Well…at least there’s still books.
The Infernal Devices Book One: Clockwork Angel
Tessa’s aunt has just died and all she can think of is getting to London and being reunited with her brother, Nate. But Nate never arrives to meet her at the docks, and Tessa finds herself led away and locked up by terrible creatures who call themselves the Dark Sisters. The sisters seem to know things about Tessa that even she never knew—like that she isn’t fully human, and that she can shape-change—but they never let on about what they want with her abilities.
Fortunately, Tessa is rescued by two young men named Will and Jem. They call themselves Shadowhunters, and use shining seraph blades to fight off the witchlike Dark Sisters’ and their mechanical minions, eventually bringing Tessa back to the Shadowhunter’s London Institute. With help from her new friends, Tessa hopes to find out what’s happened to her brother, and learn more about how exactly she fits in with the strange world of demons and vampires and mechanical armies that’s sprung up around her.
I’m not sure how I felt about this one.
On one hand, I was a little annoyed that Clare seemed to be recycling some personalities from her other books, but at the same time, I can’t lie—I really liked how she fashioned the Shadowhunter world to fit into the Victorian era in London. Clare isn’t the best writer in the world, but a lesser author would definitely not have done so well as she did in making this book both feel somewhat historical, and making it appeal to teen readers.
One thing I was really kind of stumped about was the identity of the primary villain in this book, the Magister. I don’t feel like she offered much of an explanation for his back story, and I don’t know if that’s something she intends to reveal later on in this branch of the series or what…but it kind of bothers me that the primary villain is supposedly an average human being. I’d expect that in a story where the heroes are average humans, but not in one where the heroes are supernatural.
But to be truthful, aside from the semi-recycled personalities and the astoundingly non-threatening villain, I really enjoyed this book. The Steampunk element was great, what with all the clockwork plus Victorian setting and Shadowhunter weapons. Reeser approves.
Also enjoyed the back story for Jem, the biracial Shadowhunter. I’d like to see if, in the future, Clare might be adventurous enough to have her characters step out of Europe and into China or something like that (I don’t honestly think that any author I’ve read has been brave enough to let their characters set foot in Asia…except maybe in Russia, but that’s not quite the same since it always ends up sounding like Eastern Europe), but we’ll see what happens.
I have a feeling I might enjoy this storyline better than Clare’s original Shadowhunter books, but we’ll see.