Saturday, September 4, 2010
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Published: August 2010
Publisher: McElderry Books
# Pages: 478
Copy Provided by: Bought
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: Jem, 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.
Ok, before I say anything at all about the book, isn't that summary just wonderful. Ooh, it gave me shivers!
Anyway, this new book by Cassandra Clare is the 1st in a second trilogy about Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It is in fact a prequel to the Mortal Instruments trilogy, which I am sure everyone in the bookish world already knows, but it had to be said.
Well, you do not start this book by wading slowly into the shallow end and getting used to the temperature of the water. Oh no! You dive head first into the deep end and get completely wet, right from the beginning. There's murder, demon slaying, magic, kidnapping and rescue - and that's just in the first 2 chapters! Ms Clare captures your attention right from the get-go and never lets up until the end.
The four younger main characters are all orphans and are all different
Tessa: who is a bit naive, but has amazing potential - 'Clenching her right hand into a fist, she slammed it against the wall behind her, hard, sending a shockwave of pain up her arm. That cleared the tears, and her head.' (p281)
Will: resident bad boy with an attitude - 'Will's eyes were slivers of blue glass. "All you've ever cared about is finding your brother. And now you've found him. Good for you. But that was never our goal. You do realize that, don't you? We don't usually go quite this far out of our way for the sake of one delinquent mundane." (p304)
Jem: quiet, good looking, frail, man of mystery with a secret - 'He wore a light loose-fitting set of trousers and a collarless shirt, with a black silk drssing gown tied loosely over them. She had been right. He was young, probably the same age as Will, and the impression of youth was heightened by his slightness. He was tall but very slender, and disappearing below the collar of his shirt, she could see the curling edges of the black designs that she had seen earlier ....' (p101)
Jessamine: Spoilt little rich bitch, on the surface at least - 'Slowly Jessamine lowered her hand from her mouth, her face still very pale. "Goodness, my nose is enormous," she exclaimed. "Why didn't anyone tell me?" ' (p74)
There are a host of supporting characters, each one intriguingl in their own right and too many to mention. A wonderful Victorian setting with lamplight and clockwork monsters, old houses, dark alleys, gorgeous costumes and nasty vampires. There's romance and heartbreak, friendship and betrayal, and excitement by the bucketful. At almost 500 pages it is a pretty long book, but it isn't a long read. The story skips along at a clipping rate and never seemed to get bogged down in too much detail, although the detail is there. I could go on forever about the story, but I don't want to give anything away, you'll have to read it for yourself to find out what happens. I'm sure most of the people who fell in love with The Mortal Instruments will love this one. The historical setting does give a completely different feel to the story, but personally I loved it. Thank you Ms Clare, you didn't disappoint. Now, can you just hurry up with number 2?
On a sad, personal note I have to confess that I spilt water on my lovely, new, hardcover copy and as it dries it is puffing up to twice it's normal size. I want to cry!