September 10, 2011

Review : Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke

Title : Clockwork Angel
Author : Cassandra Clarke
Reading Dates : 21 Jul - 27 Jul 2011
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
The Infernal Devices
Books in the series so far:
  • Clockwork Angel
  • Clockwork Prince
From Amazon :
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.

Book Review of Clockwork Angel.
With so much praise heaped on The Mortal Instruments series, I wanted so much to say that I loved the Infernal Devices series. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I can’t say that I intend to purchase Clockwork Prince and The Mortal Instruments series just went way down the list of books I’m eager to read.

My problem with Clockwork Angel isn’t so much the story as the characters. While there were plenty of what I consider to be pretty obvious plot points, I could have overlooked that if I could just like or even find the main characters interesting. Instead, with the exception of Jem, I find most of the main and supporting characters annoying.

Tessa is not only filled up with plenty of prejudices, she also has 2 almost completely separate and different personalities. And the part which I like appears only once or twice early on the story. The rest of the time, she appears to be a shallow young girl preoccupied with appearances and social attitudes not in keeping with how she is described. I really can’t understand what it is that draws Jem and Will to her ?

And then there’s Charlotte and Henry. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Having the other characters describing another character’s personality or behaviour is not believable if the character in question does not behave that way. That’s what happened with Charlotte and Henry. Instead of showing themselves to be complex personalities with layers to them, all I felt was that they were incomplete creations. Ones who aren’t sure yet who they’re supposed to be yet.

Overall, since I practically guessed what was going to happen at every juncture, it was more a relief to me to finish the book and I didn’t even wonder when the next book is coming out.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Not any time soon.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Not really.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Young adult fantasy readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

Books alluded to :

Jane EyreLittle WomenInferno (Bantam Classics)The Wide Wide WorldAlice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass (Books of Wonder)Oliver Twist (Enriched Classics)A Tale of Two CitiesGreat Expectations (Arcturus Paperback Classics)The lamplighter: or, An orphan girl's struggles and triumphsThe trail of the serpent: a novelThe MoonstoneArmadale (Penguin Classics)Lady Audley's Secret (Crime Classics)The Three Musketeers (Oxford World's Classics)Ivanhoe (Penguin Classics)Pride and Prejudice (Norton Critical Editions)Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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