The Infernal Devices Book 1: Clockwork Angel
by Cassandra Clare
Hey look! Another book 1! Aaaaand, another book that I’ve reread. Are you watching Shadowhunters on Freeform (previously ABC Family?) because I am. It’s a trainwreck mostly, but it does make me want to reread the books. Strangely, it doesn’t make me want to reread The Mortal Instruments books. Since the beginning, it’s made me want the Infernal Devices books. Maybe it’s just that I’ve read TMI series again recently. Or maybe it’s because I like TID better. *evil grin* And now I have a chance to share it with all y’all. (That’s Texan for a group of people)
I’m on the 3rd book in the series now, which is an audiobook, and I highly recommend due to the British actor. But I’m not here to talk about audiobooks or how I’m completely undone by the dulcet tones Daniel Sharman and the Welsh accent he gives William Herondale.
Anyhow! Quick review of the book. Tessa, an American, is following her brother to England, only to find that he’s not there to greet her. She’s instead met by two old ladies who basically torture her for months on end because she has this previously unknown ability to shapeshift into other people. Eventually, she is rescued by Shadowhunters – Nephilim or in case you aren’t familiar with the term, half angel/half human fighters. Tessa is thrown in the middle of this unfamiliar world and on top of it all, finds out her brother is working for the wrong side. See? Short. Now, let’s talk about characers!
If you read this book and William Herondale reminds you of Jace Wayland/Morgenstern/Lightwood/Herondale, you wouldn’t be wrong. William has that same behavior that we all favor in Jace. Snark. I know it’s not only me. Some of you are liars. You are lying to yourself. William does snark better that Jace. I chalk it up to Clare being more familiar with writing this kind of character and having grown as a writer since writing City of Bones.
Let’s just say that Tessa is all of us. She’s a fangirl. A Victorian fangirl, so she has the restraint of a Victorian woman, but a fangirl none the less. She likens her life to books as much as possible. She reads books over and over again. She memorizes passages. That’s Tessa in the opening quote. You can’t tell me I’m the only person that has ever looked at a situation and said “Look, if a fictional character can face down his arch nemesis with only one hand, I can go to school today and take that test.” Now, she’s reading Classical literature. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities, but still, those were the YA novels of the times. I haven’t even read one of the books she’s talked about I’m shamed to admit.
Jem! The voice of reason to Will’s slightly bipolar personality. He’s made to be the opposite of Will, and yet, because of there Parabatai (kind of a blood brother sort of thing) it’s almost as if they are the halves of the same coin. He’s a calm presence in the book. He’s a musician and for some reason he is seen as having a disability/weakness. Everyone makes mention at some point of the fact that Jem is on medication. And it’s so hard to talk about Jem and not talk about this illness, but it isn’t explained until later books and so it is REALLY DIFFICULT to talk about Jem right now (I’m already listening to the 3rd book in the series), but if he were here I would pet him and stick him in my pocket he is so adorable and I love him!
As far as the storyline goes. It’s a very interesting fast read and I found it a page turner. Just the right amount of fantastical elements and really different, engaging characters and mystery surrounding everything. If you’ve read any of the TMI books, you’ll recognize surnames and Magnus of course plays a large part in the book. Camille shows up as well. (No Raphael though… as he hasn’t been born yet.) It’s the first book in a 3 book series and it does very well as a stand alone book. Tessa is strong-willed without being overly bratty about it (something I have a big problem with in Clary…. and TV!Clary especially) Tessa is inquisitive which helps us out and the author because people explain to Tessa what’s going on and so Clare doesn’t have to bog down the story with weirdo explanations. It still has the feel of the TMI books but I think it’s a stronger first book than City of Bones. But you don’t have to take my word for it! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Also, check out my review for book 2!