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Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book…

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) (edition 2010)

by Cassandra Clare

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5,526304785 (4.11)148
Title:Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
Authors:Cassandra Clare
Info:Margaret K. McElderry (2010), Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:YA, young adult, for review, BEA, read in 2010, historical fiction, steampunk, urban fantasy

Work details

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

  1. 80
    The Mortal Instruments Series (Books 1-3) by Cassandra Clare (TomWaitsTables)
  2. 70
    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both are darker YA Victorian fantasies.
  3. 20
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (souci)
    souci: Also set in London's past, with a supernatural connection
  4. 31
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (macart3)
    macart3: This book is steampunk, the humor is dry, and deals with the supernatural.
  5. 10
    Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (LAKobow)
  6. 10
    A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: While Lee doesn't include paranormal elements, the tales are similar in their suspenseful nature, their realistic Victorian setting, and their strong female characters.
  7. 00
    Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce (magelet87)
    magelet87: Not only do both have fantasy elements, they are written by authors who are wonderful and brilliant. They write strong female characters who are kick-@ss; who dont need saving. They do a most of the saving, in fact. Also, both books are GLBT inclusive. Magic, wonderful creatures, strong, independent young women who dont accept the hand they are dealt in life, so they set about to change their place in the world. In fact, this description can work for any book by either author.… (more)
  8. 00
    Faelorehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson (magelet87)
    magelet87: The authors write citing stories and lovable characters. The worlds are so fantastical you never want to leave.
  9. 11
    The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle by Catherine Webb (HatsForMice)
    HatsForMice: Henry fan? Victorian-London-set-fantasy fan? Brilliant things fan? Horatio Lyle.
  10. 00
    Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Friederike.Geissler)
  11. 00
    The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer (LAKobow)

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» See also 148 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
I should know better than to pick up anything tagged as 'young adult', as I've found so few that I actually like. This is good enough as a story, really. Just not my cup of tea. I'm about one of two chapters from the end and really don't feel like finishing. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
3.5 stars

Unfortunately I did not like this book as much as I expected. Though I did find it very accurate, and Tessa was a great protagonist, I simply couldn't find it it myself to care what happened. It might be because I just can't wait to see what happens in The Mortal Instruments, but I decided to read this now so I don't get spoiled. I would still recommend it, because it is a very good book. (The epilogue was my favourite :DDD) ( )
  Banoczi_Henrietta | Jun 19, 2017 |
i enjoyed it so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​ ( )
  cupcakeclark | Jun 11, 2017 |
Tessa is in London desperately searching for her brother Nate but the only thing she keeps finding is growing strength in her superpower as a shape-changer. She did not even know she had this power until she was kidnapped right off of the boat in London from New York. She is rescued by Will and finds herself immersed in the world of Shadowhunters who are often battling Downworlders. She struggles to trust anyone in this new world but this journey not only teaches her what her powers are, but who she is entirely.
I will fully admit, fantasy was not a genre that I thought I would like. That is until I read Enchantment recently. Thanks to the book club that I recently joined, I got to check that out. When the genre this month was Urban Fantasy and Clockwork Angel was selected, I was hesitant to say the least. However, just like with the last few books that have been selected in the Book Club, my low expectations were exceeded. Despite the length of the book, it was very fast-paced and I had a hard time having to put the book down each time. I knew I was going to love Will from the beginning with his wit and charm. I did not expect the depth his character brought nor that I would be so pleased that he wasn’t “rescued” by his emotional trauma just by one kiss. I love when that happens in Disney movies but it would not have been appropriate for it to have happened in this gothic action plot. I appreciate that Cassandra Clare treated their potential romance by requiring understanding and patience. Furthermore, I also appreciated that the author made each of these characters distinct yet worked diligently at binding them together. Furthermore, I listened to about half of this on AudioCD read by Jennifer Ehle who I highly recommend as an audiobook reader. She was able to give unique voices and accents to each character yet have a different voice for when she is not reading dialogue.
There were victories, tragedies, heroes, betrayers, villains, unexpected twists, clever inventions, shape-shifting, disease, several sources of unrequited love, and there was a cat! The dialogue was deep at times and witty at others. I found myself taking notes of lines from the book that struck a chord with me. Some examples are:
“It’s all right to love someone who doesn’t love you back, as long as they’re worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it”.
“It is as great a thing to love as it is to be loved. Love is not something that can be wasted”.
“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy—all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside”.
I love it when an author references other works of literature. Additionally, I also simply adore when a romance starts from a mutual appreciation of reading. This just adds to the many reasons why I love this book, she starts each chapter with a few lines of a poem. Later on in her acknowledgements she states that she used poems that would have mostly been around in the time that this book was set. I also enjoyed the references to A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. After I finished this book, I quickly added it to the top of my TBR pile. It is invigorating to read a book that inspires you to read books they slyly suggest.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy steampunk, historical fiction, fantasy, fast-paced action, unrequited love, complicated families, feminism, hints of romance, and those who love references to other books within a book (as I just mentioned).
On the other hand, I would not recommend this book to those who do not enjoy violence, murder, foul language (although I only noticed two curse words in the book), or demons. ( )
  JanJanFreeman | Jun 8, 2017 |
Cassandra Clare, con questo nuovo romanzo, ha fatto nuovamente centro, sotto tutti i punti di vista. Dobbiamo ammettere che, ormai, questa autrice rappresenta più una certezza che una scommessa.

