Arriving in London with the expectation of meeting with her brother, Tessa Gray leaves her lifetime home in New York and is quickly taken by two ladies called the Dark Sisters. After some grueling torment, the Dark Sisters find that Tessa, indeed, has the power to change into any person--dead or alive--by holding a trinket that was once theirs. From this discovery transcends the events that later follow when Tessa is rescued by a Shadowhunter named William Herondale. Keeping her safe at the Institute was the only solution possible, so the Shadowhunters thought. When new evidence is found that the reason for Tessa's kidnapping was more deeply cultivated than anyone thought, the Nephilim set out to find the Magister, in pursuit of stopping a formidable war.
I thought that the characters of Clockwork Angel might have been the best part, but when it got to some serious action, I was proved terribly wrong. The characters: Will, Tessa, Jem, Jessamine...Every single one had their unique personalities and histories that you can only find in a Cassadra Clare masterpiece. While I regret not having read City of Glass, I'd recognize Clare's style of writing and character-developing anywhere. The poetry and quotes introduced by Tessa's love of novels and books was a fascinating break to find in the blood and gore of the Shadowhunter mentality. And although I prefer the latter and didn't really partake in Tessa's brief belief that ladies were not meant to fight, it only added to the difference and era to be expected from London in 1878. In the Institute, Tessa learns about the world of Downworlders--what she is--and Shadowhunters, their background and way of life. It was excellent world-building on Clare's part and made an incredible guide for a newbie just diving into a new view of the universe they assume they've known they're whole lives. To quote something slightly from the book, as if from looking at the world as a flat surface to a round globe; paraphrasing.
I thoroughly enjoyed the twisted humor in the beginning and the Shadowhunters that came with it. Will and Jem seem to be a perfect match as they're so different. Both have different pain-filled stories to tell, and they even differentiate in the point of sharing who they are with others. All-in-all, from the cast of characters to the world-building and developing, Clare did a great job in creating this conjoined world and prequel of her original The Mortal Instrument series. I will be keeping my eye out for the rest of this series and can't stand that I must restrain myself for another year for the next installment in The Infernal Devices series.
Recommended to YA readers that have enjoyed Clare's work before, and even newbies that are just starting to discover her awesomeness.
This ARC was sent by Simon & Schuster for my opinionated review.