Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Published: August 31st 2010 by Simon & Schuster

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I picked this book up as soon as I had finished City of Glass (as per Clare’s recommended reading order). I had heard from a lot of different places that The Infernal Devices series was a lot better than The Mortal Instruments, so I was extremely excited to pick it up. However, whilst it was mostly enjoyable, it didn’t blow me away the way I was expecting it to, which left me a little disappointed.

As mentioned, whilst I enjoyed the plot as a whole, I wasn’t completely hooked on it. It was fast paced, easy to follow and had some slower moments to help balance it out. I found the plot to be typical Shadow Hunter world, which was easy to step back into. I also enjoyed the steampunk aspect of the book, which is something I wasn’t particularly expecting.

I wasn’t entirely invested in the characters. Whilst I am interested in knowing what Will’s story is and why he is the way that he is and what happened, I’m not emotionally connected to any of them. None of them were stand out unique – which is another reason that I wasn’t entirely hooked on this book. I am also not committed to either #TeamJem or #TeamWill as of yet, but I do have an idea as to who I will eventually commit to – as well as an idea of what is going to happen to Jem by the end of the series.

I did like the fact that we got to see Magnus again! I did read somewhere after this that Magnus is the only character who has been in every single book so far – so I guess it wasn’t all that surprising to see him again. I do like the fact that we got to see more of his character from a different time period and to see his similarities and differences between TID and TMI.

The time jump between The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices was a little off putting and difficult to get into. I picked this book up straight after finishing City of Glass, so I struggled to make the transition between current day Shadow Hunters and 1878 Shadow Hunters. I think the time difference between City of Glass and Clockwork Angel also stopped me from really getting into the story because I kept forgetting that we had gone back in time.

All in all, whilst this book had an enjoyable plot, I wasn’t totally hooked and blown away like I was expecting to be. I am still looking forward to reading the next instalment because a lot of people have said that they are great books. I gave this book 3/5 stars

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats and Weaponry

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Published: November 14th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style—with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

No one suspected what—or who—they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

I think this was my favourite instalment so far, purely because I feel like it was more plot based rather than character based. With the first two books in this series, I felt like everything happened too quickly at the end and it all wrapped up a little too nicely – I wanted it to be dragged out a little more and that is exactly what I got in this book!

Whilst the book was more plot based, there was still some character development going on. We got to see more of Felix sort of half way through the book and, where I quite liked him as a romantic interest in the previous book, I don’t really see him this way anymore. I was worried we weren’t going to see much of him in this book because there wasn’t much detail given on the letters they were sending back and forth,  but I am glad that we were re – introduced later. I do feel like he showed his true colours in a sense and, whilst they could maybe be friends, I don’t think he would be a good fit for Sophronia in the end.

I liked the development of the plot in this book! I feel like things started much earlier and they were also dragged out to give us more information and action – which I felt was lacking in the first two books! I loved watching Sophronia solve the issues at hand and to get around the issues the group were having as a whole. It was definitely more action packed and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out in the final instalment! I am a bit worried that it won’t wrap up nicely in the last book because I do feel like they have a lot to do before the issues will be solved. I guess we shall see!

I would have liked to have seen/heard more from Lord Akeldama. Aside from what we learnt in the previous book when we briefly saw him, we only really see him sending gifts to Sophronia. We do learn what he wants to a point, but I would have liked to have seen him at some point or maybe have more detail on the letters that were sent etc.

I was happy to see more of the dewan, though. I am definitely interested to see how Sophronia’s relationship with him will develop in the final instalment after that ending. I do like him as a character, despite the fact that he is a bit rough round the edges and I am definitely looking forward to getting to know him better!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I am definitely looking forward to the next one! I am glad that it decided to focus on plot development, rather than character and I’m interested to see how this is all going to wrap up in the end! I gave this 4/5 stars.

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Curtises and Conspiracies

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Published: November 1st 2013 by Hachette Little, Brown & Co.

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy–won’t Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

Before I actually go into this review – is it just me, or does the woman on the cover look vaguely like Kiera Knightley? Anyone? Anyway… I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one. I feel like, now that I’ve gotten into the swing of things, with the steampunk etc. I actually really enjoyed myself with this book!

This book basically starts off where the previous left off. We are back at the floating finishing school – which I would totally attend, by the way. Sophronia is tested in new ways in this book, through which she learns the value of friendships and having someone to lean on. I really enjoyed watching her character growth and watching her learn more and more, both physically and socially, throughout the book.

I really enjoyed the introduction of some of the boys from Bunsons! I loved seeing Pillover again (Dimity’s brother) because we only got to see him vaguely in book one! Also… can we just swoon at Felix? I enjoyed his character and the attempts to court Sophronia (which she never really caught onto, because she believed they were just practising…). I do feel like Felix would be a better fit to Sophronia than Soap – so that is the ship I am currently with… but I am not entirely sure if a ship will even ship considering the time it is set in!

I definitely feel like this book flowed much better than the first. It didn’t contradict itself as much as the first one and I feel like, now that I’m used to the steampunk aspect of the book, I really enjoyed it. I found myself more excited to turn the pages and find out what was going to happen next!

The one thing I do feel like, with both this book and the first one, is that things start to speed up toward the end and then things happen and then it solves itself until the next part. So, I do feel like it’s a bit predictable in this sense, but it’s still pretty fun!

All in all, I much preferred this one to the first book and I am really looking forward to continuing the series! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Etiquette and espionage

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for years now. I added it to my TBR way back when because I absolutely loved the cover and I thought the synopsis looked quirky and fun! Whilst this book was a light, quick read, I felt like it was at odds with itself sometimes.

I loved the MC! She was fun and a complete misfit – and thats what I loved about her. She didn’t fit in and conform to what society expected of her and whilst it bothered her in some aspects, she was still true to herself and she had fun doing it! She made friends easily, whether they were upperclass or lower-class and she treated everyone fairly – no matter what class! She did make some improvements in the sense that she learnt social etiquette… along with espionage techniques, but ultimately, her personality stayed the same!

I also really enjoyed the relationships that Sophronia had with the other girls in the school. I liked the way her friendships came about! I would’ve liked to have seen more of the rivalry between Monique and Sophronia because I felt like it came on pretty suddenly from being something that was relatively petty! I also really liked Dimity! She was a fun and quirky character and I definitely feel like she added a certain light heartedness to the book.

I often felt like the book was at odds with itself. It was steampunk, set in Victorian era. It took me a while to get used to the robots in a victorian setting, and I felt like it didn’t fit sometimes. I also felt like the language didn’t always flow and sometimes it was more modern and then it would switch back to old fashioned language. I also felt like the girls were too modern… if that makes sense? I felt like they were the kind of girls you would see today and then they would say or do something that would transport them back and put them into the right characteristics of being from the victorian era. All in all, I felt like the book criticised itself throughout.

All in all, I had fun reading this book, despite its flaws. It was a quick and quirky read and I am really looking forward to starting book 2! I gave this book 3/5 stars.