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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Sam
  • El paso, TX, United States
  • 09-06-10

Fantastic book!!

Loved it!! If you liked the Immortal instruments you will love this book. Great plot, lots of interesting characters, I was a little worried because I didn’t think Cassandra Clare could make a book as good or better than the immortal instruments; but WOW this book was just as incredible. Full of adventure, mystery, romance and will make you laugh, and make you want to just keep listening. The reader did an exhalent job with the voices and accents, kudos Jennifer Ehle. I’m just disappointed I have to wait so long for the next book. However, this book was a great start to an intriguing series. So buy it! You won’t be disappointed =]

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A great listen but...

I greatly enjoyed this book, and can't wait for the sequel, but I had a problem with the narrator. She would mess up on people's voices, and confuse me as to who was speaking at times. Not to mention her extreme lack of emotion while she was reading. A few times, it seemed as if she'd put some emotion into the characters voices, but then she'd end in an almost dead-panned voice that made it sound rather flat and dull, and extremely annoying. If it wasn't for the narrator, I would have given it five stars.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 09-15-11

Melodramatic teenage story in an intriguing world

If you are between the ages of 10 and 16, and if you like Twilight, then you might just like this teenage romp through a very intriguingly magical version of 19th century London. However, if you're expecting a substantive plot, or believable characters, or exciting action between demons, vampires, and shadow-hunters... then you will be disappointed.

While the setting is intriguing and well-described, the story itself is full of melodramatic teenage angst, trite love-triangles, and overdone emotional description. The world feels small and cramped with very few and mostly unbelievable characters. I listened to it all, but - in the end - found that I really didn't care what happened to the characters.

Overall, it was not horrible. The world itself kept me interested, even if the plot could not.

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Great Start to a Wonderful Series

Clockwork Angel is the first book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments spinoff: The Infernal Devices series. Call it blasphemy, but (having read the current entirety of both series) I think The Infernal Devices is considerably better than its already awesome predecessor. Do not fret if you haven't read the Mortal Instruments series yet, Clockwork Angel is set a hundred years before the City of Bones and the series absolutely can stand on its own.

The characters are better developed and infinitely more clever and snarky (which I love). Where Jace came off a little pouty for my tastes (in City of Bones, etc.) somehow Will pulls the same sentiment off with less churlishness and more aplomb! Fans of the earlier series will be delighted to see some of their faves make cameos in this series (such as Magnus Bane!). As the Infernal Devices series progresses, it is interesting to see where plans are laid that impact the present Shadowhunter world and Easter Eggs abound for die hard fans of Clare's work.

So, the story goes, that our heroine, Tessa Gray, comes to London from America at her brother's request after the death of their guardian Aunt. Immediately upon arrival, however, Tessa is Shanghaied and introduced to the dark secrets of Downworld. She has powers of her own and is thrust into plots, plans and manipulations that she would have never suspected existed in her previous life.

Along the way, she meets the Shadowhunters at the London Institute and becomes a part of the family, fighting for good. No supernatural YA novel worth its salt would dare show its cover without including a love triangle, so naturally, we are treated to one in Clockwork Angel. While this device generally annoys me, in this instance (and in the subsequent novels) the triangle is natural, touching and (spoiler alert) eventually heartbreaking.

Audio Notes:

Jennifer Ehle has been one of my favorite actresses since her turn as Miss Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC version of Austen's Pride & Prejudice. As the sole narrator of the audio version of Clockwork Angel, Ehle puts her acting chops to work by playing all parts to great effect! Her wry sense of humor shines through while playing Will and she conveys a true sense of innocence and strength while portraying Tessa. I would highly recommend the audio version and it is one of my favorite audio adaptations of all time.

Clockwork Angel is a must-read novel that will pull you into the world of Downworlders and Shadowhunters, Angels and Demons, Tessa, James and Will and will keep you begging for more of this amazing series!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • KLeaHudson
  • Greenville, NC, United States
  • 11-12-11

Slow to Start...but Keep Going

I got this book because of my love for The Mortal Instruments series (also by Cassandra Clare). Going into it I understood that we would still be dealing with Downworlders and Shadowhunters, but instead of the story being set in present time NY, this time we would be in 1878 London. Aside from the century and the location, the basic plot is a lot like TMI series.
But unlike TMI series, this book seems a lot slower paced. There were quite a few times when I was just going to give up, and stop listening, and boy, I'm glad I didn't. Not just for the fact that I realized that Magnus Bane is in this book, but also because it was around the half way point in the book when things started to pick up. I will definitely be reading (or listening) to the Clockwork Prince when it is released, 12/6/11.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Marissa
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 01-20-13

Needs a new narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book itself was good, interesting characters and plotlines. It ties in well to Cassandra Clare's other series, the Mortal Instruments.

What didn’t you like about Jennifer Ehle’s performance?

As a narrator, if you cannot do an accent well, please do not try. The English accent was not very good, and this was emphasized by the transition from American to English accents. Also, changing your voice for different characters can be good (see Jim Dale), but in this case it really took away from the story. When the narrator read in her regular voice, she was good, but the shrill shrieks and "deep" voices used for some of the characters was extremely distracting. Prononciation also was not consistent throughout the novel.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Totally wrong Narrator....

Although I have read this series I want to listen to it in audio.....I like the story, its a YA book,full of friendship, lotality, love and family. Tessa finding herself alone and looking for her brother in London, she finds enemies and friends..On the downside this story is about young teenagers the narrators voice was way to old for this narration, I just couldn't get past her very mature voice, but worth a listen as they do change narrators in book 2

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Aimee
  • Boise, ID, United States
  • 11-16-11

Steampunk and Vampires

Seriously, how can you possibly go wrong with steampunk and vampires? I absolutely enjoyed this book. The character of William in particular was great fun. He had me laughing through the most absurd moments, and then ticked me off in other places. What a wonderfully complicated character.

That being said, I only gave the story four stars because there were a few elements that I found predictable. Still, Will's humor through it all kept me engaged and I look forward to reading more in this series.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An excellent read

Clockwork angels is a book about girl who sails to England after her brother. When she gets there she discovers a world that she did not know existed, a world full of demons warlocks and magic. In her attempts to find her brother she uncovers the secrets about her family and in turn, herself.

I loved this book. It was a little difficult to get into at first but well worth it. The characters were well developed and engaging. The main character was strong and funny, but not overly sassy, and it was a pleasure to see how she developed. The narrator was a credit to this book and language itself was absolutely lovely. The target age is about 14-22 I???m 17 so I cannot say whether older audiences will like it, but I would still say to give it a try. This book has action, mystery, and a touch of romance; it is truly an excellent read.
My only complaint is that I have to what a whole year for the sequel.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • D.K
  • Grovetown, GA
  • 09-05-13


What would have made Clockwork Angel better?

A better storyline. The author drag this story out for no reason. There were pages of useless information and not enough relevant information. I had to go to Wiki to find out what the heck this book was about. Why must every YA book have a love triangle?

Would you ever listen to anything by Cassandra Clare again?

But brought the whole series on sale but I think I will be looking into refunding the rest of the series.

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator. She has a boring voice. She starts out with British accents and then she just reading and there is no difference in the characters.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and boredom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful