I read my first Cassie Clare book in January of 2016, and it’s literally taken be more than 18 months to finish 4 of her books. What am I doing with my life? I know I love her writing, and will totally enjoy each and every book of her’s, but I just keep putting it off. I think it’s mainly because my local bookstores don’t have all the books in the series.
Anyways, I heard that the best way to read the Shadow Hunter Chronicles (The Mortal Instruments series ‘TMI’, The Infernal Devices trilogy ‘TID’, The Dark Artifices series ‘TDA’, and a couple other side books), is to just go by the publication order. And that’s exactly what I’ve done (hence me reviewing the first book in the Infernal Devices series.)
(I recommend you read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – and then read my review of it- before you read my review of Clockwork Angel, because I refer to a lot of TMI’s characters here.)
Publication Date: August 31st, 2010
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 479
Series: The Infernal Devices (#1)
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…
I’d like to preface this before I actually get into my in-depth thoughts about this series debut, I enjoyed Clockwork Angel so much more than any of the TMI books. Don’t get me wrong, I love TMI, but I just fell head over heels in love with this series (well this book, I haven’t exactly read the rest of the books yet), and its characters.
I’ve talked to a friend who read both series, and she said that the writing style was different and that’s why it was more enjoyable, and I mostly agree with that. I also think that the characters are more dynamic in the sense that they face more ‘serious’ problems (ie. women not taken seriously when in charge) and still move on and continue being badass, while in TMI they face more ‘petty’/’first-world-problems’ (ie. ‘We’re best friends, should we date?’) and make it a big deal.
Now on to more of my detailed thoughts.
I loved seeing the shadow hunter world in the 1800s. I’m used to TMI’s setting, that seeing shadow hunters riding in carriages, and living with servants who dress them and all, was really… shocking at first, but I got used to it after the first couple chapters.
Not only did we get to see the shadow hunters in the 20th century, we also got to see them interact in London. I was also listening to the audiobook of this, and the narrator was doing (a great) British accent for the British characters (duh). I would totally recommend the audiobook, by the way.
One of the best things, in my opinion, about this book is the fact that we get to see Magnus Bane! AH! He’s one of my favorite characters in TMI, so seeing him interact with these new characters really was a delight. I was kind of surprised when he was first introduced because he’d have to be way over 100 years old in TMI. While I was reading this, I didn’t exactly know that warlocks don’t age.
Tessa, oh dear, Tessa. If you guys haven’t read the book, Tessa’s the main protagonist of this series. She’s not exactly a shadow hunter, which I found immensely interesting and different, she can shape shift into people if she has one of their possessions. my description doesn’t do her any justice, you’ll have to read it to understand.
She’s an okay protagonist; she definitely needs to grow as a person, which I’m sure will happen as there’s still 2 more books in the trilogy. She was kind of sexist when it came to women shadow hunters in combat. On one hand, I kind of get it because of her era and all, but it kind of bugged me a little in the beginning.
When we first met Will, I immediately thought ‘Jace’. I’ve read a couple other reviews and everyone was also saying that they got serious Jace vibes from him. I didn’t even notice that they’re related until I finished the book. The fact that Jace is also a Harondale just slipped my mind)
Jem is a sweetheart. I swear if something happens to him, I’m going to actually throw this whole series away. I heard that there’s a love triangle in this book, and I think it’s between Jem, Will, and Tessa, but I also have a feeling that Jem will end up with someone else (not going to spoil anything, don’t worry).
There were a couple (heartbreaking) deaths at the end of the book which literally had me gasping for air. I was tearing up on the plane when a certain someone (Their name might start with a ’T’) died. It’s still a sore spot for me… Why Cassie? Why do you like torturing your readers?
That’s all I have to say, I absolutely adored this book, and will absolutely continue with this series in the future; I might even pick up the next book later this month.