by Cassandra Clare
Summary from Goodreads:
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 have to admit, I’m a bit perplexed when it comes to this book and how I feel about it. On one hand, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read, but on the other, I feel it just totally lacked originality There’s scarce here that I haven’t seen before. I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments, as I read the first chapter of City of Bones and decided I wasn’t interested enough to buy the book, though I’ll probably eventually rent it from the library, so I don’t really know if this is the standard for Cassandra Clare, but I just don’t see much that’s new here. I feel like Clockwork Angel is what you get if you took the TV show Supernatural, the Harry Potter series, added a dash of love triangle and Victorian London and put it all together in a blender.
Don’t get me wrong, there are things about the book I enjoyed. I like the characters and the two potential love interests, Will and Jem, quite a bit. I don’t find them original characters, but I do find them entertaining and I’m always a fan of sarcastic characters, so I give the characters a two-thumbs up. The book is well-paced, and I love the setting, which is why I picked up this book over City of Bones. I’ll take London over New York any day, thank you.
The plot is fairly compelling. It’s not exactly jaw-dropping, and I think it’s fairly easy to guess the “Big Reveal” early on, but it still entertaining. There are things I didn’t see coming, and I like the addition of the clockwork army. There are bright moments, but overall, this book felt a bit disappointing, especially since I heard so many people rave about it. I just didn’t find enough that I liked to make it super compelling. It wasn’t a book I didn’t like, but it wasn’t necessarily a book I liked either.
Final Impression: Entertaining at times, but falls flat in many areas. I’m a bit torn about my rating and wavering in between 2 and 3 stars, but I think the setting was compelling enough for me to give it 3/5 stars(but really more like 2.5/5).