17 March 2011

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher/Year: McElderry / 2010
Date Finished: 10 March 2011
Source/Format: Gift / Print

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

Challenges: TBR Dare, Steampunk Challenge, Gothic Reading,

The Short and Sweet of It
Tessa leaves New York to join her brother in London, but once she arrives she is taken captive by two sisters intent on perfecting Tessa's powers. But Tessa didn't know she had a power; she didn't know anything about the strange and magical world existing alongside her own. Soon she is embroiled in the world of Shadowhunters and demons.

A Bit of a Ramble
I can not express how much I freaking adore Clare's novels. The Mortal Instruments trilogy, City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass, rocked my world when I read them, and I was thrilled to receive this novel, a prequel to the MI trilogy for Christmas. Clockwork Angel includes everything I loved from Mortal Instruments - passion, mythology, kickassery - and then it puts two cherries on top: Victorian London and steampunk. Purrrfffect.

The layers of depth Clare injects in her work really adds to the world building. Some film terms to explain: a narrative in film comprises two parts, the fabula and the syuzhet. The syuzhet is the story you see on the screen. The fabula is what you don't see but still know. In other words, the syuzhet is the plot and the fabula is the story. While I appreciate plots, quite a bit actually, what I want is a story. I want a complete world populated with not only the characters I am reading about, but tales of people who came before and the promise of those who will come in the future. Clare's world building is perfect in this way; the world created within the pages of the text refers to and develops its own past and promises a future.

If you have not read Clare yet, you are really missing out. On a side note, I do think it beneficial to read Mortal Instruments before the Infernal Devices. While this may seem backwards because of chronology, sometime the publishing order should guide you instead.


  1. I really need to pick up one of Clare's published works, as I've long been a fan of her fanfiction. Glad to know that I shouldn't start with the prequel. Cassie and Holly Black will be reading together at my bookstore next month, so that may be the impetus I need to finally pick up one of her novels. Thanks!

  2. I have all 4 of these books, and my kids have just raved about them over and over again. I know they are something that I don't want to miss. I just need to make the time for them! Great and enthusiastic review!

  3. My oldest daughter and I ordered City of Bones and it is arriving tomorrow :) Can't wait to get started on this series :)

  4. Sounds great!!! I have not read it yet, but I plan to. If you like shadows, other worldly dimensions, and mind bendingly awesome books then you should try the Prophecy of the Sisters triology, but the 3rd one doesn't come out until August. :( So try and read them near August so that you don't have to wait as long. :D

  5. I just can't bring myself to try these books as I struggle with this whole steampunk business. Glad they rock your world!!

  6. Great review. I've read the three books in The Mortal Instruments trilogy, and I absolutely loved them. Cassandra Clare is an expert when it comes to witty quips. I want to read Clockwork Angel, but I think I'll wait until all the books in the series are out. I can't stand the agony of not knowing what's going to happen next. LOL.

  7. I just started reading Clockwork Angel - should I stop now and start reading Mortal Instruments series? I'm about 60 pages into Clockwork Angel right now.

  8. Coffee and a Book Chick - I don't think you need to read the MI series first, at least not to understand the story; but I found the references to MI characters more important since I had read MI first.

  9. Oh, good to know! I've definitely been enjoying it thus far!

  10. just in case you didn't know the 4 book of the MI series comes out April 5. i can't wait. i really want to read the Clockwork Angel too but it's really hard to get.


Talk to me baby!