Meg's Reviews > Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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's review
Sep 13, 2010

liked it

I've never been particularly fussed about anachronisms in my historical fiction, nor minded when authors chose to play with historical details and mannerisms exactly to the point that it amuses them and no farther (Sorcery and Cecelia being a prime and brilliant example of this). In Clare's case, though, I'm not sure why she bothers to set this novel in nineteenth century London at all. She doesn't appear to have any interest in the time period. For the most part, she chooses to have her characters adopt modern American mannerisms and explains it away as a facet of Shadowhunter culture. Her occasional attempts at contemporary speech patterns are so clumsy that you just want to hand her a stack of Austen, Heyer, and Conan Doyle novels and say Here, cobble these together, dear, and I think you'll be a little closer to what you were aiming for.

That said, there's a lot to enjoy in this book. The secondary characters are charming and not immediately recognizable from Clare's other works. Our heroine is perhaps a bit two-dimensional, but her particular interactions with magic are new to the Shadowhunter 'verse, and quite compelling. Her love interest may bear an uncanny resemblance to both Jace Wayland and Clare's fanfiction portrayal of Draco Malfoy, but there are worse fates. And while it's not yet as fully developed as it could be, Clare makes some very interesting choices in the interactions between all of her characters and their families.

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