Penny's Reviews > Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
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Feb 12, 2010

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bookshelves: angels-demons, grrrl-power, reviewed-books, steampunk, wizardry, zombies-aliens-vampires-dinos, witchy-woman, ya-fiction, egomaniac-author
Read from September 04 to 05, 2010

**More like 2.9 stars, so I went ahead and rounded it up.**

If you've been following my reviews you know that I love underdogs. I'm not entirely sure why I love underdogs. I just do. Perhaps it's my belief that underdogs typically have the potential to be top dog if they just try a little harder, put a little more effort into whatever they're trying to accomplish.

So I stand on the sidelines cheering like a maniac for the underdog, despite the odds, despite their performance in the past. Thinking maybe if they have more support, more people that believe in them, they'll finally do it. (BTW, were I into baseball, I'd totally be a Red Sox fan).

What does my love of underdogs have to do with Clockwork Angel? Its author, Cassandra Clare, is an underdog. At least I consider Ms Clare to be underdog material.

I honestly believe Ms Clare has so much untapped potential, and (possibly) the writing talent to wield said potential correctly. If we just give her more time, more opportunities, she'll finally prove herself. I just know she will.

Unfortunately she failed to prove much with Clockwork Angel.

Look, this story isn't horrible. If anything her writing has improved, and I liked this story more than I liked the first three books in her Mortal Instruments series. Cassandra Clare gives us all the paranormal elements from her MI series and then some. To mix things up we get some steampunk elements as well. Clockwork Angel has action, adventure, mystery. A little graphic violence, which I didn't mind (because apparently I'm dead inside). Sexual tension, or at least what passes for sexual tension in early-twentieth century England, aaaaaand the makings for a (possibly) good love-triangle. Plus Magnus Bane is in this book, which is cool.

But there are a few cringe-worthy moments. A few ginormous cringe-worthy moments. Times in which I was thinking "Oh. Oh! Oh noooo! What was that!? Why? WHY!? You were doing so well!"

There was one time in which I was super-duper embarrassed for Ms Clare and/or her editor because a main character says the most ridiculously cheesy thing at an incredibly somber moment. And no, it's not meant to be ironic. It's supposed to be some beautiful moment between comrades. It's so bad I'd say it's up there with Edward Cullen's "Goodbye Jacob, my brother...my son" line. (BTW, *cringe* *dry-heave* *cringe*)

Although, as I mentioned earlier, this book isn't horrible. To be honest, I feel the majority of it is 'good(ish)' and 'better than what I expected'. There were even times in which I was (inwardly) cheering for Ms Clare. I was all "YEAH! I knew you could do it! You go girl!" (yeah, I know. No one says "You go girl!" anymore. Except me, when I'm thinking). (Shut-up).

Here's the deal though: because Cassandra Clare failed to 'bring it' this time around, I'm not necessarily going to recommend this book. I'm not saying you shouldn't read Clockwork Angel, I'm saying do so at your own risk. Don't expect this book to be super awesome. You've been warned.

P.S. I will be reading the next book in this series. And probably the one after that. Yeah, I know--this series has "(possible) massive trainwreck" written all over it. But who doesn't love a literary trainwreck? I know I do. (I'm dead inside, remember?) Horrible books are incredibly fun to review.
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Reading Progress

09/04/2010
25.0% "Audiobook. Cassandra Clare's writing has improved since her Mortal Instruments series, though I can't say she's come up with a completely original batch of characters. I admit it's a bit too early to totally judge but my initial impression is: Will=Jace=Draco" 1 comment
09/05/2010
100.0% "I've got a lot to say about this book. I'm working on the review now." 1 comment
03/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Miss Clark A very nice review, which echoes my sentiments toward the first series and perhaps explains my irrational desire to read this one. Also, I'll be following your reviews:)


message 2: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Penny, you are a very generous and forgiving reader:)


Joana I just found out that I like your very long and descriptive reviews of Horrible books. Unfortunately I will read them anyway, curiosity is my worst quality. Then, I'll go back to you to tell weather I totally agree or just agree slightly.


Lucy Did the inconsistancy of The Mortal Instruments as a hidden world and The Infernal Devices as an alternate universe bother you at all? All I kept thinking about that the Mortal Instruments was supposed to take place as a secret part of the real world and the Infernal Devices is Steampunk and therefore alternate universe... I saw nothing in TMI that indicated it was the future of a Steampunk world.


Penny @ Miss Clark: Thank you!

@ Tatiana: I know. I noticed that I'm too forgiving, but not all the time. I guess it just depends on the author, whether or not I feel their stories are engaging, despite the writing. Cassandra Clare is still on my underdog list, but can/will be kicked off if her writing hasn't improved by the time her next book is published.

@ Joana: I hope you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I enjoyed writing them. I'm good at hating. I love hate.

@ Lucy: funny, I was just thinking about that this morning. There are inconsistencies between the two series. And no, I don't think it can be explained away because of the time differences. And it's true, there was nothing in MI that indicated steampunk ever happened in their world. I have an issue with the fact that so many humans/mundanes were aware of the paranormal world in this series. In MI mundanes were pretty much in the dark about the paranormal world. Also, why is it Tess couldn't see past glamors? She's half-demon (and something else on top of that--my guess is fae). In MI Clare, ignorant of what she was, could still see past glamors until her mother had Magnus put that mental block on her. As far as we know, Tees didn't have that.

I hate to nitpick, especially when those things didn't necessarily ruin the story for me, but I like consistency, ya know?


Lucy I don't think either of us are nitpicking. When you turn a three book series into six books plus three prequels -- nine overall, consistency to the world is always going to be an issue... Still, steampunk to a regular future feels gigantic. They're also much kinder to Tess the part demon than they were to Clary and she was a full blooded although untrained nephalim.

As for what Tess is... I think her mother might've been half nephalim like Will. She had to be very human in appearance and Clare did give us a lot of back story about the Council trying to get any children of mundane-nephalim unions. It'd make sense for her parents to keep her in the dark if they were hiding her.


Samantha Souza Have you read the Blue Bloods series? That is a HORRIBLE series that you can review on. I would get a kick out of what you would say about them.


Sarah (YA Love) What is the "Oh no!" comment? If you're going to bring it up, you really should quote it. Otherwise, is it worth writing about?


message 9: by Sami (last edited Dec 04, 2010 10:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sami i love what you had to say about Cassandra Clare.
I personally love her TMI books but wasnt the biggest fan of this one. It had its moments (like youe said) but overall the majority of the characters bothered me (like Jessamine who i couldnt stand)I believe in Cassadra Clare and so I will be one of the people to pick up her sequal to this book too, but I wont have such high hopes this time. (i really didnt have high expectations going into Clockwork angel, but i still came out of it a bit dissapointed)
oh and i was wondering....what was that cheesey line the you found in the book? :)


message 10: by Always (new) - added it

Always I love your review a lot actually !!!
OH, btw, Edward said that because he was really saying "son in-law" as in, I give you permission to be in love with my daughter, and to protect her. My son, just sounds a lot cooler than my son in-law. (Sorry, just had to say that.)
Thanks for the great review though !!! You really helped a lot !!!


message 11: by Brie (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brie u dont know wat a good book is wen u read it!


Hannah Wilborn Well I for one loved what you had to say about the author. She is such a unique writer and this book have gone so much father. But personally, I loved this book. There were monets where i was bored out of my skull, and then there were times, were I was just like YAAASSS TESSA! Even though will was a complete fart, which has a reason supporting it, I am still team Jem all the way!


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