Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clockwork Angel

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
from amazon.com

Beth says 5 Stars...

I can't even pretend not to love Cassandra Claire. Her books are delightful, with a fabulous grit and sheen at the same time. If you, like me, fell in love with her Mortal Instruments series, then the wait for Clockwork Angel was a grueling one. I had extremely high expectations when I laid hands on this novel. Needless to say, Claire did not disappoint. Instead of modern-day New York City, the action takes place in Victorian London, but not quite what Jane Austen would have seen. The steampunk elements of the book were simply delightful. They weren't overdone, but seemed to be a natural part of the book. The mystery element of the plot was well done, and I didn't see the ending until right before it happened. I was absolutely sucked into the story and couldn't put the book down.

The characters were delightful, just as I had hoped. Tessa is just vulnerable enough; she pulls at your heart without being weak. Her confusion elicits sympathy, but she has an undercurrent of strength that makes you want to identify with her. Of course, the Shadowhunters are beyond fantastic and deadly. The new crop has some familiar names, but they are all different and their own characters, although there are a few traits that are apparently genetic (have fun figuring them out!). Will and Jem work so well together, but are both intriguing. It appears as if all of them have their own secrets that will hopefully come out in the next book or two. It's also so much fun to get to see a bit of Magnus Bane's past, and, honestly, he's just plain awesome.

This is a must-read for those who loved Claire's other books and those who've never picked them up. The blend of the Victorian era, Shadowhunters, and Claire's writing create a magical novel that runs like clockwork (groan if you want to... totally warranted). For a great blend of fantasy and adventure, with a dose of sarcasm for good measure, grab this one now, and by now I mean yesterday.


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