Heather's Reviews > Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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Dec 04, 13

bookshelves: 2010, urban-fantasy, ya
Read in September, 2010

As my fellow readers well know, I adore Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series with unrivaled passion. After all, Jace Wayland is my fictional husband, it’s only natural I would want to devour anything written by the woman who thought him into existence. But…when I read the synopsis of ClockworkAngel, I was a bit reluctant to begin another journey that existed in the same world as my beloved Jace, Clary, and Co., even it is set 100 some odd years prior. I intuitively felt that the only way for me to fall for ClockworkAngel was for it to be in the same vein as the Mortal Instruments, which would also be to its detriment. Could it ever compare to COB, COA, or COG? And wouldn’t it make Clare appear as though she is a one trick pony? The answers are no, and yes. Oddly enough, that later answer earned ClockworkAngel an extra star, as it is truly only a three star book.

I will say this, had the Infernal Devices been written and released prior to Moral Instruments, I might have rated it differently. I might have given it a five star rating for sheer inventiveness, but I had read Mortal Instruments, so that was out. However, I also might have rated it lower if it weren’t for my love of Clare, as some of these new host’s of characters fell flat, and as I read for characters, I’m not sure that the inventiveness of Clare’s world would have been enough to eclipse the lacking cardboard cutouts.

The world of ClockworkAngel is set in Victorian Era London, though it reads much more like steampunk than a true reinaction of the day and age. The setting was described well, I felt the rain in my bones, could sense the menace of the Dark Sister’s dwelling, etc, but unlike in Mortal Instruments, the city didn’t “thrive”, it wasn’t another character, it was merely a back drop. I have felt more than once, that had CityofBones and CityofAshes not have been set in present day New York City, it wouldn’t have been as effecting as the city reflected the characters perfectly. London doesn’t provide the same sustenance to the character’s of ClockworkAngel and I can’t help but feel it is lacking something for it.

As for the characters, Will was clearly created in Jace’s image, only provided with brown hair/blue eys as opposed to blonde and golden. Will is tormented, but for the life of me, I couldn’t bring myself to care, it felt contrived because it was obviously meant to serve as some familiar trait seeing as Jace and William are both Herondales. Will was also lacking in wit, which Jace often supplied in abundance. Where Jace had a sarcastic exterior to prevent others from seeing the loving, compassionate interior, Will uses it to hide a core of ugliness. I’m not sure what Will’s issue is, but there isn’t anything endearing about it. He has nothing on Jace. Thankfully, Tessa compensated for Will’s shortcomings. Unlike Clary, Tessa doesn’t need things explained to her. She isn’t at all childlike, moreover, she is intuitive, and it serves her well throughout the story. I enjoyed her voice, felt her sense of loss, was unnerved by the betrayal that befalls her, etc. I certainly want to read more of her, and will enjoy the journey that has been set before her. Then there is Jem. He’s basically a straight, Asian version of Alec. However, there is something appealing about Jem. Like Tessa, he is unnervingly intuitive and is in possession of such a strong sense of compassion, that I want him to find only happiness for what remains of his life. Naturally, it wouldn’t be YA paranormal if that happiness didn’t come in the shape of Tessa, meant to create a love triangle no doubt, a dicey one to boot as Jem appears to be the only person that Will has any affection for.
In my reader’s mind, I know I should prefer him to Will. Will is the sort of boy that we are trained to deflect and Jem is the sort of boy our mother’s tell us to marry. Jem is kind, loving, intelligent, etc. and I feel like a very bad person for hoping that Tessa unlocks the doors to Will’s heart.

The plot is well paced, there was plenty of action that will make for an entertaining series arc, but just as the setting, I felt the sense of something missing. It just didn’t grab me. I want to know how it all unfolds, but there was no sense of frustration, excitement, awe. I just felt mild amusement, mild consternation, mild everything. After riding the gut wrenching roller coaster of emotions that Moral Instruments provided, this new series seemed lackluster in comparison. It’s interesting enough to make it above the current YA paranormal par, yet it can hardly boast of possessing the same sense of wonder, love, torment, humor, etc as its predecessor.

