I have read Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series at a fear-inducing speed earlier this year. The author understands how to create addictive characters, though I'm still uncertain as to how she manages to do this. It could be because she can portray the characters with words so skillfully that you feel they truly exist or at the very least could jump off the page any moment. It could be that she's enormously talented at creating male leads that will prove attractive to many of her book's readers - whether they are a teen or not. It could be because of the forbidden love that is depicted on the books' pages, and you really want it to be resolved (and not the Luke and Leia way).
When the first book of her "The Infernal Devices" series came out, I was a little hesitant. I so loved the world of her former series (set in present-day New York), I wasn't quite prepared to jump into her new one (Victorian London). It was partly because I spend Mondays to Fridays in (present-day!) London already, and The "Mortal Instruments" offered the escapism I was looking for. But needless to say, a few months after its official release, I finally bought "Clockwork Angel", and I can truly say I do not regret it at all.
Reading the book, you know it is Cassandra Clare's work, but should you have read her last series, you would notice something else. Her writing style is slightly different, as if it was being matched to the elegance of the period it tries to portray. Spending most of my days in the city where the story is set, I can see how her characters may have brought mayhem to the London of the past. And the past is truly where they belong. "Clockwork Angel" combines YA Paranormal with historical fiction whereby the former takes centerstage whilst we're being provided with 'just enough' of the latter to feel the authenticity of the setting without the need of having to dust off our history books just yet.
The story revolves around Tessa Gray, a girl from New York who lands on the shores of Southampton, England, expecting to be picked up by her brother who had moved to London before her. But this journey to another country turns out to be much more than that. It becomes a journey to a magical world where good must fight the evil. Tessa Gray turns out to not be as plain as her surname would suggest - unknowingly, it seems as if she had always been part of the world she's now entering. Here, she meets the Dark Sisters who torture her, but show her the abilities she has. She meets dashing, but complex Will Herondale and his parabatai Jem Carstairs. She gets introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, but yet, does not know what she herself is, and where her place in this strange world is supposed to be.
"Clockwork Angel" is full of action, love (or the yearning thereof), betrayal and puzzles that will leave you begging for the release of the sequel... which is still some time away. *Imagine sigh of frustration*
Cassandra Clare seems to only get better with time, and I can't wait to see more of her work in future.
Cassandra Clare - Upcoming Novels:
CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS - Release date April 2011
CLOCKWORK PRINCE - Release date August 2011