When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld,where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world… and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
There are three books in the Infernal Devices series: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. The Infernal Devices are often called a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments, but only because they take place in an earlier time period and contain some of the Mortal Instruments' characters' ancestors. You don't have to read the Mortal Instruments before The Infernal Devices. You don't have to read the The Infernal Devices before The Mortal Instruments. You can read them in any order.
"Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel has got everything: set in Victorian London but with an American heroine — feisty and attractive, natch; it features the Nephilim, a category of quasi-angelic beings (remember Genesis, about there being giants in the world in those days?) and some interesting vampires . . . one of the Nephilim falls for the heroine but can’t, for unspoken reasons, consummate his longing . . .the human elements of the story are well told. Have to say, it’s a cracking read."
– The Evening Standard
"Steampunk is hot, and Clare conquered it! Methodically researched, her Victorian London is dark and romantic, and the strong-willed Tessa is an unexpected hero readers will love. Her love interest, Will, is the bad boy only Tessa can understand, while the sweet Jem is a possibility, too. At completion, the reader has more questions than answers, but the clarity of writing and quick plot turns will ensure its popularity."
– VOYA (starred review)
"The opening installment of The Infernal Devices trilogy finds Clare delivering a Victorian-era view of the wildly-popular Shadowhunter universe. Clare handles the shift from very contemporary New York to very historical London effortlessly, with her trademark crackling storytelling. Heroine Tessa Gray is as plucky and smart as they come, a good thing because the mysterious Magister of the Pandemonium Club wants her for his own and won’t take no for an answer. While there’s enough romantic tension to spark a gaslight flame between Tessa and Shadowhunters Will and Jem, the book’s greatest fun is in watching Tessa capably deal with the peril and adventure that comes her way."
– Locus Magazine
"This first book in Clare's Infernal Device series, a prequel to her bestselling Mortal Instruments books, opens as Tessa's pleasant life in 1878 New York is coming to an end when her guardian aunt dies. Upon her arrival in London, where her brother lives, Tessa is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters, who force her to learn to use a rare power–shape-shifting–she didn’t know she had. Her rescue by a young man named Will leads her to the Shadowhunters....The events often read as bleakly as the Victorian London weather, punctuated by Clare's trademark humor, empathy, and authentic characters, who fight their own flaws and tragic pasts as often as they do evil. Mysteries, misdirection, and riddles abound, and while there are some gruesome moments, they never feel gratuitous. Fans of the Mortal Instruments series and newcomers alike won’t be disappointed."
– Publishers Weekly
"Readers will be thrilled and amazed with this prequel to the Mortal Instruments, tearing their way through a beautifully constructed story of action, magic, mayhem and romance. Fans and newcomers alike will be enchanted by Clare's fantastical world and left begging for more!"
– Romantic Times
"Cassandra Clare, beloved author of the Mortal Instruments series, has scored another hit with this much-anticipated prequel set in a sexy, steampunk Victorian England. The characters' clothing, language and mannerisms and the era-appropriate poetry that precedes each chapter all draw the reader into this fascinating historical era. But what would the Age of Innocence be without the passion of first love? Everything from the late-19th-century clothing with its long hemlines and drab colors to the strict societal norms dictating courtship intensify Will and Tessa's feelings. Will's quick wit and bad-boy behavior make him Clare's hottest hero yet."
"Compulsively readable, this is the first title in a new, companion series set 100 years earlier than the author's bestselling Mortal Instruments books. Packed with battles, romantic entanglements, and tantalizing foreshadowing, this will have readers clamoring for the next installment. Although prior knowledge of the Mortal Instruments books isn't necessary to enjoy this title, you can bet your sword newcomers to the world will be rushing to read what they've missed."
"A century before the events of The Mortal Instruments, another everyday heroine gets entangled with demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Sixteen-year-old Tessa comes to London to join her brother, but is imprisoned by the grotesque Dark Sisters. The sisters train Tessa in previously unknown Shapeshifter abilities, preparing her to be a pawn in some diabolical game. A timely rescue brings Tessa to the Institute, where a group of misfit Shadowhunters fight evil. Though details differ, the general flavor of Tessa's new family wil be enjoyably familiar to the earlier trilogy's fans; the most important is Tessa's rescuer Will, the gorgeous, sharp-tongued teenager with a mysterious past and a smile like 'Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven.' The lush, melodromatic urban fantasy setting of the Shadowhunter world morphs seamlessly into a steampunk Victorian past . . . this crowd-pleaser's tension-filled conclusion ratchets toward a new set of mysteries."
