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  • Published: New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010.
  • Year Published: 2010
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 479 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 780

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781416975861 (hardcover)
  • 1416975861 (hardcover)



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Clockwork angel

by Clare, Cassandra.

There are currently 4 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction

Available Copies: Downtown Teen, 3rd Floor, Malletts Teen, Pittsfield Teen

Additional Details

When sixteen-year-old orphan Tessa Fell's older brother suddenly vanishes, her search for him leads her into Victorian-era London's dangerous supernatural underworld, and when she discovers that she herself is a Downworlder, she must learn to trust the demon-killing Shadowhunters if she ever wants to learn to control her powers and find her brother.

Community Reviews


I really like this book. I didn't expect it to be that good, but it's a real page turner.


The writing in Clockwork Angel is technically proficient, the story premise is interesting, and plot is fairly well crafted. Beyond that, however, I was disappointed by the book as a whole.

The main character Tessa is essentially an empty vessel into which the reader can step; she lacks any real personality of her own. She has little agency, merely reacting to events around her and never acting on her own. Her only trait is that she's determined to find her brother, and the author does not sufficiently establish an emotional connection between them for the reader to care. In fact, there's no connection between the reader and Tessa, either. What was Tessa like before she came to England? What were her dreams, what were her fears? The author takes great pains to give us the impression that Tessa reads books, but how does that impact Tessa as a person? How does it influence how she behaves or what she says? None of that is incorporated into Tessa's behavioral make-up; instead, Clare only uses this to allow Tessa to make comparisons between the novels she reads and what's happening around her. The constant novel title mentions is the literary equivalent of celebrity name-dropping - really, Clare, you're trying too hard to impress your audience.

After ragdoll Tessa comes Will, the cheeky and witty love interest who is more often obnoxious than charming. His dialogue is tediously clever, as though every line is either a joke or its punchline. While characters like that can be a fun addition to a novel, Will is not developed deeply enough to make him anything other than a shallow pretty boy. The romance between him and Tessa develops out of nowhere and does not feel authentic.

Jessamine is perhaps the only one that had a spark of personality in her; she was the only one I was interested in learning more about. Quite frankly, I think her story [a girl determined to fulfill the typical Victorian role for a woman who is repeatedly thrust into this weird and dangerous other world) is the one that should have been told.

Too many characters all together in the book. Clare doesn't handle multi-character scenes well. Too much is going on and the writing becomes confusing.

And the information dumps! Pages and pages of people sitting around (or standing around) explaining things. I get that Clare wants the reader to understand the world she painstakingly created, but really. That's too much.

Best One Yet

I think this is the best of Cassandra Clare's books yet. The characters were more interesting than in the Mortal Instruments, and there were more twists and turns to the plot, which made it a lot more interesting. A lot of the things in the Mortal Instruments that were confusing were explained in this book.

Fantasy at its Finest!

I have read the Mortal Instruments series and found it to be amazing but it is nothing compared to this amazing prequel series! I was hooked from the very first page and I couldn't put it down. This is one saga I can't wait to see the rest of! I recognized some familiar faces in this story (Magnus Bane anyone?) and was surprised at how well made the new ones were. I think my favorite characters were Will and Jem because they are so unique...not to mention attractive. I also loved the author's unique take on shapeshifting, whereby the main character Tessa can also take on the forms of the deceased as well as the living and those she transforms into speak through her.

A real page-turner

Clockwork Angel, which is supposed to be a prelude to Clare's Mortal Instruments series, almost never left my hands. The storyline moves so strongly that, unlike a lot of other books, I did not feel the need to skim over the large bands of descriptive text. Instead, I found myself engaged in the world presented, and anxious for almost every character in the book.

If you love stories of headstrong girls who don't fit in, bad boys with a good serving of wit, and sensitive but observant angels, you'll be really into this book. Also, if you love a good sparring romance, you're in for a treat.

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