Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Rather than rattling on about cats, even though I have a cute, little long-haired black foster kitten in my house right now who is quite the character – I’m going to make time to review books after I read or reread them.

I’m not going to review as many as some people do because I’m still working two jobs and got writing and editing to do in my spare time, but way back when, I used to read a book a day.

However, my memory is not so crisp that I can spout off why I liked particular books, so I’ll need to reread those.

While I was at my local library, I saw the second book of the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince, was available.  I recalled I liked Clockwork Angel, but didn’t remember the particulars so I borrowed that to reread.

Since I'm going to speak about tropes in my review, let me give a brief overview and refer you to a wonderful site - TV Tropes.  Sometimes, when you are reading or watching something, you'll notice there's something familiar, such as full amnesia, an evil twin, a girl dressing as a boy, or abusive/neglectful/alcoholic parents that allow a young character to have all sorts of adventures.  It's okay because no story is truly all-original, and it gives the reader/viewer something familiar.  That also allows the author a little room to not spell it all out (or they could possibly misdirect you).

So now that I’ve finished rereading it, here’s what I liked about Clockwork Angel – the Victorian gaslight/steampunk setting, the establishment of different races and their powers, the mystery elements of the plot, and the plot has multiple threads.

What I wasn’t sure about was there was not a lot of Victorian ambiance.  Maybe because I’ve read a lot of romance, I am used to more details glamorizing the time period.  This story is not about finding husbands, clothes, and polite society, so the basic elements were there, yet probably not necessary.

Some of the characters were clearly tropes, so I could appreciate them in the context of the story.  However, my comfort with having the characters labeled so clearly meant I knew a bit of what they were going to do before the plot got to the point where’d they do it.

Also, until I read more, I confess as a lover of villains that this villain didn't do much for me ... so far.

So much was left unanswered at the end of the first book that as a  reader who needed answers, I had to wait for the next book to find out more on various plots.  I believe that’s where I was left the last time I read it.

I’m going to say 8 out of 10.  I doubt I’m going to give many things a 10 because I’m thinking that’s got to be a darned perfect book.

I have not read the Mortal Instruments series yet, and I’m about to begin Clockwork Prince.

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