I think I should give you fair warning that at the time I decided to read this book I had already marked some of Cassandra Clare’s other work, namely the Mortal Instruments Series, as DNF. As a result I was very hesitant to even begin any of the books in the Infernal Devices series. In the end, I was convinced to give it a try by some of my fellow Ontario Blog Squad members and I am very glad that they did.
For me the first half of the book was a whole lot of nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but not a lot happened. It was all talk and getting to know the characters, but really very little action. While I did like having the opportunity to really learn about the characters, it was hard holding my attention when I just wanted something to happen. I do have to say that when the action started, it pretty much didn’t stop. It wasn’t over the top gory incidents either. I didn’t get the feeling that the events taking place weren’t realistic for the story, but rather they seamlessly fit right in.
While I did enjoy the book, I can’t say that I was really fond of a lot of the characters. Tessa annoyed me for some reason. Maybe it was her dependence on others, or her inability to see things clearly that drove me nuts. Was she a product of her environment and times? Yes! Does that mean I should make allowances for her character? Probably. Did she still annoy me anyway? Absolutely! And that was the best part. As annoying as she was, she was authentic to the times, her upbringing and her character. I really did not like Will, but he too was authentic. What I don’t understand is this need for the main male character in every YA book to be a borderline douche. Jem on the other hand came across as a very likeable, albeit, tragic character. Jess made me want to light myself on fire every time she appeared in the story.
There was something about the setting for this series that just worked for me. The setting of Victorian London was spot on and had me believing in the world of Shadowhunters, Demons and the like. Something about London during that time period comes across as a lot more believable than the backdrop of New York City that we find in The Mortal Instruments. What we know of London during that time due to historical record lends a great bit of credibility to this kind of world within a world that Cassandra Clare has created. London, as described in Clockwork Angel, is a cross between being seedy and posh and it is that dichotomy that makes the story work so well.