I was a little bit unsure about reading this book, solely because I have a thing about prequels. Sometimes, reading a prequel will distort my view of a book and make me like it less. The only reason I eventually decided to give Clockwork Angel a shot is because I read that it could count as a standalone as we meet new main characters, as it takes place 150 years before the Mortal Instruments series. Also because I heard that my favorite sexy warlock makes an appearance and who doesn't love a bit of Magnus Bane?
My first opinion on this book was "Oooh, this book is big!" and then, "Oooh steampunky?" and then, "Hot boy?!", that was before even opening the book. When I started reading it I was instantly absorbed into the plot. Clare's writing is not unique in any way and doesn't really stand out from any other young adult author, but it isn't amateurish and she does know how to absorb a reader without them even realising they are absorbed, if that makes sense. It isn't a 'I can't put this book down' read but it isn't one that you want to take a break from, it's a book that you can put down while you go and make yourself a cup of tea and then get straight back into it when you pick it up again.
I didn't really want to compare this to the Mortal Instruments series but for the next point I feel as though I need to. In The Mortal instruments series it seemed like Cassie had made a nice range of characters, but in Clockwork Angel she seemed to be recycling the same character types; Will is Jace, the hot unapproachable bad guy with a heart of gold, Jem is sort of Alec; the wise nice guy with a dark secret then Jessamine is Izzy, the clever kick-ass angsty girl with a passion for fashion. Need I get into Clary and Tessa, the new girl being dragged into a new world? Maybe I'm just reading too much into it but it feels as though Clare can't create new character types.
That being said, I did enjoy the characters and they did seem more real in this series, I could really believe the reactions that people had to the happenings of the book. The tentativeness that Tessa had as she was dragged into the Shadowhunter world, the build up of feelings that Will and Tessa and Jem had. Clare has a way of sort of writing between the lines that help the reader realise things that haven't actually been said.
What I especially loved in this book was the way that Clare may or may not be building up a love triangle, I think that readers are torn on this one, but as well as this, she put the romance aspect as a sort of parallel storyline and stuck with the fantasy/mystery side of things as the main story. I didn't feel like the love story was being forced down my throat and it felt very natural.
As well as this, In loved the writing in this one. In The Mortal Instruments, the characters were making wisecracks all the time and while it made it fun, it also made the characters less believable. In this book it seemed more like Clare was writing for the sake of telling a story, not for the sake of showing off how witty she is so even though this book was less fun, it was more relatable.
I didn't this I would like this as much as The Mortal Instruments, but I did!
Overall rating: B+
Stand alone/series: First in the Infernal Devices series
Released: August 2010 (Paperback)
Publisher: Walker Books
Book obtained via: Swap