Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices, Book 1

Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices, Book 1

Cassandra Clare just keeps getting it right! Fresh off great success with her best-selling series The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass), Clare begins the back story with the prequel: Clockwork Angel.

Set in Victorian England and beautifully imagined, Clockwork Angel is a richly constructed fantasy novel that stands among the best fantasy of our time. Clare is on par with writers like J.R.R. Tolkien.

When sixteen-year old Tessa Gray arrives by steamship in London to meet her brother, she is met instead by two creepy women from a dark, gloomy mansion. Only when they show her a letter handwritten by her brother does she agree to accompany them to their lair. Tessa becomes their prisoner. They teach her to use her unknown powers to shape shift. Unbeknownst to Tessa, she was born with powers to become anyone or anything. This quality, or gift, makes her highly valuable to the mysterious and terrible Magister. The Dark Sisters tell Tessa that they are to deliver her to this evil man, but Tessa is grabbed and spirited away by two young men who tell her they are Shadowhunters, trained warriors with special gifts who fight Downworlders like vampires and warlocks to save humans.

Tessa yearns to find her brother and fears for his life. The Shadowhunters agree to help her find him, if she will use her shapeshifting powers to help them infiltrate a vampire clan. Tessa finds herself torn -- does she love the dark and brooding Shadowhunter who saved her from the Sisters? Or does she truly hate him?

Readers who like otherworldly novels with paranormal creatures and just the right amount of love interest will LOVE Clockwork Angel. It should appeal broadly to both male and female readers--both the male and female characters are well-developed and have admirable traits. It is hard to say who is more likeable: Will, the Shadowhunter, or Tessa, the shapeshifter.  478 pages  9781416985861  Ages 13 and up

Highly, highly recommended. Grades 8-up. Some violence (it is vampires, after all).

Editor's Note:  Read alikes BLOODLINES series by Richelle Mead; DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series by Laini Taylor

Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS.

Read reviews on her ya novels blog at


Once again Cassandra Clare does not disappoint! After the death of her aunt, Tessa travels alone to England to be with her brother. Once there, she finds herself mixed up in a much different world than she expected. There really are such things as witches and vampires and demons!She is held captive by the creepy Dark Sisters, discovers she is a warlock and very valuable because of her powers. The Dark Sisters have kidnapped Tessa because the Magister, a shadowy figure in the background, wants her powers for himself.When she is rescued by Will and some other Shadowhunters (remember this band of fighters from the City of Bones trilogy?), she is introduced to the fantastical things that are all around her. The Shadowhunters are racing against time to save Tessa’s brother and to discover who is the Magister so that they can stop him from carrying out his evil plans for Tessa and London.

Recommended by Brandy S. Huffman, Librarian



Set 100 years before the series Mortal Instruments, Clockwork Angel transports
 the reader to Victorian England where Tessa, a young American girl, arrives on the docks to meet her older brother. Instead of her beloved brother, she is picked up by two elderly women, the evil Dark Sisters, who hope to train Tessa to use her magic. They will offer her
skills to their employer, the sinister Magister—who rules the dark underbelly of supernatural London.


Tessa is spirited away from the sisters by two handsome Shadowhunters, Will and Jem. They take her to the London Institute where the Shadowhunters live and train to kill demons and supernatural beings.


Tessa is torn between quiet, gentle Jem and spunky bad boy Will. They agree to help her find her missing brother if she is willing to work with them to hunt evil elements haunting the streets of London.


The Magister has created his most sinister invention yet—an army of clockwork automatons (robots) that are truly creepy and formidable.


When Will tells Tessa what kind of future they will have together, Tessa cannot and will not accept it. She shuns Will and worries about her past. Why didn’t her parents tell her about her lineage? Tessa now has more questions than she has answers.


Clare weaves steampunk coolness with romantic tension in a novel that will leave readers breathless to read the next book in the series.  Characters are well-developed and defined.

Teens will be enthralled by uber-hot Will and they will want to be best friends with thoughtful Jem.


Recommended grade 8-up. Romantic tension, torrid kisses, no sex.


Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA


See more of her recommendations:


Read alikes:   GRISHA TRILOGY (SHADOW AND BONE) by Leigh Bardugo; DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE TRILOGY by Laini Taylor; BLOODLINES series by Richelle Mead





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