Saturday, July 3, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray is sixteen and heading to Victorian England to meet her brother after the death of her aunt and guardian. Once she arrives, she is kidnapped from the docks, the life of her beloved brother is threatened, and Tessa is tortured until she can control a power she never knew she had: the ability to transform into another person and retain their thoughts and emotions. She soon learns that her abilities are to be harnessed by the evil Magister and it is only by marrying him that she can save her brother. At her darkest hour she is rescued and introduced to the world of demons, angels, Downworlders and Shadowhunters. It is in the safety of the Institute that Tessa tries to understand this new culture with the help of dark Will, gentle Jem, self-absorbed Jessamine, motherly Charlotte, and absent-minded Henry; but is distracted by anxiety for her brother and the growing attraction she has for Jem and Will. Unfortunately her own emotions and confusion must be put aside as the Magister sets a trap and all that Tessa holds dear is put at risk.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I'm not sure how else to put it. Cassandra Clare has written a previous series, The Mortal Instruments which is equally awesome and therefore I was so excited to not only get the ARC of Cockwork Angel but also get it earlier than most at the ALA conference. One part that just made me laugh (I promise this isn't a spoiler) is the fact that Tessa is supremely naive and basis much of her street knowledge on the novels that she's read and enjoyed. Cassandra Clare has a gift of being able to develop characters and emotions, but also maintain underlying plot tension throughout the book. There is never a dull moment, never a page that you don't feel bad about scanning, never a angst-ridden dialogue that you won't go back and reread. Most excellent. I had high hopes for this book and they were all exceeded, I can't wait until the sequel Clockwork Prince comes out. Sidenote: while this is in the same universe as her previous series, this is a standalone and can be read before or after The Mortal Instruments; Clockwork Angel comes out Aug. 31st. If you haven't read The Mortal Instruments series yet I would strongly recommend it just because it is also fantastic.

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