"Readers of Clare's Mortal Instruments series will recognize the warlock Magnus Bane and the demon-killing Nephilim, but instead of modern-day New York, this book is set in Victorian London. Vampires, warlocks, demons, and steampunk elements such as clockwork monstrosities about in this supernatural offering. From the erratic and volatile—yet charming—Will, to the bumbling and amiable inventor, Henry, to the ethereal and gentle Jem, Clare has made each character unique. The action-heavy plot takes off from the first page, propelling readers toward a dramatic conclusion." – School Library Journal
"It's not everyday you come across a book, so alive, it is near impossible to put it down for fear you will miss the action. The imagery is so vivid and the plot so compelling on this urban fantasy that it's like watching an edge-of-your-seat movie. Set in London during the 19th century, terrifying creatures of the Downworld await Tessa as she risks her life for her brother. Faced with terrors beyond her imagination she seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters,a band of warriors dedicated too ridding the world of demons. It is here she discovers magic is dangerous---but love is more dangerous still. Full of secrets and twists, your jaw will be aching as you read. Tough left with more questions than answers as you turn the last page and close this book, you indeed lose a friend. The first of Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy, this book is also a prequel to her Mortal Instruments trilogy. Recommended for Twilight fans looking for the next big thing." – Saturday Herald Sun
"The sexual tension that exists between Will and Tessa has enough sparks that readers may wish to use insulated gloves to turn the pages. And while their repartee is quite attractive, there are other reasons to enjoy Clockwork Angel, and other mysteries within it that will tantalize the reader no doubt until the very last chapter of the very last book. For instance, what is the story behind the tinyClockwork Angel Tessa wears about her neck? (It must be important, what with the book being named after it, and all.) What is the real overall goal of the menacing Magister and his army of mechanical automotons? Will Jessamine embrace her Shadowhunter legacy or find the solace she craves in a life of domestic bliss instead? And will Jem Carstairs find the cure to his personal infirmity that Shadowhunters outside the Institute look down upon with such disdain?
On top of the mystery and romance, there's more action in Clockwork Angel than your average Jackie Chan film, with demons to be slain, vampires to be toasted, and a battalion of steampunk soldiers to be sent to the scrap heap. Many of the family names from The Mortal Instruments will be recognizable, as will some of the characters. (I don't think I'm spoiling things to say that the sorcerous Magnus Bane has a certain level of involvement, but I'll save the more 'surprising' surprise for the enjoyment of the readers.)
Clare has successfully bottled lightning for a second time, and while one book does not a trilogy make, if the current tone and pace is maintained readers should have no concerns at all that the remainder ofThe Infernal Devices is going to be just as much of a non-stop thrill ride as was The Mortal Instruments." – The-Trades.com
"This prequel to THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series is full of beautiful prose and exciting adventure that pulls the reader into Victorian England and holds them there long after they close the book. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing, hoping, longing, and ultimately satisfied. I loved CLOCKWORK ANGEL and can't wait for the next book in THE INFERNAL DEVICES series." – TeensReadToo.com - Gold Star Award for Excellence
"Magic...love...England in the Victorian era...what more could you ask for? If you can believe it, Cassandra Clare offers all of that and then some in her new novel, Clockwork Angel, due in stores August 31st. Clockwork Angel is the first in a series, The Infernal Devices, of prequels to the widely popular Mortal Instruments series. The books in each series complement each other which makes it even better since you are not required to read one set before the other. Clare draws you into Downworld and makes you believe that this could have actually been a part of Victorian London. The characters come to life and you find that you actually care for them.... It is going to be a long wait until the next one comes out (especially with that cliffhanger at the end of the epilogue!" – CollegeLifestyles.org
"When your opening salvo is as spectacular as The Mortal Instruments, it seems hard to even imagine topping it. Then I picked up Clockwork Angel. Tessa grabbed me right away, a strong lead and someone I could root for and sympathize with. As did Will, who Cassandra Clare managed to make as covetable as Jace while still keeping him original and fresh. But the thing that made this novel for me was the strength of the background characters. Charlotte and Henry are so real and relatable (especially to someone in their mid-20s), and goodness me MAGNUS!" – WhatYAreading.net