Età vittoriana, tardo 1800. Londra, o meglio la Londra delle origini. E’ qua, grazie a una situazione particolarmente spiacevole accaduta alla giovane Tessa, orfana, che riusciamo a entrare nel mondo dei vecchi Cacciatori.

Tessa è rimasta sola al mondo e viene chiamata a Londra dal fratello maggiore alla morte della zia, su tutrice. Arrivata in città, però, suo fratello non è al molo ad aspettarla e le manda, invece, due donne inquietanti con un dolcissimo bigliettino che le rassicura sulle sue ospiti. Tessa, giovane e ignara, si affida alle donne e, da quel momento, l’incubo per la ragazza ha inizio. Un incubo che inizierà sempre con la stessa affermazione: Trasformati!

Avremo modo di conoscere i Cacciatori, i Nascosti e la sua società, i vecchi membri del Conclave e ritroveremo anche vecchie conoscenze, delle quale ci verrà mostrato il passato. Le famiglie Lightwood e Lovelace, ad esempio, o il carismatico ed eccentrico stregone Magnus Bane del quale scopriremo il passato.

I nuovi cacciatori, che non hanno nulla da invidiare ai loro successori della saga TMI (The Mortal Instrument), sono tutti estremamente ben caratterizzati. Will, con un passato – supponiamo – tormentato ma dal carattere scanzonato, arrogante e sfacciato. C’è il dolcissimo e premuroso Jem, il pasticcione e geniale Henry, capo del rifugio degli Shadowhunters, e la combattiva ma emotivamente sensibile Charlotte che tira avanti tutta “la baracca” vista la distrazione del marito. L’insofferente Jessemine farà saltare i nervi più di qualche volta ma, per fortuna, ci sarà la sfortunata Sophie a tenere tutta la casa sotto controllo, assieme alla cuoca Aghata.

La trama è intrigante e incisiva, ricca di colpi di scena che riescono a capovolgere ogni situazione sorprendendo il lettore che, con superbia, aveva già previsto tutto, o almeno ne aveva la convinzione.

L’eterna lotta fra il Bene e il Male è solo un aspetto di questo romanzo, solo una della tante sfaccettature che vedono, ad esempio, dare un’incredibile importanza alle intricate emozioni che si agitano in ogni singolo personaggio. Lo spessore di questi è estremamente coinvolgente, al punto che risulta impossibile non simpatizzare per un l’uno o l’altro e soffrire con loro. i battibecchi fra Tessa e Will, ad esempio, sono incredibilmente divertenti e sferzanti, adorabili non appena risulta ovvia la loro attrazione reciproca. Come risulta impossibile non provare un moto di empatia nei confronti del dolcissimo Jem, il cui cuore sembra battere da solo e non corrisposto.

