Here’s our second and rather effusive (read: long) review of Clockwork Angel. Really at this point it’s our third and a half. And I would just like to apologize in advance for the similarity of our names. Having a Katie and a Kate…well, hopefully color-coding helps!
Katie: Now, you all might not be aware of the fact that Kate’s been reading Cassandra Clare’s writing long before she was ever published. And even way back before she got published, just the mention of the name Cassandra Clare was enough turn a normally staid and calm Kate into a hyperventilating fangirl.
Kate: And you’re not a screaming fangirl? I’ve got ten bucks says you doodle “Katie Wayland” all over your notebooks.
Katie: Um, I believe it was Katie Lightwood ala the decision at the end of City of Glass…
Kate: There’s no need to feel shame. I might have doodled “Kate Herondale” on my trapper keeper. And on my notebooks. And on random scraps of paper
Katie: Ok, so we’re both Cassandra Clare junkies. The first step is admitting it.
Kate: And I have no problem proclaiming it from the rooftops. I love her. I even had lunch with her once, not that she’d remember me. But still! It’s like meeting the President. Her books just make me so excited. And Clockwork Angel…the anticipation I felt was so intense. My expectations…they were high. And in order to talk about whether they were met or not, I need to discuss SPOILERS. So under the cut we must go! BECAUSE OF THE SPOILERS.
Katie: Do you think they got the memo that we’re going to discuss SPOILERS? I’m not sure you made the fact that there will be SPOILERS clear.
Kate: You mean much like it’s unclear how anyone could NOT be Team Will? I figure we might as well start out talking about this, because you know me, otherwise it’ll be a lot of “So can we talk about Will yet?”
Katie: I think it’s plainly obvious anyone who was Team Jace in The Mortal Instruments will be Team Will in the Infernal Devices. Sexy Snark seems to run in the Herondale lineage.
Kate: As do deep feelings of vulnerability and false projections of confidence and ease.
Katie: Don’t forget reckless abandonment and loyalty to the point of insanity.
Kate: I knew I was going to love Will when he stormed into Tessa’s room. He was funny and charming, and I was pretty much doomed. Which surprised me, because I really thought I’d be Team Jem when I read the character blurbs Cassie posted on her site.
Katie: My inner philosophy major loves Jem because he likes to wax on eloquently about human nature and the meaning of life. But I’m nothing if not predictable, and the “Devil May Care” and, honestly, borderline careless cruelty intrigued me even more.
Kate: It makes me sad to have to acknowledge the cruelty, but I don’t think it’s necessarily careless. Will seems to me to be an over-thinker who operates under the guise of spontaneous action.
Katie: I think what led me to believe that was when they were discussing how Will and Thomas were thick as thieves before Jem came along, and then Will instantly forgot him. Though perhaps you are right, because when he died, Will was genuinely affected. I can see how it could go both ways, and it will be fascinating to see how it is developed in the next two books.
Kate: I was saying this the other day. I can understand how someone can be Team Will. And Team EW NOT WILL. But I don’t quite get Team Jem. We don’t know enough about him. Will was a mystery, but in a lot of ways Jem’s a bigger one because we saw him interact with Tessa so rarely.
Katie: Jem and Tessa seem to comfort one another and I see a strong loyalty growing between them. I can see how that might grow into them believing they might have feelings for each other (especially in Tessa’s case as a backlash to Will’s behavior at the end), but more than anything I think they will end up with a brother/sister relationship that she desperately needs since her brother is a waste of space.
Kate: I know! A traitorous waste of space at that!
Katie: I really enjoyed how that was evolved because Tessa clearly loved/s her brother, but she didn’t let that blind her. She evolved from automatically accepting all his weaknesses and faults to recognizing them and realizing she couldn’t protect him any longer.
Kate: That was Tessa’s biggest strength for me – she saw people for who and what they really were. Which tied in with her power in such a neat way.
Katie: And I think it will be fascinating as the books continue to see how she learns to turn that power inward and learn who and what she is.
Kate: That was my one disappointment with Clockwork Angel. I really thought we were going to learn a lot of the Downworlders. I know in some ways we did, but it felt like Tessa was learning about the Shadowhunters, which we already knew about.
Katie: I have to agree on that end. I remember in an interview Cassandra Clare had said that the Accords had recently been signed and therefore things were still tense between the races. Honestly I didn’t see much of a difference between how the Shadowhunters thought of Downworlders in The Mortal Instruments and in the Infernal Devices. If anything I think we were able to comprehend Downworlders more in The Mortal Instruments.
Kate: Because we saw more of them. But this is only the first book in the trilogy, and I know Tessa wants to figure out more about who she is and why she’s so important.
Katie: I think what was superbly done, and I feel like this is a strength of Cassandra Clare, is to develop all her characters and give them the ability to grow. It’s hard to find a truly static character in any of her books. Tessa in particular is a strong character, and is a prime example of how strength doesn’t always have to be physical power. Charlotte, in her tiny package and at her young age running the Institute personifies this as well.
Kate: I loved Charlotte…loved her for more than just the character she was in the pages. YA novels are popular beyond the confines of just teenagers. As someone in my (sobsobsob) mid-twenties, it was nice to have a character I could relate to featured prominently. Someone who was an authority figure but who was still struggling all on her own. I didn’t have to think “Oh, Tessa’s going through just what I went through when I was sixteen” (TEN YEARS AGO OMG). I could think “Poor Charlotte. I know just how she feels.”
Katie: Absolutely. By the end of the book she was completely going through an-almost quarter life crisis. “I want this so bad but I don’t know how to get it.” She wants to be taken seriously, she wants the teenagers to love her as she loves them, and she wants to have a real relationship with her husband. She’s tenacious and loyal and not afraid to fight for what she wants, even if internally she’s quaking in her Shadowhunter boots while she does it. What’s best is I love that she was taken in because she’s so eager. I think we’re going to see an even stronger and tougher Charlotte as the books continue.
Kate: And when she was taken in…I kind of was too. That is where I think Infernal Devices is going to shine. The plot of this novel was a real strength. The Mortal Instruments had a good plot but the characters drove it. Here, I think there are well-drawn, strong characters who live IN the plot.
Katie: I agree. As much as I enjoy the characters in the Infernal Devices, the plot is king here. I don’t feel like if certain couples don’t get together it will ruin the books for me because the storyline is bigger than the individuals. In The Mortal Instruments, if Clary and Jace didn’t work out I would’ve thrown a hissy fit. It definitely speaks to how much Cassandra Clare’s already good writing has vastly grown.
Kate: I’m normally pretty good at guessing things, but this time around I wasn’t. Like, the epilogue? When Will shows up on Magnus’s doorstop and needs help, I was like WHAT IS WRONG WITH WILL? And I only have bad guesses at this point. Or when Tessa had her amazing showdown at the end…that was an edge of my seat kinda moment.
Katie: I’m impatient to learn more, but I almost feel fulfilled about where it ended because it is admitting something is legitimately wrong with Will and that there is a reason behind his cruelty to Tessa. It implies that there could/can be a resolution with those two and his behavior in general. Granted I’d rather know exactly what’s wrong, but I’m alright with just the knowledge that something definitively isn’t right.
Kate: I thought the ending was perfect. Because it answered questions, it established a villain, but was still enough of a cliff-hanger that I wished I’d waited until it came out to read it because that extra month of waiting is going to be murder. And this all goes back to what a superbly plotted book this was.
Katie: Superbly plotted indeed. Though my one true love is still The Mortal Instruments, I think this is a great prequel and I can’t wait to see how the story progresses. But I will go quite literally insane in the membrane when City of Fallen Angels comes out
Kate: At this point, I am too invested in Infernal Devices. Which is a good thing considering the chapter of City of Fallen Angels that’s been released. I don’t think I can watch Will AND Jace suffer!
Katie: That might be too much angst even for me! So what about all of you? Who do you like more, Will or Jace? The Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices? We need to know these things! Comment and tell us all about it!