After her aunt dies, Tessa Gray moves from New York to London to live with her brother, who has been working there. When she arrives, however, she is kidnapped by dastardly old ladies who force Tessa to use a power she didn't even have. When she is rescued by the "Nephilim," basically a group of hotties with glowing swords (I report only the facts, ladies and gents!), she learns about a whole other world living alongside her own, filled with fairies, vampires, werewolves, and strange clockwork beings governed by no one knows who! It's like a mystery! Thriller! YA romance! "And...it's GROOVY."
My review (pre-TMI):
I was sold on this book as soon as I saw the cover. HAVE YOU SEEN THE GORGEOUSNESS? I have seen the gorgeousness. I have snuggled with the gorgeousness. When I heard it was set in Victorian England, with steampunk elements, and written by an author who I had been planning to read eventually (although I feared epic Twilight-esque fail), I decided that I better read it. At least if I hated it I could have fun trashing it.
My favorite bits of this book were Charlotte and Henry. Team Will? Team Jem? I DO NOT CARE. I really don't. Tessa is an awesome powerful bookworm, and a man will just cramp her style. I'm Team Tessa if anything. ANYWAY, Charlotte and Henry alone are worth reading this book. Charlotte is the young but experienced leader of the London branch of the Nephilim, and Henry is her awesome mad scientist husband. Every time Henry did something mindless, I was cheering while Charlotte was face-palming. Ah well.
I actually really enjoyed the plot and story as well. Sometimes with books like these I just fall in love with shiny characters but the plot is meh. But not with this one. It wasn't stellar, but I was interested, the pacing was good, and there were unexpected twists. Not huge ones, but they existed! lol. I also really liked Camille and her little sidestory.
The setting wasn't as lovely as it could be. We only see a few locations in London (despite Jem taking Tessa on little sight-seeing walks), and we are continually hammered with the idea that London is always foggy and wet and miserable. Is that actually true, or is that just an American myth?
I suppose I should talk about Will and Jem. I really enjoyed both of their characters, I suppose. Will is a sad, horrible, twisted little boy, but I am looking forward to either seeing him go off the deep end or be healed somehow. Jem is delicious, but it seemed like whenever he talked for more than a line or two, he was just acting as the author's mouthpiece for whatever morals or deep thoughts she wanted to get across in the story. It got to the point when I started thinking, "Ahhh, Jem is talking again...what's the sermon today, reverend?" but I still really liked him.
As for Jessamine, I started out determined to like her, because I figured that since she's a bitch on the surface, we were going to find out she had some awesome qualities. Which she DOES, so I was like YEAH, Jesamine, you rock ily! I forgave her for every horrible thing she did, until the end. I can't talk about it, but what she did in the climactic scenes made me finally give up on her actually having a soul. So for now, Jessamine gets my hate vote.
My review (Post-TMI (don't read unless you've read at least City of Bones)):
I realized after reading TMI how much is NOT explained in Clockwork Angel. Like, one of the reasons I read CA first was that I had read Clare saying that people can read either series and both series should make sense on their own. But there were some world-building stuff that I was TOTALLY lost on. I couldn't figure out where Idris was, or what exactly it was. I didn't understand how the runes worked AT ALL even by the end of the book: I thought they stayed black on the person's body forever, which would mean within a few years a person would be completely inky black, which these characters clearly are not. Maybe I'm just dumb. There were a few other small things too that when I read TMI I was like "OHHHHHH OKAY THE WORLD MAKES SENSE!"
Also, some scenes are hilariously more significant if you've read TMI. For instance, any scene with Magnus Bane. When I read Clockwork Angel, I thought he was amusing, but I didn't trust him at all cuz I couldn't understand anything he was saying or feeling. Maybe that's good if the whole Infernal Devices trilogy was out and I read them straight through. I dunno. But once I read TMI, I was like AWWW MAGNUS ILY. And now I kinda hate Camille, because of how she treats Magnus. So it's all just kinda madness. Another scene that is WAYYY more significant if you've read TMI is when Will and Jem rescue the cat.
Recommended for: Paranormal romance fans, action fans, shiny world-building fans, shiny character fans
I'm going to review TMI later, but I will say that overall I think Clockwork Angel is a much better book than City of Bones in every way.