Un mondo fantastico ricreato, o meglio ripresentato, grazie alla mente geniale di una scrittrice assolutamente sorprendente e coinvolgente in ogni più piccolo particolare. La bravura di Cassandra Clare, ormai affermata, non può far altro che crescere visto che, con questa opera, sembra voler dimostrare senza troppi giri di parole che, no, la pubblicazione della sua prima trilogia non è stata fortuna, non solo almeno. Lo stile è pulito, fresco e accattivante sotto ogni punto vista, come risulta assolutamente curata la sfera personale e psicologica dei suoi personaggi.

Un definitiva un piccolo punto negativo c’è a ben pensarci: il cliffhanger finale. Noi lettori non riusciremo mai ad attendere la pubblicazione del secondo romanzo senza fonderci il cervello a causa di questo finale decisamente troppo, troppo aperto! ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
Following the untimely death of her aunt, twice-over orphaned Tessa Gray sets out from New York to London to live with her older brother. Virtually penniless, having spent every last cent to pay for the funeral services, Tessa makes the trip across the Atlantic with her hopes high, for at least she and Nate will be reunited again.

Upon reaching England, however, she is greeted not by her older brother but by two crones that introduce themselves as Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black, bearing a letter written in Nate’s hand. Though Tessa is reluctant to leave with the “Dark Sisters” (as Nate refers to them in his letter), she trusts in her brother’s wishes, only to find herself trapped in a nightmare. The Dark Sisters, in fact warlocks, claim to have abducted Nate and threaten to kill him unless Tessa complies with their strange demands. Soon, Tessa learns that she is no ordinary human, but possesses the power to transform herself into another person—dead or alive. Even more unique, however, is Tessa’s ability to touch the minds of those whose forms she assumes—recalling a dead girl’s last thoughts and a vampiress’s secrets, amongst others. The Dark Sisters, finally deeming Tessa “ready,” have plans to marry her off to their master, the mysterious “Magister” of the Pandemonium Club, and all hope seems lost for young Tessa…

That is, until a mysterious, handsome young Shadowhunter comes to Tessa’s rescue. Soon she is swooped away again into a new world, seeking refuge with the Shadowhunters—a society of nephilim (that is, the offspring of angels and humans) charged with the duty of protecting humanity from Downworlders (that is, demons, warlocks, vampires, etc) at any cost. Tessa and her brother are keys to a much larger conspiracy, as the Shadowhunters soon discover the Pandemonium Club and its Magister have hatched a plot to rid the world of Shadowhunters altogether, by means nefarious, and mechanical.

Of course, in the midst of all this gloom and doom, Tessa finds time to fall in love with not one but TWO gorgeous Shadowhunters, who (of course!) find Tessa irresistible. Besides trying to save the world and her brother, Tessa also must come to terms with the dictates of her heart.

Clockwork Angel, published by Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster), is the first book I have read from Cassandra Clare (I have been assured that the Mortal Instruments trilogy is not a necessary prerequisite to reading Clockwork Angel), and as an introduction, I must say that I am somewhat… underwhelmed. Ms. Clare’s writing is certainly readable and entertaining, but in the way of bad reality television or MTV shows.

The overarching story—that of the mystery of the Pandemonium Club, the identity of The Magister, and their plans to overthrow the Shadowhunters—lacks complexity and tends towards the hyperdramatic and predictable, but for all that is generally well-paced, fun stuff. Though the quality of the prose and general flow of the novel lacks any sort of writerly finesse in its blunt simplicity and affinity for the cheesiest dialogue I have read in a very long time (i.e. Tessa to The Magister, expressing terror at his desire to marry her: “But why? You don’t love me. You don’t know me. You didn’t even know what I looked like! I could have been hideous!”), the story in itself isn’t bad. That’s not where the brunt of my disappointment with the novel lies.

