When Tessa Gray arrived in Southampton she expected to get off the boat and be greeted by her brother Nathaniel. She did not expect to be met by a strange coachmen with a mouth full of teeth that gleamed like metal, whisked away to the home of the ‘Dark Sisters’, kept prisoner, and wind up in the world of the Shadowhunters…
Let me start by saying how much I am HOOKED on this book! Right from the first page I was drawn into 1878 London. Now, at page 243 of 486, I figured what perfect time to do a Halfway Point review! If you’ve not yet read ‘Clockwork Angel’ and don’t want to be spoiled, I advise you to stop reading this review here as I’m going to mentioning a few plot points that arise!
When I first started reading this I had so many questions, just from the first chapter! Who are the dark sisters? What do they want with Tessa? What happened to the owners of the strange items stained with blood? Why is Emma Bayliss so important? It was the first chapter alone that made this book impossible to put down, so naturally I binged the first few chapters in one sitting and my list of questions grew… What is Tessa, why can she do what she can do? What is wrong with Jem? Why is Will lying about being drunk? How did Sophie get her scar, what’s the relevance of keep bringing it up?
I also noticed in the Prologue and Chapter 5 (‘The Shadowhunters Codex’) a couple of potential links to ‘The Mortal Instruments’. In the Prologue Tessa notices the words ‘The Pandemonium Club’ on the side of the Dark Sister’s carriage. Could this be a link to Pandemonium in ‘The Mortal Instruments’? After all, Jocelyn does tell Clary that the reason she didn’t want her hanging around Pandemonium is because it was “a place where Downworlders and mundanes mingled” (page 357, City Of Glass), and it’s the first place Clary is introduced to the Shadow World. You can’t spell Pandemonium without demon, after all…
In Chapter 5 Tessa is drawn from her room by the sound of violin music. She makes her way to the room that the music is coming from, and this is when we are first introduced to Jem. Jem, who cannot see Tessa immediatly thinks that the intruder is his Parabatai Will: “His eyes were closed. ‘Will?’ he said, without opening his eyes or ceasing to play. ‘Will, is that you?'” Now, I noticed that this almost mirrors when Clary walks in on Jace playing the piano in ‘City Of Bones’ when she is looking for Isabelle. Again, Jace thinks that the intruder is his Parabatai Alec: “She must have made some noise, because he twisted around on the stool, blinking into the shadows. ‘Alec?’ he said. ‘Is that you?'”
I must admit, when I first bought ‘Clockwork Angel‘ I was skeptical… So many people say that ‘The Infernal Devices‘ trilogy is so much better than ‘The Mortal Instruments‘ and honestly, I had my doubts. But after reading the first half of the book I can now say that I 100% see where they’re coming from! Since I haven’t finished the trilogy, it would be unfare of me to judge ‘The Infernal Devices’ against ‘The Mortal Instruments’ but I do believe that as far as first books in a series go, ‘Clockwork Angel’ tops ‘City Of Bones’ in my eyes, and I can’t wait to finish it! Keep an eye out for a full review soon!
Keep On Reading!