Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My current obsession is Twitter.  It's not for everyone, but it provides me hours of entertainment and endless examples for class.  Seriously, Twitter? It rocks.

This guy will play Magnus Bane
in The Mortal Instruments movie
released in August.
ANYWAY, on Twitter, I follow author Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) who is HILARIOUS.  She's also an amazingly talented author. Amy reviewed Maureen's 13 Little Blue Envelopes at The Family Addiction. (You can read it here.)  Earlier this year, Maureen was hinting at a major new project coming in in conjunction with Sarah Rees Brennan (@sarahreesbrenna) and Cassandra Clare (@cassieclare).  Finally, after many teasing tweets, the secret was revealed.  Cassandra, Sarah and Maureen would collaborate to write The Bane Chronicles, an e-serialization focused on Magnus Bane, a character from two other YA series written by Cassandra Clare.

I wanted to check out the new e-serial, but I'm a true book nerd, so I knew I needed to backtrack and read the first two series before I started The Bane Chronicles.  And that leads me Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.  It's the first series that mentions Magnus Bane.

Clockwork Angel is the story of Tessa Gray, a young woman who leaves the U.S. to meet her brother in Victorian England.  From the very moment she steps on the ship, nothing goes quite as planned.  Her brother is missing, and Tessa is held captive by two strange sisters who are convinced Tessa has the ability to "change".  Tessa is eventually rescued by the Shadowhunters, a group as unknown to her as her supposed ability.  The Shadowhunters  promise to help her find her brother.  That, too, doesn't go quite as planned.  The Shadowhunters' world and the trouble that Tessa's brother has discovered is enough to make any 16-year-old girl's head spin.

Tessa is brave, and she has new friends to help her adapt, but there is actual danger in this society of vampires, hunters, warlocks, demons, and Tessa--whatever she might really be.  There is also complicated romantic distraction because her new friends are two young men as dedicated to each other as they are to the Shadowhunter cause.  Jem and Will both see the brave, smart and beautiful woman that Tessa will become, but they both have their reasons for keeping her at arm's length.

There's a lot to absorb in Clockwork Angel, but it was a great read.  It wasn't always an easy read,  but that's fair because being a teenager never is--even without magic, danger and betrayal.  I highly recommend this Infernal Devices series (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) and I mean to read The Mortal Instruments series as well.   I would rate the series with a PG-13.  The characters are 16 and older with typical teenage hormonal distractions.  There is violence and death as well. The books all end with a resolution, but it wouldn't be confused with a shallow happily-ever-after.  If you can gear yourself up for the emotional roller coaster, you should read Clockwork Angel.