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Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (Book 1/3)
Author: Cassandra Clare (@ LJ/Website
Release Date8/31/10
Age Group: Ages 14+ (YA)
Source: Bought (Amazon)
Go Buy It! Amazon/Barnes&Noble/BookDepository
Overall Feelings:  Stunning and fascinating!

"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."

Plot & Ending:
I loved this book. It was nicely paced, enough that when you're reading it you don't even notice how many pages you're turning. I didn't put this book down unless I absolutely had to. 

First off, who wasn't fascinated by the Victorian Era? Top hats, waistcoats, carriages, the dark, polluted sky of London, wonderful. Ms. Clare really takes us back in time, to the late-1870s to be exact, and uses vivid details to describe to us the time period. The hardships and struggles of the discriminated. The etiquette and demeanor of the general population. And there is the shocking transition from the then Shadowhunters to the now ones.

*shivers* Oh, dear me, Shadowhunters. No matter the time period, they manage to intimidate you and bewitch you. Come on. Those fighting sequences, particularly the ones featuring Jem and Will *cough*. The eighteenth century automatons, the whole not born of heaven or hell concept was a nice touch. It was definitely creepy, too. When you read this, avoid doing so in the dark, especially when you're alone. 

As always, when reading a Clare original, as a reader, I imagined myself wrapped around her little pinky finger. Why? Because of all those twists and turns. Those shocking revelations. The angst and drama. The irritation and anger felt toward certain *sneeze* Will *sneeze* characters. As for the end, without giving away too much, I wonder what's up with Will. I have some theories, but his desperation and urgency still puzzles me.

So far, Cassandra Clare's characters have been anything BUT dull and/or flat. Each one has their quirks, their secrets and pasts, and their vibrant, distinctive personalities that you end up falling in love with (including the characters you come to hate).

Will - A dark, witty, arrogant boy who manages to make you love him and get you ticked off all at once. He holds a dark secret and has an unspeakable past. Can I just say that Will is entirely swoon-worthy. *swoons*
 "'You cut me,' he said...He looked at his hand with critical interest. 'It might be fatal.'
...He tilted his hand to the side. Blood ran down it, spattering the floor. 'Dear me, massive blood loss. Death could be imminent.'" --Will Herondale (36)

Jem - A thoughtful, perhaps sweet boy who you cannot help but adore and quite possibly love. He too carries secrets and is trailed by a vivid, shadowy past. Because I saw so much of Jem's inner-workings in my own mind, I fell for him hard, as he's a beautiful person...and also swoon-worthy. *swoon*
'"Will is . . . difficult,' Jem said. 'But family is difficult. If I didn't think the Institute was the best place for you, Tessa, I would not say that it was. And one can build one's own family. I know you feel inhuman, and as if you are set apart, away from life and love, but...' His voice cracked a little, the first time Tessa had heard him sound unsure. He cleared his throat. 'I promise you, the right man won't care.'" --Jem (472)

Henry - An eager, absentminded young man who spends most of his time tinkering away down in, I believe, the basement. Henry resembles, to me, a sane crazy person who just walks around very carefree like, wrapped in his own little world. He is adorable.
'"Oh yes,' Henry said eagerly. The flames were now nearly to his shoulder. 'I've been working like a man possessed all day...' ...Henry glanced down at his arm, and his mouth dropped open. 'Bloody hell"...Henry beamed and patted the burned sleeve of his jacket with a look of satisfaction. 'You know what this means?'" --Henry (69)

Tessa - A good, strong young lady, with a practical mind and an unwavering heart. She has a deep passion for books and reading as well. She might just be one of my favorite heroines of all time.
"'It was Will who broke the silence. 'Very well. You have me alone in the corridor--'
'Yes, yes,' said Tessa impatiently, 'and thousands of women all over the world would pay handsomely for the privilege of such an opportunity. Can we put aside the display of your wit for a moment? This is important.'" --Tessa and Will (355)

Jessamine - Miss Lovelace is a spoiled, selfish girl who cannot physically put aside her own needs and wants for the good of the many, the good of the whole. But, she is one girl you'll just love to hate. I know I did.
"'Jessamine ignored him [Will]. 'Is it dreadful, being so evil? Are you worried you'll go to Hell?' She leaned closer to Tessa. 'What do you think the Devil's like?'
Tessa set her fork down. 'Would you like to meet him? I could summon him up in a trice if you like...'" --Jessamine and Tessa (68)

Cover: Loved it!
In regards to the cover art, am I the only one who feels blessed by the angels to have been sent this cover? Is it not beautiful, magnificent? Does it not make you want to wear a top hat very, very badly? I know. I understand. I feel the same way. And I love the old clock tower in the background, as well as the other faded mechanisms. Oh! And that little glimpse of Will's tattoos, too.