The first in The Infernal Devices Trilogy, Clockwork Angel (CA) takes place about 100 years before her bestselling (and disturbingly engrossing) Mortal Instruments Trilogy, in which Clary Fray and Jace Wayland attempt to stop the evil Valentine (an ironically non-scary name!) from defeating the Shadowhunters (Demon, vampire, and other such creature-hunters) and those they protect—both human and not.
In Victorian London, The Pandemonium Club is deeper than knee deep into occult activities, trying to gain power beyond that which their money can buy by allying themselves with supernatural creatures. At the same time, the Dark Sisters have kidnapped Tessa Gray, who has an amazing ability that those of the Pandemonium Club (or any number of Downworlders) would love to control. She encounters Will, a Shadowhunter who has a dark secret of his own, and promises to help and protect her.
Tessa is a fantastic character. There have been predictable comparisons between Tessa and Clary, but Tessa is a bit stronger and well-rounded. She is excellent, gutsy, and mysterious. I can’t wait to read more of her.
This is a very promising beginning to a new trilogy. While I really liked the original trilogy—it’s intelligent, witty, and snarky—it reads like chick-lit every once in a while. The writing here is much more mature, and it reads like a lighter (in tone, not in content) version of a Holly Black novel. This balances a bit of romance with a good amount of action and suspense. This expands the already established world in a skillful way. It’s actually even a little better because it begins to give us some history to what we already know. Some links to the contemporary world in The Mortal Instruments are established, and it seems that we may be delving deeper and further within the Shadow world–especially if we’re going to see some more steampunkish elements!
I loved this book, and I cannot wait for the rest of the series, or, the first in a sequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments.