So our first little reading assignment was the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. For Gee this series and all the related ones are more of old love while for me, it was more of a love interest. To book lovers this may make sense, or it may not.
This is best way to explain how I felt about the series starting off, I’d heard of it but never delved into it myself until recently and I wasn’t disappointed.
It is now one of my favorites series. Part of an ever growing list.
THE NON – SPOILERY TALK
The second book in this series continues with Tessa’s story. Things have definitely changed for her since she first came to life in these stories. She came overseas to join her brother only to be held hostage by two of the creepiest old women. That’s what I think of them anyways, cause honestly the two were just creepy. They gave me a funny feeling from the start.
Thankfully Tessa has a timely rescue of sorts by a small group of Shadowhunters, which included dashing heartthrob Will and lovely Jem. (Already you can see where my mind is at with them.)
She ends up at their Institute, surrounded by more strangers, and thrown into a completely different world than she grew up in. She’s taken in at the institute and it was there I start growing a fondness for everyone. Each in their own way of course.
In the second part of this story, we don’t have as slow of a start and things are already a little shaky. Charlotte is at risk of being replaced at the Institute and if she is, then Tessa is going to be in far more trouble than she is now. She would lose her safe haven and protectors, people who have grown to be more like friends by now.
Out in the world though, there is more risk for the Magister to get his hands on Tessa and we really don’t want that guy to have Tessa’s powers in his hands.
Now time is ticking for them all to find answers about the past, about Tessa and the Magister. Things only end up more complicated when it seems apparent they spy among them.
All the while the characters themselves are having personal difficulties. Tess is only getting closer to Jem after Will added more bricks to his walls. Only now, it seems like they are falling as he lays them, and we start to understand him more and more.
Problems mount and solutions are more and more scarce, with twists and turns that surprise me and a few of them that actually don’t. Just not in a bad way. Sometimes it helps to not be completely clueless, to grow your own ideas and suspicions about what is going on with the story and its characters. You could be right… or you could be wrong.
Love triangles, more betrayals and heart aches and breaks and all these things that make you feel more and more entrapped in the world like its yours. You only end up wishing it really was.
Fantasy is a favorite of mine, it’s what I’m writing actually and I have a fondness for historical fiction as well. mixed together I have nothing to dislike. I don’t stray far from fiction of any kind. I love being taken into different words, either for hours, days, or just a few minutes is fine.
Sometimes I get into a book that has me reading for hours on hours, chapter after chapter and this is a book that did just that. I’d keep giving myself a few more minutes or a few more chapters and just couldn’t put it down easy.
The story had me hooked from the start, it surprised me more than a few times and had me in tears by the time it was done. The characters especially. Cassandra Clare had a way of making each of them come to life, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one falling for Will, and had her heart breaking over him.
Not the only one hating that Jem was dying, felt betrayed by Nathaniel and then likely hated (or at the least severely disliked him).
Not every author can make you feel how it is to be in a characters shoes, but Clare has this, clearly. Otherwise we wouldn’t be crying, falling in love and giving up on life completely over a book with fictional characters and worlds.
Cause yes, that’s me right there.
THE SPOILERY TALK
Clockwork Angel starts off with some trouble with Charlotte and a Council meeting that will determine their fates in a way, mostly Tessa’s. If Charlotte loses the institute, hell could break loose, rather literally.
Charlotte I adore and admire. She’s a tough woman but all the while shes like the mother of the group of younger people under her care. She is surprisingly young herself, for all of this and had her unusual husband to contend with. Many times I felt like shaking my head at Henry’s little quirks, but hes cute, I love him. Even as blond as he could be sometimes. Their relationship is sweet all the same. They seemed to come a little closer and bond more in this book, especially when it comes to their announcement of Charlotte expecting. They are one of the sweetest couples I can think of in books I have read.
Now Tess, I think of her as the main character in this and in allot of ways she is. She’s the key to the Magister’s plot to destroy the Shadowhunters and more. I like her, I think I relate to her most, at least in a few way. She definitely goes through changes, and not just because of her powers, over the course of this book and the first. She has becoming more and more accustomed to her new life and friends and I would even call them her family by the end of this book because she loves them as much as they love her.
She goes through more than a few trials, most caused by the Magister, and she’s now tougher than the girl who first got off that boat from America. Now she is trying to save her friends and herself. Has fallen in love with two very different, very wonderful men and has an enemy that throws challenges at them nearly at every turn.
They are left trying to save the day and solve mysteries from the past and the present to try and save them all now and how things go along and are revealed. Her heritage and being one of those mysteries and its not quite what she expected.
