It’s another Shadowhunter Saturday! Where Ellie (Read to Ramble) and I are discussing our journey through the world of the Shadowhunters! If you missed our announcement you can find all the details about this collaboration Here or if you are interested in our thoughts on City of Bones , City of Ashes or City of Glass.
The first section is my spoiler free mini review of what I thought of the book followed by my interview of Ellie and her Thoughts. If you would like to see my answers to the interview questions and Ellie’s mini review you can find it one her blog Here.
Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
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.
I new series and a new setting of 1800s London but the same feel of being in the world of the Shadowhunters. This book really hits the ground running. We get introduced to our dashing pair of Shadowhunters, Will and Jem just briefly to establish that Will is the dashing and broody one and Jem is the more sensible of the pair (reminiscent of the previous Jace and Alex pairing) . Then its on to our MC Tessa and all that is to befall her in her new life in England.
I must say I did, enjoy this book. I much prefer Tessa to Clary as an MC and I really like the dynamic she has to the Shadowhunter’s and their world. I really enjoyed learning about her and how she discovered the Shadowhunters was really original. Will does read a little like Jace did and they both seem to have the brooding down. Jem is also a very interesting character, it will be great to see how his story progresses. We also see the return of a favourite character or two which was really interesting.
While Clockwork Angel had a lot more action at the beginning, it did suffer from a slow middle and i did find myself getting a little bored with the exposition, but like in the Mortal Instruments, this book really sped up in the end. The plot was so-so, there were some great twists and bluffs, again all at the end, but the rest sort of felt a bit like filler, and even the romance didn’t really get started. We did get an interesting Epilogue and a little cliffhanger so it does make you want to read on.
Again, with the other books I have read so far there is a real lack of worldbuilding. We get a lot of insight into the London Institute but it really didn’t feel like it differed that much from the New York institute so not much was added. I wanted to get a lot more of London. Of the Sights and sounds of the Downworld around London but we really didnt get more than glimpses which was a shame.
This is still a fun series and I still enjoying reading them.
SPOILER ALERT! – The next section is full of Spoilers where I ask Ellie about what she thought of the book. We discuss key plot points and give away lots of detail so if you don’t want to read spoilers.
I ASKED ELLIE SOME QUESTIONS
Fi: As the first book in the Infernal Devices series, what were your first impressions and did they change throughout the book?
Ellie: I was expecting this book to start slowly as the previous three did, but it actually drew me in right from the first page. I was really looking forward to starting it because of the blurb sounding really good and the fact that it was set in the 1870s, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I immediately thought that it was really well set up, there was some great world-building and I felt like I was in Victorian London, and although we didn’t get that much detail and information about the Shadow world, I liked how it was alluded to and explained more throughout the book. My first impressions were that it was very different to The Mortal Instruments and I enjoyed it more straight away, I still like it more than the first trilogy I think, we will have to see how the other books in this trilogy bode.
Fi: What was your favourite moment?
Ellie: I honestly really liked the scene where Tessa, Will and Magnus set up their take over of the Pandemonium Club, I really liked how it was all sort of slow motion and then suddenly all hell broke loose. In the previous books, I had found the battle scenes to be a bit meh, but I really enjoyed this one, and Tessa really proved herself. I think a lot of things happened around this point and it really started speeding up.
Fi: Who was your favourite character?
Ellie: I don’t think I have a favourite character yet, but I did really like Tessa, she was a lot more wholesome than Clary was in The Mortal Instruments, and even though they are about the same age I think, Tessa appears so much more mature. I also loved, read that as LOVED, seeing Magnus, I really hadn’t guessed that he would make an appearance and it was amazing seeing him because of how much I already like him from the other books. I suppose that I have to add Henry to this list too, I’m getting good vibes from him, he seems sweet and caring and I love his creativeness and how he messes up all the time, I think he has good potential in the next books.
Fi: Did you like this setting and time period?
Ellie: Yes, absolutely, I really like historical fiction and I really enjoyed the Shadowhunter world, the creatures, the ancestors of characters we have already met, all in this world, setting and time period. It was a bit like a return to the past and I loved learning more about times before the present that we know from The Mortal Instruments. I don’t think we got that much description of London itself, but I can definitely picture it in my mind, and I am loving this time period, especially with all we learn about the Accords and various characters!
Fi: What do you think is going to happen next?
Ellie: I can’t say for sure, but I think Will and Magnus will team together and be a big part of book 2, that ending was just like “wooooah, stop” and I can’t wait to start Clockwork Prince. There is definitely more to Will and I love how again, Magnus steps up and comes to the rescue so to speak. Events with the Magister and the clockwork creatures are obviously not done, I would like to see more about Jem and Henry, Nate is possibly going to betray Tessa again, I don’t really know, but I think it will be good!
What ELLIE Thought About the Plot
Tessa travelling from America to England for her brother and getting kidnapped by the Dark Sisters
Ellie: Having a book set in this time frame, my mind immediately thought that Tessa would be depicted as a frail woman, but I was so surprised and instantly relieved that she was an independent, strong character! The first few chapters are quite hard to gauge and you can’t really tell what’s going on, but I’m glad it started in London directly. I wasn’t expecting Tessa to fall into trouble right from the start, but the Dark Sisters were so creepy. I loved how this plot was introduced as I wasn’t expecting Tessa to get kidnapped for her power.
