Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare This book was somehow exactly what I thought it would be and nothing like I expected, all at once. While the blurb promises one thing (and most of it does happen) it doesn't even begin to sum up the depths of this book, its plot, or its characters. Since I'm getting MORE than what I was promised I view this as a good thing, because, really, who doesn't like MORE emotion, or MORE dark back stories, or MORE in depth information about the amazing and magical world Clare created in The Mortal Instruments Series? If there are people who would be annoyed by getting more of all of that, then they should probably avoid this book...and then explain to me why on EARTH you would be against all the things I just listed.

Anyway, on to the actual book. CHARACTERS. I said over and over again in my TMI reviews that Clare's characters were the best parts of the books for me, and that definitely holds true now. While I don't think I'd go as far as saying I was enamored by these characters the way I was by Jace and Clary et al, I was definitely drawn in by them. I also loved the fact that even though a lot of this book COULD have felt like a copy of TMI (bright, sassy, strong heroine gets plunged into a mystical shadow world she knew nothing about, finds out her family isn't exactly what she thought it was, and meets some hot guys in the process. Sound familiar?) everything felt like it had a life of its own. Tessa, while a bit whiny and dramatic for my tastes, was a captivating and interesting lead character, the entire cast of the Institute felt unique and different, and even the villain(s) were decidedly different from Valentine and all the TMI baddies. Of course, no discussion of the characters would be complete without mentioning Jem and Will....because OMG JEM AND WILL. Let's start with Will, because I have marginally less to say about him: HE IS A GIANT ASS. But I LOVE HIM. Again, I expected him to be so much like Jace (for reasons I won't say because it could spoil bits of the TMI series, but they're really obvious, so just go with it) and he was a bit (all faux arrogance and self deprecating wit) but yet, somehow he just...wasn't. At all. He was new and original and unique and I wish there had been more scenes with him doing things other than acting like a giant tortured jerk, because I really wanted to slap him most of the time but I also never wanted to stop reading about him. And then we have Jem. Ohmygoodness. Here is a character that I had no real expectations for because I had no TMI counterpart to compare him to. I'll admit, my hopes were not high. He doesn't have the sexy bad boy appeal of Will, he comes off as strangely weak for the whole beginning of the book, and he has some huge hinted at physical issue which is intriguing and confusing all at once. If I'm being totally honest, my initial impression was "go away Jem and give me more Will scenes"...but what's that expression about not judging a book by its cover? (Or a book CHARACTER by its cover, in this case?) JEM. He's pretty much the antithesis of Will (and, by extension, Jace, who I am going to keep referencing even though he has nothing to do with this book, so just deal with it), and yet words can't even describe how wonderful and sweet and brilliant and intriguing he is. Not to mention freaking heartbreaking because of that aforementioned "issue". Seriously, I went in expecting it to resolve itself as some stupid weird thing, and Clare gave him a back story that broke my heart. Which is fairly hard to do, actually, considering I torture my characters regularly as a writer.

The other important aspect of this book I want to talk about is plot. The first half or so of this kind of drags on. It's interesting and sometimes exciting, yes, but there are a lot of unanswered questions, and a lot of short, stunted conversation scenes that don't do anything but make you more anxious to know what's going on. There are even events that seem to serve absolutely no purpose in the plot (code name JESSAMINE AND TESSA IN THE PARK) and I do NOT like things that serve no purpose in the plot. Still, in the end of the book I was genuinely fooled by the twist. I had speculated about it, sure, but I hadn't seen it coming at all, to the point where I think my jaw might have literally dropped as I was reading. It was unique and different, and it made me excited for Clockwork Prince and what it will have to offer.