I think she is strong though, undying loyalty to her new family and she doesn’t want to just save her own skin, but all of she shadowhunters, mundane and downworlders that are at risk if the Magister uses her power to complete his plans.
He flinched away from her, and she dropped her hand, hurt. “Jem, what is it? You don’t want me to touch you?”“Not like that,” he flared, and then flushed even darker than before.“Like what?” She was honestly bewildered; this was behavior she might have expected from Will, but not from Jem—this mysteriousness, this anger.“As if you were a nurse and I were your patient.” His voice was firm but uneven.
And Jem, poor darling Jem. His health isn’t improving and opium is getting more and more scarce as the Magister uses this weakness to his advantage to hurt them all. It something that works rather well and for a bad guy, he is making the cut. Can’t they just get rid of him already? It would be nice wouldn’t it?
Health problems aside, he has something nice going for him, as his feelings for Tessa have changed and grown and even if she doesn’t realize this right away, hers does as well, despite the piece of her heart that Will chipped out and reserved all for himself. Whether he knew it or not.
“Then, there’s a chance.” Hope flared in his eyes. She should not have spoken so gently—oh, God, was there nothing that would make this less awful? She had to tell him. Now. Quickly. Cleanly. “Tessa, if you don’t hate me, then there’s a chance that you might—”“Jem has proposed to me,” she blurted out. “And I have said yes.”“What?”“I said that Jem proposed to me,” she whispered. “He asked if I would marry him. And I said I would.”Will had gone shockingly white. He said, “Jem. My Jem?”She nodded, without words to say.
Will is going through some things, in this book, much like everyone else but while I was left disliking him after the Clockwork Angel, my feelings sling back the other way as his past and troubles are revealed and I start to understand why he is how he is.
I feel awful for him, with his ‘curse’ and how it has affected his life and how Jem is the only one he could ever let close to him.
Now he is in love with a girl he had to make hate him to keep her safe, which is heartbreaking enough.
Then for him to find out it was a farce more than curse and all of his actions to protect others have been for nothing. Its a hard thing to swallow and I get that. I wouldn’t much like having to to make everyone hate me to keep them from dying just to come to find out that years later, I really didn’t have to.
Things only turn more sad for him, when he is finally free of his curse, real or not and tries to mend the rifts he put between himself and Tessa, only to be told of their engagement. Another hard thing to for him to deal with, but his love for his parabatai forces him to let Jem have his happiness with Tessa, even with the price his heart pays for it.
I like to say that I understand Jessamine. She’s not a favorite character as favorites go but shes as fleshed out as any of the main character. You understand her point of view, you even pity her some when it comes out that Nathaniel has seriously taken advantage of and used her.
Where most others would be wishing for the opposite, all she wants is to be normal, to have a normal life, a husband, a family. She was born to be a Shadowhunter though, not a lady, which she desperately tries to deny.
She wanted something different with her life and she tried to get it the best was she knew how, through Nathaniel.
Only Tessa’s brother had other ideas in mind, playing games with his sister and now poor Jessamine. Marrying the girl and getting her to spy on those who loved her the most.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of, Nate.”“Not for you, maybe. You were always—the good one. I’m going to burn, Tessie. Tessie, where’s your angel?”She put her hand to her throat, a reflexive gesture. “I couldn’t wear it. I was pretending to be Jessamine.”“You—must—wear it.” He coughed. More blood. “Wear it always. You swear?”She shook her head. “Nate . . .” I can’t trust you, Nate.“I know.” His voice was a bare rattle. “There’s no forgiveness for—the kinds of things I’ve had to do.”She tightened her grip on his hand, her fingers slippery with his blood. “I forgive you,” she whispered, not knowing, or caring, if it was true.
Nate I didn’t like much at all in the series. I had a bad feeling about him when he was saved and I was proved right to have them with his betrayal to Tessa and the people that took him in without a hesitation. Well, maybe a little hesitation.
He’s the Magister’s puppet and it’s his own greed and selfishness that got him there. When he does though, he is pretty remorseful in his last moments, as Tessa tells him she forgives him for all he’s done.
He was never really ‘evil’ after all, and Tessa did love her brother in spite of it all. He just wasn’t one of the good guys, but real people aren’t ever good or bad. Good people can do bad things as well as bad people can do good things.
To wrap things up, I love the book, I love the series itself and I don’t regret the choice to pick up the book, even if my hand was a little forced on the matter. So I must think Gee for bringing them to my attention by being an avid lover of these books herself. I plan on finishing all of Cassandra Clare’s series, the Shadowhunters chronicles. I have to thank the author for writing the books in the first place. Without her this experience wouldn’t be here to have after all. You may see future reviews in them actually, once all of us get around to reading them that is.