I will certainly read book two, I’m sure I will even enjoy it, and hopefully, I will love it, but as of this moment, it is made up of unused potential.
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Comments (showing 1-20)

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Rosanne Interesting review. When I heard about these characters, my first thought was that Clare was running out of ideas because they seemed so similar to peop ...more Interesting review. When I heard about the character's my first thought was that Clare was running out of ideas because they seemed so similar to people we have seem before. Your high rating is encouraging!

Miss Clark Your review gives me hope for this series after so many unfavorable reviews:)

Sandra I haven't read the Mortal Instruments Series yet (just ordered it... can't wait!), but I still feel pretty much the same about this one as you do. I enjoyed it and the action was good, but I wasn't as captivated and enthralled as I get with other books. I also feel like an ass for hoping Tessa ends up with Will instead of Jem, despite how great Jem seems, but part of that is Tessa's obvious affection for/interest in Will over Jem. But while being the troubled bad boy is all well and good, I felt like Clare should have given us a little more tid-bits of what caused this black soul everyone seems to think he has, besides a vague reference to "a box" and him "losing everyone." Tessa was a great character, and I can't help but wonder what else is in store for her... potential spoiler... and possible random guess... but I feel like they might discover that her mother (unknowingly) was a Nephilim. It would explain why she's not warlock marked, and notice that when her and Jem were trapped outside the institute she didn't actually try to open the door, just said she knew she couldn't because only a Nephilim can!

Heather Great theory Sandra, only if Tessa's mother is Nephilim, that would mean that Tessa and Nate do not share a mother as Shadowhunter blood is dominate. It's plossible for sure though. As for TMI, it is so much better than this series. Jace was 10 times the character Will is. Where Will keeps everyone at bay in order to prevent hurting them, or so I guess, Jace kept everyone at arms length to keep himself from being hurt. Besides, Jace is just, well, better, hopefully you will see what I mean soon :)

Miss Clark, I hope that you don't hinge it all on my review. I won't lie, this book is much more difficult to get into than TMI, but...compare it with Shiver, Nightshade, Twi, etc. and it well earns the 4 stars I gave it, imo.

Miss Clark Non. Simply I was seriously not going to bother, but now I again think it is at least worth a look. Thank you for the fair warning, though.

Hannah I felt the same way you did. TMI just had that spark of life that Clockwork Angel didn't.

message 14: by Camillalala (new)

Camillalala Great review! I loooove the mortal instruments and was hoping this would replace my jace withdraw

message 13: by Camillalala (new)

Camillalala Thanks for the funny and witty summary!

Stephanie I just want to say that I love jace as well! And though I like will because he reminds me of jace, jace is just so much better! I think I love him.

message 11: by Izzy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Izzy I loved TMI the first 3 books were great but I got bored at book 4 it seemed too much had changed then I read them again and only got halfway through the second book. When I had been a fan I pre-ordered TID book 1 and I fell in love the characters seemed to have bigger and better thought through life stories and personalities. I completely disagree the others are better and I am a bit annoyed you find london a bad back drop since I am from there and I think it gave different readers a chance to experience something they new. Also the different time period is good because as I said it draws in different readers. These books actually made me realise how much TMI sucks! The story lines are to boring, valentine is so fake, clary is to goody goody but also vapid, simon was such a stereotype of a geek actually lots of the characters were! Isabelle- mean hot girl, magnus- OTT gay guy, clary- damsel in distress and Alec- closet gay. The characters are too simple!!! TMI never made me cry once but TID had me sobbing my way through both books. The only thing I like about TMI is jace cause he has depth and he reminds me of will oh god!!!poor will crying again!!! I dont like Jen in the story but at least I feel something towards his character unlike in the mortal instruments
(sorry for attacking your opinions just needed to express mine it is obvious we like very different books,sorry!!!)
Come on people anyone agree with me???

