a budding romance. You may notice that my reviews on the Mortal Instruments series speak of the author's placing too much on romance, thereby taking away from the small female character.
This was not true for Clockwork Angel, much to my happiness.
I know this is a point that bothers most people but I really like how the Infernal Instruments echoes The Mortal Instruments. Tessa has a certain spark, not a Clary kind of spark but still one. Though it is somewhat subdued by the conventions of the era, Tessa's ideas are about to change as she takes on this strange new world. It became a bit infuriating at times the way she would go on and on commenting about what a woman should and shouldn't do. I say, to hell with conventions! Most of what Tessa knows has comes from the novels she so loves to read and not personal experience. It's no wonder then, that all she spouts at the beginning is propriety nonsense. However after a short time with the Shadowhunters, we can see Tessa changing her ways. By the end she's ready to be Boadicea herself, and sacrifice herself for others.
As always love the quotes before each chapter. As an English Major I read most of them in college, and it's nice to see them here taken out of context. I also love it when Will starts quoting literature. He might be a bloody bastard sometimes, but good Lord is that boy fine. And those glimpses we get where he is at his most vulnerable make me feel as if he is really worth it. There's just something holding him back from opening up to people, hopefully that will be explained further in the trilogy. On the other hand, Jem is the complete opposite of Will. He is so kind and loving and poetic with his words--really insightful. I could see Tessa falling for him eventually if Will doesn't get his act together.
My favorite character, Magnus Bane, makes an appearance however a short one. I almost keeled over when he made the comment about how "Black hair and blue eyes are his favorite combination." Great prediction on the future, as we know Alec is the lucky boy who gets Magnus.
Overall I liked re-reading this book, but I still find it more subdued than The Mortal Instruments. The plot was quite intriguing and now I can't wait to read Clockwork Prince!