Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is the first installment in the prequel series, The Infernal Devices, based in the Shadowhunter world!

This review contains a lot of SPOILERS!

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angel“In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…


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If you want to see a historical version of the Shadowhunters, this is your book!

Right off the bat, I could sense Cassandra’s writing style. Even though this series is set back in 1800 England, if I were to put the characters side-by-side, there is very little difference in the snarkiness and crazy, underworld antics that take place. The main difference is the time period.

But this isn’t to say that it took away from the book, because honestly, I kind of liked the world of this spin-off better than the original, present-day world.

Will Herondale is Jace right down to his big personality while Tessa is a more timid version of Clary. Does anyone else see this too? 

But what I really liked going into this book was the darkness behind it all. We follow the main character, Tessa who is being thrown into a strange household while on the hunt for her brother. Little does she know, this is the start of her torturous training with the Dark Sisters. During the scenes in their house, all I could think of was a dark, creepy, horror house. Which in a way, was an oddly satisfying twist in this world.

But then her rescuer whisks her away to the historical Institute where she begins to realize just how much her world is about to change. Especially regarding her uniquenew-found ability.

We get to learn a little more about the backstories of the Shadowhunter and the feuds between them and the Downworlders. And, more about Magnus Bane who is growing as one of my favorite characters.

I also really enjoyed the idea of this dark cult, Pandemonium Club. I feel like there is going to be a lot of trouble with them in the future books.

And the elegant, vampire parties. Did anyone else keep seeing the Magister as this magician-like vampire? His idea in creating a cog army was really intriguing to me, except the part where the pieces come from humans that they’ve decided to kill at their fancy parties.

But it wouldn’t be a Cassandra Clare book if the bad guy didn’t narrowly escape the Shadowhunter clutches for the next book.

And the twist with Nate being the bad guy.. that I didn’t see coming! 

Overall, I enjoyed the book. There were slower parts that gave me a lower rating. Even though this is my second time reading this story, I was still surprised in some of the plot twists. I ended up giving Clockwork Angel 3 out of 5 stars.

The last 100 pages were the savers of this book for me. ALOT happens that sets up a strong beginning for book 2, and I am antsy to see what all happens next.


Discussion Questions:

  • Based off this first book, which time period do you think you find more interesting to read from?
  • Do you think the characters are similar between the series? 
  • Who is your favorite character?
  • Did you see Nate as possibly being the bad guy?
  • How did you like that ending? 

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Published: 31 August 2010

Publisher: Margaret K. McEkderry Books

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Pages: 481

How I Read It: Library Paperback


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What are you thoughts on this series so far??

Join me on Instagram @treestandbookreviews and through #readcassieclare to get a real-time view of all my bookish thoughts on the series!

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In case you missed it, here are the links to the previous #readcassieclare book reviews:

If you enjoyed reading along with me, feel free to leave your comments below! What were your favorite parts of this book?


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Until next time..

Happy Reading,

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2 thoughts on “Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

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