"The book was absolutely delicious from start to finish. I’ve always loved and admired Cassandra Clare’s writing style, her character development, and her witty dialogue, and this book did not disappoint. I was elated with being given the chance to dive back into the world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders ahead of the publication date. Her dialogue is honestly sensational and she captured the essence of Victorian London perfectly. Cassandra Clare is able to make me truly believe her characters are real, as if the conversations took place right in front of me. From the banter between Tessa and Will, to Jem’s affection, and Charlotte’s honesty, the dialogue transported me from my bedroom in Canada to Victorian London." – Book Junkies
"Tessa is smart and witty and has a kind of bravery that is the 'rise to the occasion' sort. The dynamics between Tessa and the new (possible love interests) male characters of Jem and Will are both exciting and sweet. With Jem we see the nurturing side of Tessa that is everything a lady in the 1800's is expected to be, and with Will we see her stubborn and strong willed side come out. While Jem is more polite and understanding, Will definitely likes to push buttons and get a rise out of people-especially Tessa. The alchemical details and the inventions of the various devices (like Tessa's Clockwork Angel) were right up my alley. The mystery in the story was well plotted, and the fantastical concept was original and made me even more fond of Clare's work. Adding to the mystery in Clockwork Angel is the fact that I still have no clue what this ride Cassandra Clare is taking readers on may bring. And the ending...let's just say I didn't see that coming. It is truly a mesmerizing story and one I was sad to finish. Clockwork Angel is one of the best books I've read this year and I can not wait for the next installment in The Infernal Devices trilogy." – Paperback Dolls
"Did I somehow forget to mention that this book features the eternally-fabulous Magnus Bane at a Victorian party (wearing breeches and an elaborate brocade jacket)? Have I mentioned that two of the main characters are avid readers, so there are lots of excellent (and occasionally worrisome) literary references to books like A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps I also failed to mention the sexy Shadowhunter whose wet white shirt clings tantalizingly to the runic tattoos inked across his chest? Or the Shadowhunter whose hair brushes silkily across Tessa's wrist as he leans down to kiss the back of her hand? Surely I mentioned the glove removal that will have your heart racing?" – The Eager Readers
"Charlotte, Jessamine and Tessa are all strong women trying to overcome issues of authority and what others think they are expected to do and how they should act. Will is dealing with a big mystery of the past that adds a haunted look to his eyes when he thinks no one is looking. Their is a melancholy air that follows him about and he tries to suppress it by being overly jovial and witty. Which only works some of the time. Its very hard to act carefree when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Jem is also dealing with demons of his own. He is such a sweet character. He is smart and observant and notices far more about the world around him then people suspect. I simply ADORE ADORE ADORE how Will and Jem interact throughout the book!!
"Clockwork Angel is a book that you can re-read several times and always catching something new. Its a great start to a new series and aspect of the Shadowhunter world. My only real complaint is that epilogue! OMG I swear Cassie Clare is trying to KILL me with suspense!! I could have waited easily for Clockwork Prince (Sept 2011) if it weren't for how Clockwork Angel ended. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!! So hurry up 2011!!! I need some more of the Infernal Devices!!!" – Ticket to Anywhere.net
"Clockwork Angel is also exceptional. A little fantasy, a little steampunk, and a lot of period atmosphere come together to create a full immersion reading experience. Clare evokes Tessa's London as expertly as she brings her charming characters to life including memorable secondary characters with their own complexities and motivations
Tessa is an utterly engaging heroine who is as fearless as she is guileless. Will and Jem are the perfect foils to Tessa (and each other). Fans of The Mortal Instruments will find a world of new characters with a very familiar wit and verve. Gripping and rich, Clockwork Angel will hold readers' attention from the first page to the very last leaving many eager for the next book in The Infernal Devices." – Miss Print
"Clockwork Angel is the first in a new trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Her Mortal Instruments trilogy is one of my all time favorites. I loved the characters and hated to say goodbye to them at the end of City of Glass. The Infernal Devices books are prequels. They take place in the late 1800s in Victorian-Era London. Unlike The Mortal Instruments, Clockwork Angel includes a lot of steampunk elements. The friendship between Will and Jem is so much fun to witness and the tentative feelings Tessa and Will seem to share is exciting (even though it made me crave more Clary and Jace action). This book has it all—magic, science fiction, fantasy, romance.
You absolutely don't need to read The Mortal Instruments trilogy before you read Clockwork Angel, but if you haven't read them yet, I can promise you'll want to go get them as soon as you finish this prequel. Once you get sucked into Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world, you won't want to leave." – Karin's Book Nook
"Thank you, Cassandra, for giving us another adventure to go on, another guy to drool over, and another torturous wait for the next book." – Burning the Midnight Oil