Ellie: Wow, I wasn’t expecting Tessa to have powers, especially not the power to Change. I found this very intriguing and I’m sure there is so much more to her powers, again, we are getting power vibes and revelations, which is something I’m starting to like in these books. I like how it’s more than just Shadowhunters and the focus on Tessa, not being a Shadowhunter herself, is really interesting to me. I found the bits where she changed a bit weird, not that I didn’t enjoy them, but wow, it was kind of jarring to have the more gory aspects of it when she changed into a few people, especially Camille.
The Pandemonium Club & the Accords signed between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders
Ellie: We started this mission with City of Bones, and if you’ve read it, you know that City of Bones starts with Clary and Simon going to a club in New York City called the Pandemonium Club, so when I saw this one here, I had a little “AHHH” moment. This was so interesting and even learning about the Accords and the fact that they were signed once already between Shadowhunters and Downworlders was really surprising as it’s not something we know about in The Mortal Instruments. I think this was all the backstory that I was missing from the previous books and I am really enjoying learning more about this world and past Shadowhunters and events.
Meeting the ancestors of The Mortal Instruments’ characters
Ellie: This was one of my favourite parts of this book and every time we learned the surname of a character, it was like meeting the characters from The Mortal Instruments all over again, but this time knowing who they were instantly. We learn about so many people in the first trilogy and even some of their ancestors, so to actually meet some of them and know exactly who they are is so cool.
Magnus Bane’s appearance in the book
Ellie: YAY, I actually exclaimed out loud “MAGNUS BANE” when I saw his name, it was such a great moment and I really recommend you read the books in the order we have/currently are, as you get such satisfaction with all the character names and appearances. Magnus was one of the characters that I really started to like in The Mortal Instruments, so seeing him here and sort of “in the past” if you know what I mean, was really cool, so happy to see him and learn more of his backstory!
Will, Tessa and Magnus storm the Pandemonium Club
Ellie: As I’ve said before, I really liked this bit of the book, I liked how it worked up to this point and I didn’t really see how it would go down until it did. I had a weird moment when I was reading it in slow motion and the action was happening in slow motion, and then all of a sudden everything exploded! Henry and his inventions got a funny eye-roll from me. I hadn’t really enjoyed battle scenes in previous books but this one was definitely better, especially when Tessa shot De Quincey.
Will and Tessa in the attic
Ellie: Once again, Cassandra Clare likes to give her readers absolutely WHAT THE HECK moments. I read this bit so quickly because I had no idea what was happening or where it would go, and I was almost shocked by how Will went all crazy on Tessa, I still don’t really get it, but I’m sure we will learn more about this in the next book, I think there is a lot more to it. My heart really felt all heavy and sad for Tessa because it all happened so fast and then he rejected her so cruelly that I just wanted to give her a hug.
Ellie: I thought this plot point was quite interesting and it kept my brain on Jem quite a lot, I was always wondering what was wrong with him and trying to remember if I had ever heard anyone talk about Jem being ill, so it came as a surprise what he revealed to Tessa, I found it rather sad actually. I’m not too sure what importance this is in the grand scheme of things, it might just be his backstory, but I think I want to know more about it because it still seems a bit vague.
The clockwork figures, what they are and how they invade the Institute, the Magister and why he wants Tessa, Nathaniel’s betrayal
Ellie: These clockwork creatures were so creepy. I was a bit engrossed when Henry was dissecting one in the basement, and they honestly gave me the creeps when they ran after Jem and Tessa on the bridge, and again when they invaded the Institute. This was the kind of plot point where I know I could have seen it coming had I took more care in reading everything closer, and I feel like Cassandra Clare leaves a lot of these sort of breadcrumbs building up to a big event, but it did give me the “omg” factor at the time. I wanted everyone to fight back so hard and I found their surprise a bit too much and wanted to shake them and for them to kick butt aha! The bit about the Magister is still unclear in my mind about why he wants to marry Tessa, like I get it, but I still don’t, so I’m hoping it will be cleared up in the next book, because I don’t know at all what he means by saying he created her!! I was so angry that Nathaniel had betrayed Tessa and the Shadowhunters, like again, it was something I could have seen coming but it literally annoyed me so much and I wanted to slap him, I hate two-faced characters like him.
The showdown between the Magister and Tessa
Ellie: Again, this was another “slow-motion” bit for me and I actually found myself wanting more action than just Tessa plunging the knife in her chest and then being like “just kidding” – obviously there was more tact to it than what I’m saying but you know what I mean. I found it intriguing that she could transform and the blood be all over the place because of the body she transformed into, I’m interested to learn more about it and I want to know the Magister’s motives!
Ellie: It’s not really a plot point but it’s worth mentioning!! The cat in the Institute in New York appears here and it was again a happy moment like when we saw Magnus Bane. That’s all, lol, I just wanted to be happy about the cat and where he came from!
That cliffhanger ending!
Ellie: And finally, ARGH! Cassandra Clare doesn’t really cliff-hanger her books, they sort of come to small, neat conclusions and I was not expecting it to stop so abruptly right in the middle of what I think is a really important conversation and possibly revelation about Will. I’m liking that it’s Magnus who again is always there to save the day and help people, he is becoming a staple in this world and I’m loving it. But seriously, that ending was so frustrating and right after this post goes up, you bet I’m going to go start the next one!
If you want to read my answers to the questions and read Ellie’s mini review you can find them all on Ellie’s Blog Read To Ramble
Ellie and I are not switching it up and going allow with the reading order moving on to The Infernal devices book one. We will be sticking with the 3 week reading schedule so out next Shadowhunter Saturday will be August 22nd!
We also would love to know what you thought. If you have read City of bones let us know your answers to the questions! and come discuss the world of the shadow hunters in the comments!