Started rereading this book today at around 10:40AM. It’s now 11:53PM, and I’m finally finished. (Don’t worry I didn’t spend my entire day reading. I hung out with friends AKA I had social interaction. It’s all good.)
The Infernal Devices series is a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, and honestly, it’s just 10x better. Cassandra Clare’s writing is better. The storyline is better foreshadowed. The covers are more aesthetic. Overall, everything is better explained and less cringe, and if I’m being 100% truthful, I love these characters more, too.
Spoiler-Free Summary: Clockwork Angel is set in 1878 London. It follows the life of Tessa Gray, a 16-year-old from New York. Her parents passed away when she was little due to a carriage accident, so she and her older brother, Nathaniel, were raised by her aunt. Eventually, Nathan leaves to London to find work, but when their aunt passes, Tessa travels to London to look for him. There, she is unexpectedly kidnapped and learns that she is a rare shapeshifter. The rest of the story details how she is rescued by our Shadowhunter friends (half-human, half-angel beings that protect the human world from demons) and how she and her powers need to be guarded.
In short, Clockwork Angel is such a great lead into an even awesome-er series. While I recommend that you read Cassie’s books by release order, I also think it’s fine to read TID as a stand-alone series.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Tessa. This poor girl is going through some tough sh*t. She has a horrible brother. Her parents are dead. She doesn’t even know if her parents are her real parents. She’s just thrown into this new world she did not ask to be a part of, yet she manages to hold her head high and make lemonade in a really sucky situation. I think there’s a lot to be learned from and admired about her character.
LOL there’s this scene where Tessa is trying to hold back tears, so she punches a wall to distract herself. I know this is supposed to illustrate the pain she’s in, but all I can think it that situation is #SAME. I think her not wanting to show vulnerability is extremely relatable.
Also, is it just me or do you imagine Mrs. Black and Mrs. Dark to look like Mrs. Dodds from Percy Jackson? It’s probably because I just finished The Lightning Thief…but yeaaa… #RandomThoughtsWithTiff
On the boat ride to London, Tessa has this thought: “If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?” It just really made me pause and think of how lonely she must be feeling. In a broader sense, there are so many people in our world who probably feel this way, too. Other orphans like Tessa, children in war-torn countries, people battling their own inner demons, etc.
Another quote I underlined while reading was by Tessa’s aunt: “When you find a man you wish to marry, Tessa, remember this: You will know what kind of man he is not by the things he says, but by the things he does.” This quote is something I would say to all my friends in relationships atm.
Speaking of love, we can’t ignore our male lead Will Herondale. UGH MY HEART. 💕 He’s so sarcastic and witty…I LOVE IT. Will is the stereotypical narcissistic bad boy who is secretly really caring. He simply puts on a front because of his troubled past. In other words, he’s your typical Heronadle (I’m looking at you Jace). Still, we gotta love him and his caring heart, especially to his parabatai Jem.
Jem: “You’re not as pretty to look at as Tessa is”
Will: “How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun”
Jem: “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong”
Jem. Everyone loves Jem. He’s the opposite of Will, yet they make the perfect fighting duo. With his kind demeanor and pro violin playing skills, he is the boy every Asian grandmother wants you to marry. I feel like Cassie wrote his character purposefully to showcase how his cat-saving, angelic personality contrasts with the demonic addiction curse he’s facing.
Charlotte Branwell. She is just a kick a** female every little girl can admire, but she faces challenges every woman can understand. She’s running the London Institute basically by herself at 23 which she took over at 18-years-old…18!!! She is so freaking mature I literally cannot even. Every time Benedict Lightwood interrupted her with a disrespectful snide remark I was screaming internally with frustration…maybe externally, too.
“As a woman, she must fight to be heard, and even then her decisions are second-guessed.”
- Henry Branwell. Such a wholesome man. I love that everyone doubts his inventions in this series, but we all know they become standard Shadowhunter equipment in the TMI series.
- I was shooketh when Agatha was killed by the automaton. She was such a sweet old lady, probably the grandmother the other characters never had. Also, one of my closest friends in high school was named Agatha, so it left me extra stunned.
- I freaking hate Jessamine. Maybe it’s because I’m a very practical person, but I find her absolutely useless. She reminds me of Rosalie from Twilight except Rosalie was productive, helpful, and somewhat empathetic. Jessamine just sits there and is a waste of space. I understand she wants to live a normal life, but COME ON…
- Sophie’s backstory was so sad! She refused the sexual advances of the son of the family she worked for, so he slashed her face with a knife. When she told the other family members, she was fired because he blamed it on her. I know this is one girl’s story in a book, but I know this is probably the story of hundreds of other girls in the world.
- Thomas!! For some reason, I remembered him as an old man like the butler from Batman, but he’s actually Jem and Will’s age. And he liked Sophie!! SO CUTE! I wish Jem and Will hung out with him more when they were younger, so they could’ve become the three musketeers. But alas, Thomas is not a Shadowhunter…I was so sad when he died. 😭 HE DIED A HERO’S DEATH.
- I get that it’s 1878, but I just can’t stand how women are so underestimated. Like even freaking Mortmain doesn’t believe that Tessa will kill herself for the good of mankind just because she’s a girl. Don’t test her Morty.
I LOVED REREADING THIS BOOK. 💕 I typically skim through books during the first read, so I really appreciated getting to take a closer look at all the details, dialogue, and literary references Cassie takes so much time to create. 10/10 would recommend!
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HAVE YOU READ Clockwork Angel? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! 💕