Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Hardback, 2010, 479 pages. Library copy.

I was on the hold list for a few months, but I finally got the e-mail to come pick the book up! I guess I'm kind of stingy when it comes to books. . .I'll only buy it if I know I love it (or if I've already read it, and I want a copy of my own) or if it's cheap. Like $10 or less.

But anyways, Clockwork Angel! I'm actually liking this series more than the Mortal Instruments so far. Her previous series just reeked of her Harry Potter fanfiction. They were entertaining, quick reads, but I didn't really get anything from them other than, "That was fun." I think I've mentioned this before, but I hardly remember anything about those books other than names and a few vague details.

So, yes, I think her writing is improving. Less purple. She still abuses italics way too much (you see what I did there?). And how many times do you have to reference Charlotte's size? She's small. We get it. Anyways, this clockwork army is much more intriguing to me than your regular run-of-the-mill magical artifact(s) that will give the Dark Lord immortality. Kind of steampunkish, and I like that technology fused with the supernatural. The character Tessa was cool, but it was annoying that she seemed to gain all of her life's knowledge from novels or her Aunt Harriet. A few of the characters seem two dimensional, like Harry and Jessamine, so I hope they're developed a bit more in the other books.

As for Will and Jem and the sort-of-love-triangle. . .I like it, but at the same time, what is with these mysterious, dangerous male love interests? Clare, yes, but also in urban fantasy in general. Like if he's too normal, the book will be boring. . .well, gotta have conflict, I guess. But I think the choice is obvious. (Also, was anyone reminded of Sirius and Remus? Maybe it's just because I'm LOOKING for Harry Potter comparisons, but come on. . .even Jem's "furry little problem.")

I read through this book in three sittings. She has a great skill with writing fast-paced plots set in beautiful worlds. Recommend it for something exciting and fun. I'm excited for the next book.

A few things I could learn from this book:

Try not to recycle characters. It's a different book, and people are expecting new things. I didn't think Jem was like Simon, or Tessa was too much like Clary (a little bit, maybe), but Will was a lot like Jace.

If you have to use italics all the time, then your writing probably isn't speaking for itself. There were times when I read a sentence or piece of dialogue without italics, and it sounded just fine. The italics just distracted me. Other times, the italics helped it, but the writing should be able to stand on its own.

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