Cassandra Clare is the author of the New Times Bestselling series, “The Mortal Instruments.” This year, she released the first book of “The Infernal Devices” trilogy, a prequel “The Mortal Instruments.” The first book, “Clockwork Angel,” brings us back to the world of Shadowhunters and demons, but only this time it’s late 19th century London.
Tessa, the protagonist, is sent to London from New York City to live with her brother. Once she arrives, she realizes that it was all a plot to get her into the clutches of the mysterious Magister. She learns she is not the normal human being that she always thought she was. There is magic within her that let’s her physically change into other people. While she comes to terms with what she is, she is introduced to this new world. She meets others from this world. Shadowhunters take her in and she meets the heads of the Institute, Charlotte and her husband Henry. Also, living at the Institute are the narcissistic Jessamine, kind Jem, and rakish Will.
If you have read “The Mortal Instruments,” you are probably familiar with Clare’s writing style and this fantasy world she created. I liked how she decided to set this spin-off during a different era. I am always weary when it comes to spin-offs; I don’t want to read the same story with just different character names. However, this is not the case here. Not only do we get to revisit this fantasy world, but we are also introduced to a London that maybe many of us haven’t read about before. As well, this new setting gives “The Infernal Devices” a different kind of vibe.
It might be easy to mistake Tessa/Will/Jem love triangle with that of Clary/Jace/ Simon. However, I find each character to be different. Jace would never say some of things that Will says to Tessa. Jem and Simon hardly have anything in common with each other.
The ending leaves you wanting more. Unsurprising since there are two more books to this story. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like this series. I found that with TMI, I progressively liked the series more as I read more of it. The same seems to go for “The Infernal Devices.”
I would recommend reading “The Mortal Instruments” first. However, it is not necessary in order to understand “Clockwork Angel.” Either way, this book is a great read; and I look forward to the second book, “Clockwork Prince.” We have to wait until September 2011 for that one, but the next TMI book releases in April 2011 to hold us over.
“Clockwork Angel” is available in bookstores now.