bottom line: Ms. Clare is incapable of writing a book that i do not swoon over.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
synopsis from B&N (warning: does contain some mild spoilers. i would recommend merely scanning it to pique your interest)
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
this book was AMAZING (as are the rest of Cassandra Clare's books). as with City of Bones, it took perhaps 50 pages for me to really get immersed in the story, but once i did, i was hooked.
it was similar to the Mortal Instruments books, but Clockwork Angel offered a fresh cast, new setting (including a different time period since this is the PREQUEL to the Mortal Instruments books), and completely original plot. it was the best of Cassandra Clare with a new face. what more could a fan ask for?
i found myself just as torn as Tessa between the two love interests, Will and James. this was important for making the "love triangle" viable because, of course, love triangle are a much-overdone element in YA lit right now and they hardly ever fail to frustrate me. JUST PICK A GUY AND STOP TORMENTING EVERYONE!!! uh *cough* did i just say that out loud? anyway, when the decision is obvious, i get angry with the vapid and indecisive MC for procrastinating. at least Tessa had adequate reason to do so.
i am hopelessly addicted to Cassandra Clare's books. if you haven't yet, i would highly recommend reading the Immortal Instruments series and THEN reading Clockwork Angel. although, i do have one disclaimer: Clockwork Angel left me hanging at the most painfully exciting part--so if you have the self-restraint, you might want to wait to read it until the sequel is out.
it is because of my extreme impatience due to the unfortunately-timed ending that i must mark Clockwork Angel down slightly:
my rating: 4.9/5.0
of course, if i somehow got a sneak peek at the next book (read: an entire ARC) i would definitely add on the missing 0.1 to that rating.
no? oh well, a girl can dream....