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NAME: H. SHAR
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Clockwork Angel.
12:53 PM
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Rating: 4 Stars

I am so happy that this fantasy based novel is set in the regency era, around 1800s England. As I have such a soft spot for regency books. But most of those books are either historical fiction or romance, so I find that this is such a nice change to the usual books I read in this era as it is a full-blown fantasy genre novel with warlocks, vampires and what-not. At first, I was a little worried that it would be a bit boring and childish, which is what I found in some YA fantasy books. Especially with regards to the supernatural. They seem to not have enough of a danger element or much of a plot to keep me interested. Thankfully, that isn't the case for 'Clockwork Angel' and it's why I love this book so much.

The story revolves around a girl named Tessa who comes to England from America after her Aunt died and having to sell off everything she owns to pay off her brother's gambling debts. She moves to England to be with her brother who is working there. However, things take a turn for the worse when she was taken hostage by the Dark Sisters and is forced to do their bidding as they torture her to do 'something' that will reveal an entire new world to Tessa. The moment she steps on England soil, she is swept into a dark adventure against her will where there are vampires and a secret society called 'The Pandemonium Club' after her as their leader the 'Magister' is determined to marry her. Meanwhile, she seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, who are descendants of the angel 'Raziel' and are sworn to protect humans from demons and the police force of the Downworld. In the midst off all this, Tessa is torn between two Shadowhunter boys, Will and Jem.

That is the basic gist of the plot, without giving too much away. There are alot of funny terms that are always fun to read about in YA fantasy, when authors weave a new world within fiction. Although I do find that some terms and some aspects of this Downworld (something like a supernatural underworld) a bit cliched and predictable. There are some new and fresh ideas, especially regarding the Shadowhunters and the Institute that they live in. The plot is fast-paced, with only few breaks taken only to explain certain terms essential for someone who is new to the Downworld. The action rarely takes a pause and new things are constantly happening. There are also lots of action and fighting scenes in this novel, which I totally LOVE as the author does a great job in describing the fight scenes in a manner that is fast-paced and almost breathless. This gets your adrenaline pumping as the fight scenes are usually supernatural in nature and involve lots of magic and glowing seraph blades. It's so bad-ass!

All the characters are rather interesting. Eventhough it was a decent-length novel, there was not much character development involved as most of the pages are taken up by explanations for this new world. There is still alot of secrets buried and ready to be uncovered. I think the author is saving that for the sequel to this book. I do like the heroine, Tessa who holds a very unique special power. But I don't necessarily feel attached to her... yet. Maybe I will be able to connect with her more in the next few books. Will is the typical bad boy, ridiculously handsome and witty and all that stuff. What really bugged me about him is that he is CONSTANTLY leaning on something. He is forever 'leaning' on something. Which kinda annoyed me. I get that he is supposed to be a laid-back, I-don't-give-a-crap-about-anything type, but is that the only pose he can adopt? Other than that, I think he's a good character. I love the mystery behind him as he reveals very little about himself in this book. My fave characters are Jem, Thomas and Jessamine. Jem is the opposite of Will. He's the Good Guy. Very gentle and caring, but tragically vulnerable. I kept wishing that Tessa would fall for Jem 'cos he is such a nice guy and much more clear-headed than Will. BUT OF COURSE, Tessa would be more attracted to the bad boy type, which really irked me. WHY MUST THE GOOD GUYS COME LAST?! Like Thomas. He's a servant in the Institute and is in love with Sophie, who barely notices him. I felt so bad for him and was genuinely grief-stricken at the end. I felt that the author could've included Thomas more rather than just make him a sacrificial lamb at the end. Jessamine is a bitchy, self-absorbed Shadowhunter who we all love to hate. And that is precisely why I like her character. She added a little spice to an otherwise rather honorable group dynamics. All she wants is a normal life and she refuses to do her Shadowhunter duties. Yet, when the time comes, she displays bravery and skill. I felt her character had alot more dimension than most of the female characters in this book.

The plot was GREAT!! Loved it. Especially the twist at the end that completely caught me by surprise and left me wide-eyed, going "OMG". The last few chapters were jam-packed with action and revelations especially. They were real page-turners. In the Downworld, there are sides that you have to choose. While the Shadowhunters are viewed as the 'good guys', I don't find myself rooting for them as I feel that they are a self-involved group. They feel themselves superior to demons, warlocks and even humans, who they are sworn to protect. I felt that they are not carrying their duties with the pure intention of protecting humans (whom they have a very low opinion of) but instead, to establish their laws and power over the supernatural world. And I kind of understand the 'bad guys' intentions for wanting to rebel. The bad guys are established only by the people that they killed. I liked the fact that there are lots of gray areas even with the good guys in the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and the epilogue was rather skillfully written such that you will be DYING to know what's gonna be revealed in the next book. Though certain elements and characters could have been developed more, I felt that the face-paced writing made for an adrenaline pumping journey into England's supernatural world. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it's set in the olden English times and that there are tons of fight scenes. Also, I am in love with Jem. Haha!

I honestly, cannot wait for the sequel to this one. =)



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