Everything Wrong With ‘The Clockwork Angel’

It was like Terminator… if Terminator was a book set in Victorian London and they stopped during each fight to discuss what they had learned.

Name: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published: 2010

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare

Something terrifying is waiting for Tessa Gray in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Tessa finds herself fascinated by – and torn between – two best friends…

Um – no she wasn’t??

Hi everyone – I’m back! I haven’t posted in a little bit because I’ve been stuck in Victorian London. It’s taken me so long to read Clockwork Angel, what with being back to school for the unforeseeable future and having no time to read and the when I do I’ve forgotten who all the characters are. Although that was especially difficult for Clockwork Angel because SO MANY OF THE CHARACTERS ARE THE SAME.

The First Thing Wrong: That Quirky Female Character™

*Tucks hair behind ear* Clare loves to wrote that girl who isn’t like other girls. I may be getting too cynical, but Tessa felt uncomfortably similar to Clary in the Independent Female™ cateogry. Although Tessa didn’t make me want to rip off my head quite as much as Clary did. For more info, find my review of City of Bones here – suitably titled Clary Fray Is Not My Bae (I was so proud of that). I may be reading too much Holy Bourne but the whole girl whose not like other girls is a damaging, and more importantly, annoying stereotype. Because they are like other girls – every other YA female protagonist in a ten mile radius.

A gnome (yes gnome) attacks Tessa, and she feels pangs of pity for him afterwards. Not her greatest moment. Also, the FIRST THING Tessa notices about Will (one of the best friends she is apparently fascinated by) is how he had the most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen. The girl was quite literally being murdered at the time. Stop. This isn’t Wattpad (although I suppose then it would be more about his beautiful, piercing orbs haha).

Problem Number Two: That Mysterious Love Interest

I would say that Will was a btech version of Jace from Clockwork Angels but he was just the SAME. His entire personality was a husky, arrogant voice and leaning against all the doorways he can find. How does he not have back problems? But, we have to complete the full cliche, so of course Will has a mysterious past that leads Tessa to wonder how he copes with all of that pent up darkness… however, I’m slightly intrigued what it was all about. Torturously, the book ended on Will about to spill his torment to warlock Magnus Bane . The best character in the series 🙂

I hate to admit it Will did have some funny come backs and I liked his relationship with Jem.

Penultimate Wrongdoing: I Just Couldn’t Get Into It

Ever been mildly interested in a book but just aren’t feeling it? And when you try you can’t remember who De Quincey and his vampire horde are, all you’re getting is twilight references? Yeah.

There were fun references to the Mortal Instruments and I always like books that address the title from the start… although I’m uncertain what the angel actually was? I thought nothing could top J.K Rowlings’ ‘put-outer’ as an object name, but Shadowhunter’s weapon for sensing demon energies are called… sensors? And their epic armour is called gear. Ooo I’m scared.

Tessa Gave a Cry Of Surprise

Are you surprised?
gifs mine disney k Mary Poppins Julie Andrews Disneyedit filmedit  arthurdarvvill •

All the speech was long and pretty (sorry to break it to you but teens don’t actually talk in metaphors). Often fantasy characters don’t speak realistically but this wasn’t poetic. It felt often awkward and clunky.

The Victorian setting gave interesting background and customs but there was a LOT of unnecessary description. I wouldn’t put it past Casssandra Clare to write Victorian as an excuse to be sexist.


I can totally see why some people love the world. I liked the creepy clockwork army – that’s where my terminator references are coming from haha – and this expansion of the Shadowhunter’s world. For me, it felt like a similar recipe to the Mortal Instruments (don’t know if you noticed) but the new characters were.. interesting additions to say the least. Jem, who definitely gave me ace vibes, although I’m sure this isn’t canon, Henry and Charlotte were great. I could live with Jessamine and Agatha and Sophie (coincidence I think not). But that was about it. This was the sort of book I probably need to reread to get the full experience.

But you can keep it away from me for the next year.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

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