Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When 16-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.
©2010 Cassandra Clare (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
This is an enjoyable book - the storyline goes along smoothly and I was entertained throughout the whole book. I was only glad I already had the 2nd book downloaded so I don't have to wait to see what happens next!
I'm a voracious audiobook listener, rarely found without my iPod.
Cassandra Clare has created an interesting fantasy world that crosses Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the teen romance/angst of Twilight. I enjoyed her first trilogy (which is about to become a series with the upcoming 4th book) about the Shadowhunters in the modern world. Clockwork Angel jumps back in time 200 years giving some history of the Shadowhunter. I'll probably read the next novels, but the characters weren't nearly as real or compelling as the Mortal Instruments series.
I enjoyed this new book from Cassandra Clare. She has a knack for storytelling. And the intrigue in this book kept me reading
Just enjoying my readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmatic.
The Infernal Devices is a trilogy set in a clockwork punk Victorian setting. Though, I'm sure many would scold me for throwing in the "Victorian" descriptor since this is the most typical time period for such stories and they are almost assumed to be Victorianesque. I do it so I can complain about the misappropriation of the word "punk" for sub-genres like "steam punk", "diesel punk", and even "Now punk" to describe "punk" set in a current time frame. The "punk" descriptor was appropriate for "cyberpunk", but is not usually appropriate for these other subgenres. Indeed, "punk" has practically become synonymous with "subgenre of speculative fiction", which I find completely annoying. And if you don't know why "punk" is appropriate for cyberpunk and not for any of these others subgenres, don't waste my time commenting on my complaint. If you don't know anything about the punk movement, keep your comments out of my review.
I decided to read this trilogy (actually, I listened to the audiobooks) because Cassandra Clare was a fan-fic writer turned pro and I wanted to support someone who has gone through alternate publishing routes. After listening to all three books: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess, I can see why she was pushed into publication by her fan support and not picked up in a more traditional manner. The writing itself is mediocre, but it does elicit a strong emotional response, and to the average reader, this is what is most important. Her characters are not complex and indeed, I find them a bit tedious because they are never tested, never put into any real moral quandaries. Well, aside from the classic love triangle between Tessa, Will, and James.
Can they go three full books without two of the three screwing each other while the two guys love each other, and not in a gay way? Well, it turns out they can't. But they do make it through 2.5 books swooning over the fact that one of the guy's thumbs happened to brush Tessa's bare wrist. It seems none of them realized that Tessa's corset may have been a little too tight (Will and James have no excuse). if this is how they're getting their jollies, perhaps someone should have suggested auto-erotic asphyxiation. At least one of them would have gotten a pay-off much earlier in the story.
Okay, so I'm not really into the faux Victorian love stuff. If this is how you like your love stories, you'll love The Infernal Devices trilogy. There is plenty of that tediousness. And I do mean plenty.
Since so much description went into furtive eye glances and Tessa's navel gazing about being in love with two guys, there wasn't much room to spare for plot, but the story does manage to travel in a straight line. There's no surprising twists. No sub-plots of note. Unless you consider filling in character back stories to be sub-plot. These complaints aside, it's not a bad story. Again, it's just a simple one, and that's fine. I actually have no complaints about this, except that once all the crap is thrown out, there is really only one, maybe one-and-a-half, real novels here.
I've read threw a number of other reviews and this trilogy really does seem to be a love it or hate it type of story. As far as I'm concerned, if you're into Victorian sensibility love stories where nothing actually happens, then this should work for you. If not, you'll be wanting to skip around a bit. For me, it was meh. I forced myself to endure each successive book to get to the end hoping for some grand payoff. After all, Cassandra Clare has gotten famous for this type of writing. There had to be some reason she was so popular. Sadly, it's not because of her rich stories, or her complex characters, it's because of her ability to elicit an emotional response. If that's what you're looking for, that's okay. We all read for escapism and that means we all read for different reasons. But for my money, I'd prefer something a little more nourishing. I am usually generous with my ratings, but in this case I am truly torn between 2 and 3 stars out of 5.
Because each book was narrated by a different person or persons, I think I'll go with 2 stars because I hate it when a series doesn't have the same narrator throughout. Though each narrator did a fine job and I have no complaints performance-wise. I just prefer a consistent narrator.
I almost gave up on the book in the beginning. I'm glad I stuck with it. In the end, I was very captivated by the story am torn between reading the second book in the series or going back and reading this book again. It is so complex, I believe a second reading would reveal many details I missed. The narration was fabulous. I would recommend this book.
