I fell head over heels in love with The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare as you can tell from my review of City of Bones and the next four books. Many of you recommended her trilogy to me, The Infernal Devices, so I picked up the first book and happily spent most of the past weekend immersed in Victorian England, reading about the Shadowhunters who came before Jace, Clary and the others.
Clockwork Angel filled the void left after I finished City of Lost Souls, and lucky me, I managed to drum up the willpower to save Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess for reading over Christmas.
Tessa arrives in rainy England in 1878 after coming all the way from New York to be greeted by two creepy old ladies instead of her older brother as expected. Soon she finds herself their prisoner and tortured daily because of her supernatural ability, a talent Tessa was completely clueless about until the Dark Sisters kidnapped her. Tessa is thrust into the Downworld of vampires, warlocks, Shadowhunters and demons. Tessa is a shapechanger. When she holds a physical item belonging to another, she can transform herself into that person as well as touch their thoughts and sense their feelings. This power makes her the target of the elusive Magister.
Tessa is given shelter in The Institute where she comes to know best friends Will and Jem. Will is very like Jace, cocky, beautiful and full of self-loathing for some reason we have yet to discover. Jem, to me, seemed to be a mixture of Alec and Simon. He is absolutely loyal to Will but is also kind and compassionate. This wasn’t a typical love triangle. In fact very little romance occurs in this book, something that I did feel was lacking. I was hoping for some raw emotion and sexual tension and didn’t feel it. Maybe Clockwork Prince will sort that out. I enjoyed how Tessa’s views on what was proper for a lady of her time period were challenged, and at the end, she fought just as bravely as Will and Jem. Even Jessamine, whose main concern in life seems to be with her looks and snagging an ordinary husband who can save her from a life as a shadowhunter, came through when her warrior skills were needed.
I enjoyed Clockwork Angel, but not as much as The Mortal Instruments books. I think the new cast of characters and era took me a little while to get used to, and though I sped through the book, it was only in the last third, I tore through the pages with anticipation. I didn’t feel the same level of excitement reading this as I did Jace, Clary and Simon’s story in modern times, but it’s still a great read. The sooty, dull and rainy landscape of London was particularly well done. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess.
For those of you who have read both series by Cassandra Clare, which do you prefer and why?