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Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

This review contains spoilers. Lots of them. You have been warned.

I haven’t read The Mortal Instruments, so I might be missing a beat on certain things here.

Cassandra Clare’s writing leaves me hanging onto every word. Things are beautifully described, the characters were great, but the descriptions of Victorian London left much to be desired (more about that later).

I have to say that Clockwork Angel is one of the most interesting steampunk novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Clare’s writing reminds me of J.K. Rowling’s–it’s not particularly refined, but everything flows so smoothly that you don’t even have time to think about that until the very end.

I never would have guessed that de Quincey wasn’t the leader of the Pandemonium Club. It was mentioned so many times that I was a little suspicious, but I really didn’t think much about it. And Nate was so…mean! (Just to keep this child-friendly.) I can’t believe he betrayed Tessa just for power. Actually, on second thought, he is creepily reminiscent of Josh Newman in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Hm, I guess characters are recycled a lot anyway.

I fell in love with Jem. He was so sweet and gentle that I couldn’t help but wish that Tessa would end up with him, even though I knew she’d end up with Will for sure. But although Jem’s ‘disability’–his addiction to demon venom (or something like that, I forgot what it was exactly)–played a pretty big part in the story, I didn’t really take much interest in it. I did wonder what it was, but only when his ‘illness’ or dark childhood were explicitly mentioned.

Will annoyed me a little. For some reason, he reminded me of Edward Cullen with his dark moods and all (it’s never good to associate characters with Edward Cullen because I’m just going to start disliking them), and yes, I get that he’s cocky and handsome and mysterious, but really, I can do without Tessa constantly thinking about him. And don’t even get me started on Jessamine, please.

I only read the synopsis–I mean really read it–after I finished the novel. And before that, I didn’t even know that the story was set in Victorian London. I knew that it was sometime in the past due to the info-dumps from conversations, but really, there weren’t enough descriptions, the setting wasn’t clear enough, and the characters weren’t in Victorian character (if I’m making any sense here like for example with Jane Eyre). Or it might just be that I’m supremely unobservant, or because I read this book while my brothers were in the house, which always accounts for an eardrum-bursting noise level, and therefore, minimal concentration.

I made the novel sound really bad. It’s not at all, I assure you. As I said, Cassandra Clare is a brilliant author and Clockwork Angel was a good, interesting read.
It was good.

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