Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare (site)
Published: August 31st, 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Initial Thoughts: A steampunk series from Cassandra Clare? Yes, please!
Review: The opening to this was great. You get a lot of Tessa's story before the Shadowhunters show up, which helped us get to know Tessa and kept it from being too much of a Hero Saves Damsel In Distress tale. In fact, she's ready to escape on her own when they do find her. After she did make it back to the Institute, I started to get a bit worried that the characters were all copies of the main characters in TMI, but (although similar) they ended up being much more than Snotty Girl, Smart-A Boy, and Intelligent Boy. I LOVED Tessa! She was more than a match for Will (who was adorably naughty), starting with a clever remark about proposing marriage to a dwarf. I felt that Clary could be a bit of a pushover and I'm glad to see that Tessa isn't going to sit still and take it. Jem was a wonderful character, I'm excited to learn more about him and his "condition."
The story seemed pretty straightforward until a great plot twist turned it on it's head (or at least it's side) and made you re-evaluate what you thought you knew. And what the heck is going on with that angel?! I'm still trying to decide if it was really cheesy or really cool. Either way, what the heck?! Can't wait for the next book!
Quick Review: The Infernal Devices is shaping up to be even better than her last series, with a spunky heroine, clockwork monsters, and a deep secret involving said heroine's origins. Must read!