Sunday, 18 August 2013

Book of the Week: Clockwork Angel

"One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them for words have the power to change us."

The Mortal Instruments series, written by Cassandra Clare, has had very mixed reviews, but I, for one, loved it. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that there was a prequel to my beloved collection! Now that I have devoured the first two published books and eagerly await the chance to read the third, here is some insight into Clockwork Angel, the first in The Infernal Devices series.

The books centre on Tessa, a shapeshifter who is uprooted from her New York home and sent to live in London, where she falls into the clutches of the evil Dark Sisters. There, she is rescued by a band of Shadowhunters (exciting! If you haven't read The Mortal Instruments, Shadowhunters are descendants of a fallen angel, and they are kind of like a big group of Buffys, sent to protect the world from demons and such), and thus her adventure begins. Turns out their enemies are building a clockwork army, who are murdering innocent people (not cool), and they must be stopped at all costs. It's gripping stuff, let me tell you.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that this series is set in Victorian England, as opposed to modern day New York. I love that! I love all the fashion and the language - men 'courting' women, horse and carts galore, and the outdated sense of what's proper. For example, Tessa thinks it odd that Shadowhunter women fight and wear trousers. Women in trousers!? Whatever next, eh? I always imagine the Dickensian streets and half expect the Artful Dodger to pop out and give us a tune whilst I'm reading, and I think it's brilliant. 

Another thing worth reading for is the abundance of references to The Mortal Instruments series. 'Well of course', I hear you cry, 'it's the prequel', but being the history junkie that I am, I love all of the intricate back stories, and the detailed family histories. I love all of the references to things that they don't know are going to happen yet. For example, in these books, Magnus Bane and Camille are still in the throes of their tumultuous relationship. For those of you that have read The Mortal Instruments, you'll know that this is a more than distant memory, so I really enjoy reading about it all in so much more detail. Might be a bit odd that I like that kind of thing so much, but I do, so there you go. If you do too, this is certainly a book for you. Also, backtracking a little, Magnus Bane is in it! The warlock was one of my favourite characters in City of Bones (along with Simon, bless him), so it's really lovely to get another dose of warlocky goodness. He is just pipped to the post for the position of favourite character in this series by William Herondale, who provides many a pithy line, and had me giggling throughout. It's worth reading just for his character, in my opinion.

Falling comfortably into the category of Young Adult fiction, these books are my guilty pleasure. I should have grown out of them by now, but I love them all the same. Controversially, the mixture of Victorian courtesies, Mortal Instruments references and the veritable feast of magic and mayhem put this ahead of the original series, in my eyes! Bit far, you might think, but if you liked City of Bones and the rest, this series is definitely worth a look.

Have you read this series, or The Mortal Instruments series? Looking forward to the movie? What are your favourite prequels? Let me know!


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  1. The Mortal Instrument Series is by far my favorite.. without a doubt, however the fourth book was slightly boring, but thankfully it improved as it went on. What did you think of 'Clockwork Princess'? I loved it until the prologue... like OMG never am I reading that again. Just, I can't seem to adjust to the ending with Will and Jem.
    Also I don't plan on writing any reviews on my blog but my BFF http://edelbelle.blogspot.ie/2013/06/the-perks-of-being-wallflower.html
    she writes reviews from her own opinions and I think the 2 of ye could clash your minds together and talk on and on about what books you love :)

    Luv Michaela xxx

    1. Yeah I feel the same way about the fourth one. And yes! That was not the way 'Clockwork Princess' was supposed to go!! I'll probably keep on reading anyway though. Have you read any of the 'Bane Chronicles' yet? He's my favourite character in the books, but I'm not sure I want to read them.
      I've had a look at her review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of my favourite books. I'll definitely be checking back for more reviews, so thank you for introducing me to her blog! xx

  2. I have finished the first book of The Mortal Instruments couple days ago and I loved it! I really wanted to read the whole series earlier but I somehow, well.. didn't. And I totally regret that! City of Bones was amazing and I can't wait to see the movie and to read the next part of TMI! xx

    Justine | BRIGHTON DREAM

    1. I actually think the second and third books are better! Please do let me know when you've read the rest, I'd love to know what you think! And I'm planning on seeing the movie very soon - so excited! xx

  3. I read mortal instruments a few months ago and couldn't get into them. I felt the story was okay but not great enough to read the series. I liked Divergent better.

    I hope you'll have a chance and stop by my blog. All about Beauty. Life. and DIY. If you ever have an OTD, LOTD, hair or nail tutorial, or a fun fashion DIY, I'd love for you to share it at "That's my Style" Link party every Friday. Don't have anything to share? Stop by anyway for beauty tutorial and fun DIY projects. Hope to see you there. :)

    Karla @ www.MySerendipitousLife.com

    1. I hadn't heard of Divergent until very recently, but now I see people talking about it everywhere! I'll have to give it a go!

      Yours sounds like my kind of blog, I'll definitely give it a peek! xx