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review by Eline
Tessa Gray expected her life to change in many ways when she moved to London. Finding out she’s not human isn’t one of them. It is the year 1878, and cities are thriving. Carriages, ladies with beautiful gowns, men in handsome suits, and demons feasting on the tightly packed together people. Will and Jem, both Shadowhunters, are following the trail of a strange string of killings. A turn of fate brings them together with Tessa, and by the time they meet the story gets well on its way.
Tessa has a lot on her plate. Accepting she isn’t human, as she always thought she was. Trying to find her brother, who seems to have disappeared. Two handsome boys, for whom she both feels a certain attraction. Automatons, clockwork people, running around town, seemingly forming an army of sorts. And to top it all off, a mysterious figure, the Magister, who wants to marry her for her powers. In a world of mysterious Shadowhunters, glittering warlocks, menacing vampires and confusing boys, Tessa must try to fit in. But most of all she must figure out her powers, because time is running out.
When I started reading this book, I wasn’t expecting too much. Yes, I like the Mortal Instruments series, which I have read the first three books of, but they didn’t blow me away. As a matter of fact, I truly hated the second book, but that may have been because of the terrible Dutch translation and the enormous (unnecessary) spoiler in the movie. City of Glass managed to convince me, though, and then especially the last one hundred pages. They were so incredibly fast paced and exciting, this was what I had been waiting for all along! Hoping this book would be like that, but not really expecting it to happen, I started reading the first installment in the Infernal Devices trilogy. Judging by the fact that I’m writing a review on a positive reviews only blog, I feel like it’s clear that I really enjoyed this one.
Can I just start by saying that this book was so much better than the Mortal Instruments? I haven’t finished that series yet, but compared to what I have read of it so far, I can tell that these books aren’t even in the same league. And the worst part is that I don’t think I’ll even be able to fully explain to you why it is better. The premise is quite similar; girl finds out she’s actually not human, and then things happen. Same goes for characters; incredibly snarky and sassy love interest that seems to have a very dark past, main character who doesn’t know anything about the world. Both books follow these ideas to the letter, and yet Clockwork Angel was everything I was secretly hoping for, and more.
The writing style was really good. I don’t often comment on style, but in this book I just can’t not mention it. Cassandra Clare has mastered a really nice-flowing and natural-feeling style, which makes reading seem like you’re watching the people have a conversation instead of sitting and reading about it. The dialogue felt very genuine and plausible, giving the characters an edge of believability, versus the characters in the Mortal Instruments that felt forced at times. This may just be because this is her fourth book, and she has now gotten the hang of writing.
That brings me to the characters. The characters were so great! Tessa was a heroine that I’d like to see more often. Not the unbelievably strong and badass one, or the “plain and insecure” one. She’s just a girl like me and you (unless you’re a guy, of course), and her actions made sense, for once. Too often, it seems as if writers feel like they need to make their main character really outstanding in order to write a good book. Sometimes it works and makes a book amazing, often it doesn’t and it completely kills the flow of the story. It is hard to make a main character relatable, which is a problem that I face at times with Clary from the Mortal Instruments. Tessa, on the other hand, felt genuine and real, which made me care so much more for what happened to her and how the story played out.
And Will. As most of you are aware, about half the reading world has an undying crush on Will Herondale. He is funny, I must admit, and he’s made me laugh out loud more than the average funny character, but I am going to be brutally honest here and say I don’t quite understand this crush (yet?). This may just be a matter of not knowing the whole story, so I am going to have to read on to find out! Apparently I am going to fall in love with him in the second book? Challenge accepted. Starting Clockwork Prince as soon as possible, update on the Will crush situation to follow!