Review - Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: August 31 2010, Maragert K. McElderry Books
Pages: 481
Source: Library book
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.

Clockwork Angel, well, Cassandra Clare's books in general, are very popular. Before I began blogging I didn't have a clue who this author was, or which books she wrote, but since I've been blogging, I've discovered such fantastic books and some new favourite authors, and Cassandra Clare is definitely one of them. When I posted my Stacking the Shelves post containing the Clockwork Angel, almost every single comment said how brilliant it was or how they were looking forward to reading it. So when the time came around to read Clockwork Angel, I found myself hesitant towards starting it, and putting it off. Why? Because  I had heard so amazing things about it, that my expectations were extremely high, and I didn't want to read it to find my self let down and disappointed, expecting to read a brilliant book but then finding it not so brilliant after all. However, Clockwork Angel swept me off my feet. With stunning characters, a well-crafted love triangle, descriptive writing, nail-biting action and sickening plot turns, Clockwork Angel will have you on the edge of the seat and in suspense. 

The writing is stunning. The detail that is woven into the story makes it feel as if you are watching a movie rather than reading a book. I can see and imagine everything to its finest point. Her writing style makes me see the horse-drawn carriages with their plush velvet seats trundling along the roads, I can see the murky waters of the River Thames as it rises and falls as if it were breathing, I can see the terrifying clockwork automatons advancing on Tessa, their metallic arms reaching out for her, ready to grab. Cassandra Clare's ability to describe in such detail is certainly one of her many writing talents that defines her in the Young Adult writing community.

I adored the characters. Tessa, Will, Jem, Charlotte, Henry and even Jessamine and Sophie, had such unique personalities. Each of the characters stood out in their own way. Sometimes when I read a book the characters are so similar, that I can't discern which character is which unless it simply states so. Thankfully, the Clockwork Angel was not like that. I was also really impressed that Cassandra Clare can write such a beautiful, emotional story told in third-person. Usually, for me, when a book is written in third-person I can't relate to the characters at all and end up feeling no sympathy for them when the author wants you to feel sympathy. Cassandra did a stunning job of writing an engaging, descriptive and emotional novel written in third person narrative.

Tessa was amazing, I admire her so much. The tragic events she had to go through just made my heart break for her. And honestly, if I was Tessa, I would've been a wreck. And a hermit. I probably wouldn't ever leave the house again after my whole family dying or leaving. Yes, its not healthy but I think any normal person would be a bit paranoid...right? *silence* Alrighty then, moving on... Tessa was emotionally and physically strong. She didn't consistently whine about how unfair her life was, when she felt the urge to cry, she wouldn't cry in front of the characters, but bite back the tears that she thought would display weakness.  If I was Tessa, I would've been a wreck, her mother died, then her aunt Harriet, then her brother moved away, then she had to deal with the Dark Sisters and their torture they inflicted upon Tessa and then the shocking war and discovery that happened at the end of the book.

The love triangle really worked well in this book. I love Will and Jem equally. Will has this brooding, mysterious, bad boy vibe that jumps off him. And Jem is sweet, gentle and kind. Even after finishing Clockwork Angel I still don't know which side I'm on. I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with Will at the beginning, but then I was a bit disappointed with some of his actions, I felt like he could be quite a jerk sometimes and that made me dislike him just a tiny bit, but then he would be sweet, and sarcastic again and I loved him even more than before.

I really like Jem, he's really sweet to Tessa and, indeed, to everyone in the institute. When I found out about his illness and the slow death he was dying, it hit me like a crashing wave. I *almost* started crying, because I can't imagine Will without Jem, and the Institute without him.  So I'm on both their sides. Don't make me choose! *crazed stare*

The plot was I haven't read a book that has contained so many shocking, heart-breaking twists since Divergent. I'm telling you that my mouth was literally hanging open at some of the events. The things that were revealed to Tessa made my heart break for her, as she had been through enough turmoil but was heaped with even more worries as the story speeds along.  The pacing was also great, in the beginning it felt a bit slow (literally only the prologue though) but it picked up pace almost immediately and I was swept into the magical yet frightening, world of warlocks, vampires, werewolves and whirring automatons.

Clockwork Angel is a splendid read. The writing is absolutely perfect in every way, the descriptions force you to see the beautiful, yet sometimes grotesque, scenes that the characters experience. The characters are explained in detail and you begin to sympathise with them and know them. The romance is sweet, leaving you not always knowing which side you're on. The plot will leave you completely flabbergasted and craving the next book. Clockwork Angel is a stunning read that I would recommend to everyone. A completely faultless read...

I give it: 5 CUPCAKES!