Review #9: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Description: Book #1 in The Infernal Devices YA trilogy
Publishing Information: November 4, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 479
First Line: “The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.”
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Cover Review: I like this cover! It’s not absolutely mind-blowing but I appreciate it more than the awkward shirtless covers of her other series. I think the overall feel of the cover goes with the story which I love. Me gusta.


The year is 1878, and when Tessa Gray crosses the ocean from New York to London, she’s in for a nasty surprise. What began as a trip to visit her brother at his new job ends with a kidnapping… and a shocking discovery. Tessa is not the average human that she had grown up knowing she was. Instead, she has the power to transform into another person. Her kidnappers are willing to do anything to harness her powers in order to win the favor of their boss, a mysterious man who owns the unorthodox Pandemonium Club.
Fortunately, Tessa is able to escape and seek help from the Shadowhunters, a group whose sole purpose is to protect the world from evil creatures… creatures that Tessa had never believed existed. Amid a plot to stop a dastardly plan from happening, Tessa finds herself torn between her feelings for two Shadowhunter friends: Jem and Will. While the Shadowhunters are hoping to find a solution to save the world, Tessa only wants to find her brother, and maybe – just maybe – true love.


Okay, the first pro is an easy one for me: I finally read a Cassandra Clare book!  I didn’t hate it either, and it was much easier for me to get through than City of Bones. However, considering how much these books are hyped up I’m guessing you’re already familiar with a lot of the pros I’ll be mentioning, so I’ll start with cons.

What do we want?
World building!
When do we want it?

Now, look. I understand that a lot of people read this series after reading The Mortal Instruments, or they read the books in publication order. Because of this, by the time they get to this book they are probably already very familiar with the whole Shadowhunter world, and don’t really need to know all of the nit-picky details. However, I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments yet, so I had a really hard time just being thrown into this new world. I have read about 200 pages of City of Bones, so I understood some parts better than I would’ve just going into this book alone, but it was still hard for me. Things started making sense and getting clearer about two-thirds of the way into the book, but by that point I was reluctant to keep reading. Because these books are advertised as a separate series, and you don’t need to read The Mortal Instruments to appreciate these books, it was really frustrating to feel as if all of this Shadowhunter rules and world history was something I should just know.

I think the lack of information provided was kind of due to Tessa’s lack of being a helpful protagonist. She wasn’t asking any questions. Like, she was just brought into the Shadowhunter Institute and told that she was a shape-changer, yet all she could think about was where her brother was. It just seemed unrealistic. While I can understand why she would be so concerned about her brother, who is her last remaining family member, it just doesn’t make sense that she wouldn’t care about all the Shadowhunter stuff at all. She’s believed she’s a normal person for 17 years and now suddenly she can turn into other people. And she’s like, Yeah, if I touch an object of yours I can turn into you and gain access to your thoughts. And yeah, I get that vampires and everything I thought were fake are real now. But… oh my goodness, where is Nate

Don’t get me wrong though, I loved Tessa as a protagonist. Most young adult novels with female protagonists seem hopelessly unrealistic, because these protagonists are just so kick-butt. They never have self-doubt, and while it’s nice to have females represented as so strong in modern novels, it also can make them harder to relate to. I absolutely love Tessa’s character development. She goes from a very traditional girl who is a strong believer that women can’t fight and maids shouldn’t talk back to their masters to someone who is beginning to stand up for herself and making her own decisions.

Another thing I loved about this book was the time period and the way it was told. Not only did the book take place in 1878, but it was also told as if Cassandra Clare may have written it in 1878. There are many mentions to classic novels but they’re talked about as if they aren’t classics, but rather modern, popular books. The imagery and the words Clare uses also just give the book an old-timey, classic feel. I absolutely loved it.

As for the love triangle that is so often talked about, I thought it was pretty well-done. As of right now both boys seem to have a pretty good shot, although I’m definitely Team Jem. Will is a jerk, and though I’m sure he has some secret or back-story that will help him to redeem himself in the later books, I’m pretty positive I won’t be switching sides anytime soon. Jem is such a sweetheart and if Tessa doesn’t claim him, I have dibs.


The book did start out pretty slow and dragged at some parts, but it picked up so fast at the end and I loved it. There were bits and pieces that came off as pretty cliché, but it was such an entertaining and fun story. If you haven’t read these books yet, there’s probably a reason that you haven’t. I personally am not ready to take the plunge into the entire Mortal Instruments series, but I am really enjoying this series so far, so I would recommend starting with these. Like I said, there isn’t a ton of world building in the beginning of the book, but don’t give up. Everything starts to make sense if you push through it, and I’m really glad I finished it. I’ll definitely be continuing with the series.

4/5 stars

4 duck

**I know this a really popular series that people love to discuss, but please make sure not to comment anything that could be considered spoilers. I’ve already been spoiled on lots of different things in this series, so I’d really like to avoid any more at all costs. Thanks 🙂 **


25 thoughts on “Review #9: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

    • Thank you! I’m interested to see what direction Will’s character takes because I know so many people are such huge fans of him but he’s just so rude in the first book that I don’t see myself getting over that. I don’t know… I’ll probably be reading the next book and laughing at young, naive me for not loving Will 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jem…I love him to pieces. I also think Tessa is one of the best protagonists I’ve read about thus far, and the love triangle is really well-developed. I liked this series a lot better than City of Bones; it’s actually my favorite! So I hope you like the rest of the books as much as I do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series yet…I thought I was the only one at this point! I considered jumping in with these books first, but after reading about the lack of world building, I’m really not sure.

    Splendid review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It might be a little helpful but as the book goes on it gets better. A lot of people prefer to read the books in publication order, so they read like three of The Mortal Instruments books and then the first one of this series, etc. I’m reading it in chronological order just because that’s easier for my brain to make sense of. However, some people have said that the last book in The Mortal Instruments spoils the ending of this book, so if you do read the other series first you should make sure to stop before you get to the last one to pick up the Infernal Devices. It’s really up to you, it’s not too horrible to start this way, in my opinion, but it was frustrating at first so don’t get discouraged!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I read this book a long time ago (but didn’t finish) but I do remember being slightly annoyed with Tessa FOR NEVER ASKING A QUESTION. I would have been firing questions at everyone, looking for answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also found this series a lot more enjoyable than TMI (I haven’t managed to get through City of Bones). Tessa was frustratingly passive, though. I preferred Jem as well, Will is a walking dispenser of one-liner so I found him unrealistic haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I HATED Tessa when I started reading the book and I really didn’t give it much of a chance. I think I was a little prejudiced when I read it because I ended up DNFing City of Glass when I read TMI series. However, I think that I might like it a lot more if I read it now and it’s a lot better hearing that Tessa has some character growth. Definitely rethinking it now.

    Liked by 1 person

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