Clockwork Angel - A Teens' Top Ten 2011 Nominee
May 26, 2011
In the dream Tessa lay once again tied to the narrow brass bed in the Dark House. The Sisters leaned over her, clacking pairs of long knitting needles and laughing in shrill high-pitched voices. As Tessa watched, their features changed, their eyes sinking into their heads, their hair falling out, and stitches appearing across their lips, sewing them shut. Tessa shrieked voicelessly, but they did not seem to hear.
“Not human?” said an unfamiliar female voice. “Well, if she isn’t human, Enoch, what is she?” Then the voice sharpened in impatience. “What do you mean, you don’t know? Everyone’s something. This girl can’t be nothing at all…”
If you haven’t yet fallen in love with the world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders that Cassandra Clare created in her Mortal Instruments series, you can start with Clockwork Angel, the first book in her Infernal Devices series—a prequel to the Mortal Instruments. If you have already found yourself living in and loving the world of Clary, Jace, Simon, and all the others, get ready for some new characters in a different setting to obsess over!
Clockwork Angel takes place in Victorian England. Tessa Gray, the main character who reminds this reader a lot of Clary Fray in City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, and City of Fallen Angels is an orphaned American girl who travels abroad after her Aunt Harriet, her guardian, dies. Tessa is looking for her brother, Nate, who promised to meet her and take care of her in London. But when she arrives, Tessa is greeted by two very strange ladies known as The Dark Sisters who claim to be sent by Nate. Instead, the Dark Sisters kidnap Tessa and force her to use a power she never knew she had to Change, or adopt the appearance of dead people simply by holding onto something that belonged to them and focusing. This power is a supreme rarity, even among Downworlders (a term that refers to those who have supernatural aspects, including vampires, werewolves, fairies, and warlocks, among others), and the Dark Sisters are grooming Tessa to be used by the very powerful and equally mysterious Magister.
Fortunately for Tessa, London has its share of Shadowhunters, the not-quite-human, demon killers that keep the world safe from all kinds of supernatural evil. A group of these Shadowhunters, including Will Herondale and James Carstairs, unexpectedly rescue Tessa and take her to safety in the London Institute. Here she learns about the supernatural world she never knew existed and begins to understand the importance of the choices she will have to make in an effort to help save the only family she has left and possibly to help save the world.
As readers who have enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s other books will appreciate, there’s an incredible amount of surprising action and plot twists as well as dangerous romance in Clockwork Angel. The book introduces the first of three planned books in the Infernal Devices series; the others will be published alternately with the remaining two books in the six-part Mortal Instruments series.
Check out Cassandra Clare’s website for more information about both series and to see the book trailers for her most recent books, and check out Clockwork Angel this summer!
This blog is part of a series on YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten 2011 nominees. Voting for TTT starts in August; more information can be found here.
~Erin D.Tags: teens, teen books, book review