Karen Keyte's Reviews > Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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Oct 26, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: best-teen-books, teen-historical, steampunk, teen-fantasy-scifi, teen-paranormal, favorites
Read from October 20 to 26, 2010


She came to London expecting to make a new life with her brother. She did not expect to be kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured into learning to use a power she hadn’t even realized she possessed - a power that all too clearly indicates she is not quite human.

After the death of her Aunt and guardian, sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray finds herself quite alone in the world. Practically penniless, Tessa seizes the opportunity to leave New York behind and join her brother in London. But Tessa doesn’t find Nate waiting for her when she arrives in Southampton, she is met instead by the Dark sisters. The two sinister old women imprison Tessa and force her to learn a terrifying truth - she has the power to transform herself into any other person, living or dead, simply by holding one of their possessions.

Rescued from the Dark sisters after almost two torturous months by the enigmatic Will Herondale, Tessa finds herself a guest of the London Institute, home of the Nephilim or Shadowhunters. From her new hosts Tessa learns of the true world that most never see, a world that includes demons, vampires, warlocks, faeries and all manner of creatures she can scarcely believe are real. It is to this world that Tessa and her horrifying power belong.

The Nephilim want Tessa to use her power to assist them. She in turn needs the Shadowhunters to help her find her missing brother. As Tessa forms an uneasy alliance with her hosts, she finds herself drawn to two boys, very different from one another and yet the best of friends. Jem is kind, gentle and mostly truthful, yet he is hiding a deadly secret. Will is difficult, moody and keeps everyone around him at a safe emotional distance. Tessa will need both their help and perhaps something more as they track her brother through London’s dangerous shadow world.

Once again, I find myself amazed by Cassandra Clare. (I don’t know why I’m amazed, since the Mortal Instruments books proved she has the chops to go toe to toe with anyone, but I am.) Ms. Clare has taken the Nephilim and the incredible world she created for the Mortal Instruments back about 130 years and across the ocean and delivers a story that is breathtakingly complete - great plot, great characters and a world that is three dimensional and utterly unique. Clockwork Angel mixes urban fantasy with historical fiction, stirs in a dash of steampunk and turns the whole thing on its head. It’s brilliant.
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