Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads: Clockwork Angel
Series: The Infernal Devices #1

Summary: Tessa Gray sails from America to London to meet with her older brother Nate.  Instead, she is kidnapped and then rescued by a group called the Shadowhunters, who dedicate their lives to hunting demons. Quickly Tessa finds herself tangled in a battle between the Shadowhunters and the dark forces of the Downworld who want her for her unique powers and to create an unstoppable army of clockwork people.

Review: Clockwork Angel has an interesting premise, based on the interactions of various supernatural groups and the humans who associate with them during the Victorian era.  It is the first steampunk book I have read that leans more toward fantasy than science fiction, and I enjoyed the blend of history and fantasy immensely, as it made the story exotic on more than one level.  However, it is a bit disappointing that the tale does not lean very heavily on its setting at all; it gives the distinct impression the exact chain of events could have happened in a book set in the present.

The story itself is little on the long side, but it features some great characters, including absolutely wonderful villains, and it offers a few nice plot twists.  Things in Clockwork Angel are never as straightforward as they seem.  Also, a lot of hard choices need to be made about whom to trust and what to do when there is a conflict between friends and family and what might be right.

On the romance front, there is not really a triangle, but there are two different guys for Tess to be interested in.   Will is a bit of a mysterious bad boy with a difficult past, which many readers have found appealing.  For those who prefer nice guys, there is Jem.  He is an incredible fighter who likes poetry and is protective of Tessa.  He also, like Will, happens to be quite handsome.  On the downside, I think he came across as a little too sensitive at points.  It is hard to argue he is not manly, with the warrior thing going on, but the thought is tempting.

Clockwork Angel was exciting and quite fun to read.  I will definitely be checking out the sequel, but this is not one over which I will suffer sleepless nights until I find a copy.  Nice, but not mind-blowing.

Published: 2010

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