Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry, 8/31/10
I didn't think anyone could replace my Simon. I adored The Mortal Instruments and will probably re-read them again sometime this year. Plus, I'm thrilled about a book all about Simon!!! YAY Simon! However, this book has no Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabella and Simon.
We have American Tessa Gray who after her aunt dies in New York receives correspondence from her brother Nathaniel to come to England. With a Steamer ticket in hand, Tessa bounds across the pond to meet up with her brother. However, her brother is nowhere to be found when she arrives and is immediately scooped up by the eerily named Dark Sisters. They hold her captive for nearly six weeks trying to get her to change. Of course, Tessa is clueless and doesn't know why they would force this upon her. This part of the story was a bit draggy for me. I know that this was set up for whatever Tessa was/is/could be, but just having her locked in a house with two bizarre women was slow.
The pace really picks up when William Herondale has inexplicably shown up at the house and Tessa whacks him over the head with jug of water. She's trying to escape and wasn't expecting someone else to come into her room. From there on, Will brings Tessa to the 'Institute' (which we learned about in The Mortal Instruments). Tessa is then brought up to speed on everything that she though could only be found in fairy tales. Vampires, Faeries, Werewolves, Clockwork beings, they all exist and they're called Downworlders. The Institute is where the Shadowhunters live and train (aka slayers of all things evil). Because no one is quite sure what Tessa is (she's obviously not human and has no demon mark on herself), but they allow her to stay at the Institute when she tells them that her brother is missing and has been a particular friend of a very well-known business man who may or may not have ties to the Downworlders.
Although the beginning of the story is a bit sloggish, once Tessa comes into her powers and how she uses them, the story really picks up from there. Her relationship with Will is strained, yet, he's beautiful and of course she'd be attracted to him. She's female! I adored Will's snark. I literally laughed out loud at a few of his remarks, but his attitude at times was also a put off, but there are reasons why he is so standoffish (and no, I don't know why, it's one of those questions that will answered later on in book 2 or book 3).
Most of the shadowhunters at the Institute are under the age of 18, so technically they're not legally able to fight with the rest of the shadowhunters. However, that doesn't stop Will most times. Will's best friend at the Institute in James aka Jem. Jem is a sickly creature, but it doesn't stop him from doing his job. Will adores Jem and the feeling is mutual. One thing the Institute also does is it makes up for family. These young Shadowhunters have no parents (dead or otherwise non-existent). The familial unit is very strong here.
This is a big book and when reading it was I feeling daunted by it. I cannot imagine what Cassie felt like writing it. Her plotting is very strong and I was envious with her skill. This woman can tell a great story. This book is going to be huge, actually this series will be, I suspect, even bigger than The Mortal Instruments, but it also comes out around the same time as the final Hunger Games book, Mockingjay.
So now I have to wait forever the sequel. *SIGH*
This copy was received at BEA10 by the publisher, during the 9am rush to get the book.