Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, Demons, Angels, Fairies, Romance, Elves, Steampunk
Reading level/ interest age: 16+
Tessa Gray receives a letter from her brother asking her to join him in London. An adventurer at heart, Tessa agrees to go but is kidnapped by a pair of female warlocks upon her arrival. Tessa’s captors insist that she is a shape changer and put her through a series of vigorous tests to determine the extent of her abilities. On her first successful attempt, Tessa transforms into a woman who died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Tessa must relive the woman’s death and resolves to find a way to escape. Later that night, just as Tessa escapes her bindings, a mysterious man named Will sneaks into her room. Thinking he is another enemy, Tessa smashes a vase over his head. Undeterred, he explains why he is there and they escape together.
Once at the safety of the London Institute, Will introduces Tessa to her new protectors. Their world of demons, warlocks, and shadowhunters is thrust upon young Tessa and she struggles to cope with this new knowledge. During her stay, she meets Jem who quickly becomes a love interest. Tessa, Will, and Jem work together to solve the mystery of Tessa’s arrival but what they discover is far more shocking than any of them could have imagined.
Tessa grew up believing she was normal but a trip gone wrong changes her life forever. Thrust into a world full of demons, warlocks, and mysterious shadowhunters, Tessa must find a way to cope while trying to solve the mystery of her birth.
Information about the author:
“Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old.
“Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called ‘The Beautiful Cassandra’ based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name).
“After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favorite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again” (Clare, 2014).
Curriculum ties: N/A
1. What kind of creature do you think Tessa is?
2. Do you think Tessa is being unfair to let both boys court her at the same time?
As The Infernal Devices series is an offshoot of The Mortal Instruments series, the author, Cassandra Clare, has had more time to develop her writing skills. The Infernal Devices are much more polished and the characters better developed from the start rather than slowly growing into their roles as they do in Clare’s first works. Shockingly, Tessa seems to prefer the more muted and ill-fated Jem over the obvious choice the reader is lead to believe she may pick in the beginning. This is a much more mature choice and demonstrates Tessa’s character development. While the two series do have some overlap, The Mortal Instruments takes place several hundred years prior to The Infernal Devices storyline and stands alone as entirely unique. Clockwork Angel is a great read with a smaller cast of characters which makes it easier to follow. The story is intriguing, well thought out, and irresistible to put down once the book is cracked open. The characters will capture the reader’s heart as the mind plows on to discover the mystery that is Tessa Gray.
Challenge issues: N/A
I believe that this book will appeal to a broad audience due to the inclusion of many different genre and sub-genre.
Clare, C. (2014). My Bio. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://www.cassandraclare.com/about/