No, what I take issue with is the novel’s unconvincing period setting, its ridiculous characterizations, and above all, the same Twilightified-Mary Sue heroine meets two superhawt supernatural dudes that fall for her trope.

First, the setting and period. Purportedly, Clockwork Angel is a steampunk novel, although the only real steampunkish thing about it is the time period (set in Victorian London) and the presence of a slew of killer automatons. To me, this does not a true steampunk novel make, as Clockwork Angel lacks either necessary quality (the centrality of steam-powered aesthetic/technology, or the socio-economic critique) to be truly considered a work of the steampunk subgenre. Furthermore, the character dialogue feels as though an American author is trying—unsuccessfully—to write in the Victorian period. In truth, this novel could have taken place in any other time period, in any other country, and it still would have been the same book.

With regard to characterizations, Ms. Clare’s cast in Clockwork Angel similarly leaves much to be desired. Heroine Tessa is nothing if she isn’t a sickening hybrid self-insertion blank page heroine Mary Sue—she’s so very understanding of others’ faults (at one pivotal point in the book, for example, “Tessa felt a wave of frustrated anger, but pushed it back. Sophie had just had a friend die in her arms; she could hardly be blamed for forgetting a key”), mindlessly devoted to her beloved brother (no matter how terribly he has wronged her), generally pretty and tall, with the only drawback to her appearance being how thin and pale she is, and how her hair is brown. Most importantly, Tessa is SUPER!POWERFUL. No one knows what exactly her shapeshifting powers are or what they mean, except that the Magister wants her as his bride and that her abilities have never been seen before. Of course, the Magister isn’t the only one after Tessa—so too is best friend Shadowhunter Will (the dark, sexy, tempestuous bad boy) and Jem (the light, tempered and sensitive good guy). Neither of these boys have any real reason to fall in love with Tessa, but of course they both do, sparking a huge debate in Ms. Clare’s formidable fanbase to the cries of “Team Will!” or “Team Jem!” To that end, I will say that both Will and Jem are decently developed characters with a lot of potential; Will, with his clearly troubled and guarded past, and Jem with his own terminal illness. Both Will and Jem are passably crushworthy, if a reader is so inclined to form literary crushes and fly the Team Will/Jem flag.

The point, however, is that Tessa, the supposed heroine of this story, is not worth rooting for in the slightest. With all the personality of industrial paint, Tessa is as “blank page heroine” as you can get. As YA author Sarah Rees Brennan describes the phenomenon:

[The Blank Page Heroine] is in a lot of books—I don’t mean to pick on romance, because sadly I have seen her in every genre, including my own—and sometimes she seems to be there as a match for the hero who won’t bother him with things like “hobbies” and “opinions.” Sometimes she is carefully featureless (still missing those pesky hobbies and opinions) so that, apparently, the reader can identify with her and slot their own personalities onto a blank page. As I don’t identify with blank pages, I find the whole business disturbing.

What is it about this particular type of heroine, that she keeps popping her nondescript head into genre fiction novels? (O, Stephanie Meyer, what hast thou wrought!?) I prefer characters that are flawed, challenging, and engaging—not soppy, uninspired, oh-so-desirable-for-no-discernable-reason stand-ins.

Doubtless, there are many fans of this book, the series, and the trope that will disagree with me. But in this reader’s opinion? Clockwork Angel, though not without its entertainment value and high points, left me cold and unimpressed.
added by susieimage | editTor.com, Thea James (Sep 9, 2010)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clare, Cassandraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ehle, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The "Thames River Song," by Elka Cloke, is used in its entirety as the book's epigraph.
For Jim and Kate
First words
The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.
"But the books are behind bars!" she said. "Like a literary prison!"

Will grinned. "Some of these books bite," he said. "It's wise to be careful."

"One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us."

(quote taken from ARC, page 87, and may be different from final edition)
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From jacket: 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.
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When sixteen-year-old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.… (more)

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