I may or may not succeed in my summer goal, reading the 22 ISLMA Abraham Lincoln nominees, but man am I having fun trying. I’m halfway through, and I feel so fortunate to be making my way through a list with YA books of such varied genres, and I am thoroughly enjoying each one. I didn’t expect to love every book on the list, and in reality I may not. But here I am, just having finished book 11, and so far I have not been disappointed. While I’ve been writing my reviews of the Abe list on my Abe Lincoln page, thought I would pause at the halfway point to share my review of number 11, Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel because, and I know I sound like a broken record, I LOVED IT!
Here I am, hooked on a new trilogy, but I have to wait to make it through the rest of the Abes before I can move on to Clockwork Prince! This trilogy, The Infernal Devices (of which only two are published so far, the third coming in 2013), is a prequel to her Mortal Instruments series. I have not read much in the steam punk genre, or what the author refers to as urban fantasy, so I thank the Abe list for bringing me to Cassandra Clare.
Tessa Gray is sixteen and alone after her aunt dies, so she leaves New York to reconnect with her brother in London, who has sent her a steamboat ticket and asked her to join him. Victorian London, however, is nothing like she expected. Instead of being met by her brother, she is met by the Dark Sisters, members of London’s Downworld, which is full of everything from vampires to warlocks. The Dark Sisters keep Tessa captive, forcing her to learn how to use an ability she didn’t know she had, forcing her to find out she’s a Downworlder herself. Tessa always thought she was human. In fact, she never expected there was anything beyond the human race. Those who keep the Downworlders in line are the Shadowhunters (descendants of humans and angels), one of whom, the beautiful Will Herondale, rescues her from the Dark Sisters. Along with the rest of the Shadowhunters at the London Institute, Tessa has to help them uncover a plot by one only known as the Magister, a plot to destroy the Shadowhunters. In return, the Shadowhunters vow to help Tessa find her brother. And of course, a love triangle is brewing between Tessa, the ever distant Will, and Will’s friend and fellow Shadowhunter, Jem. Both Will and Jem harbor secrets. Both draw Tessa in, but the one who seems to truly make her heart go pitter pat is the one who uses the most cruelty to push her away.
Clare wraps up the story just enough to end the book but leaves the reader hanging just enough that if said reader had book 2 right next to her, she would probably ignore the second half of the Abe list for another week to find out what happens next. But alas, duty calls. That doesn’t mean I cannot place a small order for Clockwork Prince so it’s ready and waiting. #bookaddict (That’s right. I’m hashtagging my blog post!)