Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

 

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Book: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: August 31, 2010

Hardcover, 476 pages

B.O.S.SF Review: 3.5 stars

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*****
From Goodreads: 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.

*****
I am a huge fan of Cassandra Clare and The Mortal Instruments (books 1-3 in particular), so I had high expectations for The Infernal Devices.  I thought it was fun to take a different look at the Shadowhunter world in 19th Century London, and I think it was a decent first installment in the trilogy.
That being said…. it’s impossible not to compare TMI to TID, and Clockwork Angel can not compete with City of Bones.  Things I did not like:  The characters are interchangeable with TMI… with the Will/Jace character in particular.  I think that the character development isn’t as thorough in TID, because Cassandra Clare assumes that we are already are on board with that formula and her world.  I wish that there could have been some more departures from the storyline.  This also goes along with the bad guys… having someone in the family have a hand in the scheme.
Things I liked: Tessa as the main character.  Her powers are something new and different, and I think that she’ll come into her own as the books go on.  I’m curious as to what she is…  Jem is a good alternative to the Simon character.  In TMI, it was obvious that Clary and Jace were written in the stars, despite the whole sibling mix up, but in TID, I think Jem can stand up to Will in the love triangle.  If anything, I think that that we are given more reasons to care about Jem than Will.  I am curious to see what the Magister and the clockwork army are up to…
I hope that the other characters and subplots come together as the trilogy goes on.
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