“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.”
Friends, I finally made it to your beloved Infernal Devices! And I really enjoyed this book. Easily my favorite Cassie Clare book yet! And this was hella darker than anything in the The Mortal Instruments thus far.
Clockwork Angel is the first installment set in the same world that Cassandra Clare has crafted. Yet, this trilogy is set in 1878 historical London, with heavy steampunk vibes, and murderous machines! But this book is also filled with humans, fae, shifters, vampires, warlocks, and the very beloved (or not so beloved, depending who’s talking about them) Shadowhunters!
And this book starts out with a young girl named Tessa, who is picking up her life and moving to England from America after the death of her Aunt. Her brother was already in London, so he sent for her so that they could start a new life together. Unfortunately, once Tessa’s ship comes into port, she is forcefully thrown into a hidden paranormal world that she never knew existed. Oh, and her brother is missing.
“People keep secrets, Tessa, sometimes even from the ones they love.”
And I really did have a super fun time while reading this. I honestly never wanted to put this book down. Yet, I will say that I think a lot of things were kind of obvious. Plus, let’s be real. Tessa feels a little like Clary, Will feels exactly like Jace, and Jem feels somewhat like Simon. The plot does feel recycled, just in a new and better setting, with a bigger and badder villain.
But as much as I will give credit to this author for giving rep in the 2000s that other authors didn’t have the guts to do, I did feel like I was side-eyeing all the Asian rep in this book. Yet, Magnus and Jem are my favorite characters, so take that with a grain of salt. I also really appreciate Jem’s disability representation, and I love how his character really makes readers think about uneducated addiction stereotypes. Seriously, super well done. Jem is the best boy.
And, just like all the rest of the books set in this world so far, I always feel like racism is at the forefront of this story. Apparently, words like “Downworlders” and “Mundanes” were used back in the 1800s too, and all these books really have a heavy emphasis on how we view people who are different from us. Like, the Shadowhunters are supposed to be the “good guys” who uphold the laws and values, but they are also completely classist and elitist. And we get to see it through Tessa’s eyes, who is experiencing this new world for the very first time.
“All your talk about Downworlders and how you don’t hate them. That’s all nothing, isn’t it? Just words. You don’t mean them. And as for mundanes, have you ever thought maybe you’d be better at protecting them if you didn’t despise them all so much?”
I also fell so hard and so fast for a few of these characters! And like I’ve done with every other book I’ve reviewed in this world, I’m going to do a quick, little breakdown with all my thoughts and feelings about the main characters.
➽ Tessa Gray – I thought Tessa was just going to be a Shadowhunter, so when this book started, and we found out her power? Holy moly. I am in love! And like. Tessa is only 102 times a better main character than Clary. Seriously.
➽ Will Herondale – Apparently all Herondales are just going to be assholes? Like, I know this book is almost ten years old, but I’m so over the hot then cold bad boy. Like, learn some respect, dude. I don’t care about your past, or whatever you’re hiding. Tessa deserves better.
➽ Jem Carstairs – I WOULD DIE FOR THIS BOY! My biracial (Chinese and British) LOVE! Easily my favorite character that Cassie has ever written.
➽ Charlotte Branwell – I wasn’t sure how I felt about Charlotte at first, but she really grew on me over the course of this book. She is the resident mom, and I approve.
➽ Henry Branwell – I do like Charlotte’s husband less though. I mean, he’s fine, but just nothing special, I guess? Wow, I sound so mean.
➽ Sophie Collins – Legit, this is probably my second favorite character in this book. From the first page she was on, I fell in love. Her backstory just stole my heart, and I want nothing but good things for this baby. Also, she has the best quote of the entire book.
➽ Jessamine Lovelace – Someone kill this bitch immediately.
➽ Camille Belcourt – Legit, I love Camille. I know I don’t know that much about her, but wow, she’s my new vampire queen. I need so much more!
➽ Magnus Bane – The fact that Magnus is going to apparently be in all of these books? I love it. Seeing him appear was seriously a highlight for me. I have so much love for this bisexual warlock.
➽ Alexei de Quincey – Like, I knew things weren’t going to be as they appeared. But I still enjoyed him as a villain way more than
“But that wasn’t what made her stare. He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass. Elegant cheekbones, a full mouth, and long, thick lashes. Even the curve of his throat was perfect. He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever conjured up in her head. Although she’d never imagined one of them cursing at her while shaking his bleeding hand in an accusing fashion.”
Okay, in case I didn’t make my feelings clear on liking Jem more than Will, I figured I would talk a little bit more about it. First off, I honestly haven’t been spoiled for anything in this series (thank God), but I did know going in that this series has a love-triangle. Friends, if I didn’t know that, I would have never guessed that. I feel no chemistry between Jem and Tessa (it kills me to say this), even though I like Jem so freaking much more than Will. I feel like it’s super obvious that Tessa will eventually pick Will, and that they are going to be “soulmates” or whatever. But that’s fine; Jem and Sophie can get together in my dreams, okay? Okay!
Overall, this is my favorite Shadowhunters’ book to date. I completely fell in love with the Victorian London setting, and I truly came to love some of these characters. I know I’m also not going to be the first one to day this, but these books just feel magical. I honestly can’t wait to pick up City of Fallen Angels!
“…words have the power to change us.”
Content and trigger warnings for abduction, captivity, torture, violence, scenes of people intentionally cutting each other for their blood, death, murder, and war themes.