When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
Some months ago a friend recommended Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series to me. I picked up City of Bones, the first book, from Audible, and found it hard to get past the first few chapters. In all fairness, that might have been due to the fact that it was the book I selected to listen to at the gym, and for various reasons (my lack of willpower mainly) I didn’t go as often as I should have. It’s also true that City of Bones didn’t grab my attention immediately. I will probably try again before the movie comes out. Clockwork Angel is the first in Clare’s Infernal Devices series, which is a prequel to the Mortal Instruments set many years earlier in Victorian London.
Unlike Mortal Instruments, Clockwork Angel hooked me immediately from the Audible preview, so much so that I immediately invested in the entire trilogy in Kindle and Audible formats – Whispersync for Voice is available on these titles. This is partly due to Jennifer Ehle’s excellent narration, and also that I found it easier to connect with Tessa than Mortal Instruments’ Clary.
What I liked
The setting/worldbuilding. Clare evokes Victorian London with a twist beautifully. I also really loved the worldbuilding – the history of the Shadowhunters, Downworlders and mundanes was very well done. I look forward to reading more of the world in both Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices.
The characters. I connected more easily with the Tessa of Infernal Devices than Clary of Mortal Instruments. Although they are around the same age I believe, as an adult reader I found Tessa, concerned about starting a new life in a new country, more like me than Clary who in the chapters I read was more concerned about boys and dance clubs. I freely admit that it is unfair of me to judge the characters when I’ve only read a few chapters on Clary, and I suspect my opinion may change as I get to know her better. I will, of course, update you when I’ve read City of Bones.
The narration. It was partly Jennifer Ehle’s wonderful narration which drew me into this book, and I’m truly sorry she does not continue on for the next two books in the series. She easily distinguishes between the characters, some with an American accent true to the book and others with a British one. The emotions of the characters comes through clearly as she narrates. I certainly found it a lot more interesting that Ari Graynor’s narration of the chapters I listened to of City of Bones. Again, it’s very unfair of me to judge just on the chapters I heard of City of Bones, and I will let you know if I revise my opinion.
The writing. There was a lot of information about the world to get across to the reader and I thought Clare did this quite well – she managed to avoid massive info dumps and yet put across an understanding of the new world in which Tessa finds herself.
What I didn’t like
The pacing. The book started off excellently, and I was quickly drawn into Tessa’s predicament. I loved learning with her about the Shadowhunters, The Institute and about this whole hidden world. However, after that, though, I found the action dragged until the last couple of chapters. Personally, this drop in narrative tension rather spoiled the book for me.
All in all I liked the book, but I would have enjoyed it better had the pacing been more consistent. I gave Clockwork Angel three and a half stars out of five.
I will listen to it again. It is remarkably read and the story is thrilling. The plot twists are incredible and I don't think I could get tired of this story.
It's hard to say; I love all of the characters for different reasons. I think Jessamine is my favorite though. SHe dreams of something more for her life, despises where she resides currently but she kicks butt when she needs to. THough she likes to pretend she's angry and couldn't care less, she really cares for the people around her.
I would hace to say Camille or De Quincy are my favorite performances.
When Tessa is giving Will holy water to counteract the vampire blood in his system and they are talking and end up kissing.
THis novel is brilliant, one of the best of its genre I have read in a while.
I wouldn't listen again. Not only is Victorian/Steampunk genre fiction not my favorite and I have no real interest in reading the rest of the series, the performance of this book was so bad I was tempted to stop before it was over. For what limited range of British accent the narrator does have, she did not execute them well. It seems that she only has two to three accents, and used them inconsistently at best. Sometimes I had a difficult time recognizing the respective characters. That was enough to prevent me from checking out the rest.
Because it was the first of a series, I was expecting the end to be abrupt and incomplete. I was not surprised by it.
I honestly couldn't say. A different narrator.
I like Casandra Clare as an author, but I don't love her. This book, like her others, is a slow start. I understand that new characters require development, but she drags it out more than necessary and tries too hard to leave an air of mystery about them. There were a few moments in this book I was tempted to stop listening due to lulls in the story. I am glad I persisted, as the storyline is unique and was a good mystery on top of it. It does involve vampires and other immortal beings, but they aren't the main focus, rather the group of angel descendants responsible for guarding humans from all of those nasties are the focus. Overall worth the listen, but expect some slow spots. Hopefully the second one rolls more smoothly since most characters should be known.
No. I am having to force myself to finish this one. I just think that the "romance" is taking over the story. Mush Mush Mush. I want something to happen. I just don't care about Tessa or her feelings.
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