Marie I completely agree with you Izzy, i happen to love the infernal devices series because of the Victorian London backdrop and I actually felt compassion for the characters

Marie I completely agree with you Izzy, i happen to love the infernal devices series because of the Victorian London backdrop and I actually felt compassion for the characters and thats something. :)

Brydie I would just to let you know that he is MY boyfriend and not your husband I have even made up the sixth book in my head on how it ends up with clary and jace and also just to clarify this his last name is light wood or also could be called herondale

Anna Ok Birdie?... I COMPLETELY agree with you, Heather. Every point you expresses about TID series is exactly how I felt. The setting is boring and seems disappointingly like an after-thought. And it's certainly not because I am from New York, Izzy. I have never been to either New York or London, but there is nothing in TIF that would compel me to visit the home of these characters.
I also agree that there is something lacking in the essential make-up of Will. I am on my second round of trying this series out, hoping that I missed something the first time.
Thank you for your review, heather. I look forward to reading more of your thought on other books! :)

Hi Heather. I've been reading (and loving!) many of your reviews (shiver[blech]/paramormalcy[BLECH]/tmi[hearts all around]) and this is the first one which I have found any disagreement with. I'm actually shocked that you were so disappointed with c. angel, and I see you have yet to review and/or read the remaining books in the series-which gives me hope for them to change your mind. *fingers crossed!*
While I agree that the book is driven more slowly forward than TMI, and some of the characters lack a certain amount of depth, or so it seems, I went into this series knowing what I know about the way Clare writes and weaves her stories together. I expected no amount of closure or pace, and spent the majority of my time reading with the sheer intent of discovering which breadcrumbs she casually dropped along the way would later become the most important details of the plot. It's wasn't as blatantly entertaining as her predecessors, but I felt that it was more clever, dark, and mature than anything else she had written. In fact, as I've been reading the remainder of TMI and ID(in order of publication, of course), I've found myself to be significantly less interested in jace/clary and physically ill over my concern for will/tessa. I hope you can give it another chance and finish out the series!

Goddess Of Blah Good review!

I'm glad I read your review. I didn't think she'd be able to recreate historical London very well. The same way I wouldn't be able to write about historical NY like an American could (even though I've lived there).

And I loved this ", Jace Wayland is my fictional husband,"

There si only one Jace! (I think he's a take on Draco from the HP series). Hence, no more recreations. Leave it be!

Katelyn I fell in love with these books from the very first page. I own every single one and can't wait for the next one.

sarahlynn garner I started with the infernal devices because of them taking place before the mortal instruments. I feel differently I completely fell in love with the characters. I can't wait to read more of the series.

Renee Agree! I am listening to the audiobook and it is okay, I will certainly continue with the series to find out what happens to/with the characters. However, i feel that it is way too similar to the City Series. Will = Jace, Tessa = Clary, Jem = Alec, Jessamine = Isabelle. I am in the middle now and am looking forward to learning more about Magnus and Camille in this time period.

message 1: by Will (new)

Will West I truly appreciate your insightful review, but I must disagree with a few things.

Although I have not yet read the Mortal Instruments, I can guarantee you that the cast of supporting characters in Clockwork Angel are anything but flat. Without these characters, the story would have been incredibly boring and slow. The supporting characters were each incredibly thought out and planned and they brought more than just three opinions to the story. For example, without the supporting women of the story, Will's nature would not be so obvious, amusing, and infuriating to the readers.

That's the second thing I disagree with. You described Will as lacking in wit and very not sarcastic. I do believe that to be a serious faux pas on your part. Will covers his deep ignominy with his sarcasm, wit, and a bit of rudeness. Will Herondale is one of the most sarcastic and witty characters that I have ever had the pleasure of discovering through literature. Over and over, we see Will making jokes about incredibly serious matters, singing little songs about repulsive things, or just being an typical clown. His sarcasm and wit are unmatched.

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