Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Cool, Classy YA Heroine, Great Action, and Romance

Book 47: Clockwork Angel
Cassandra Clare

Cassie Clare is back, with a fantastic new heroine and a deeper look into the world of the Shadowhunters.  Set in 1878, this first book in the Infernal Devices series brings Tessa Gray into London, searching for her brother. Just sixteen, Tessa finds herself kidnapped by members of the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization  made up of mundanes (humans), and Downworlders (Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, and Demons). There, Tessa learns she herself is a Downworlder, with the rare ability to transform into another person. Tessa learns she is to be married to the Magister, the unknown leader of the Pandemonium Club, because her transformation ability will help him further his nefarious plans.

With no sign of her brother, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters (very cool, skilled warriors who fight to rid the world of demons) at the London Institute.  They agree help Tessa find her brother, in exchange for Tessa using her powers to help them.  Of course, Tessa finds herself drawn to both Will and Jem, two of the Shadowhunters.

Fans of the Mortal Instruments series will find familiar names like Herondale and Lightwood, as well as familiar and favorite characters like Magnus Bane.  This book spoils nothing in Mortal Instruments series.

What I like about Clare is that she creates strong female characters without compromising their femininity. Sure, Tessa was shocked to learn that women in the Shadowhunters fought alongside the men, but when the going got rough, she doesn't wait on Will or Jem to save her. In fact, she relies on the story of Queen Boudica (who I also wrote about earlier in this blog) to help her fight.  She doesn't wrap up her happiness in finding true love.  She considers herself on equal footing with both her suitors.  

I don't know yet if I am Team Will or Team Jem in this series. I'm definitely Team Tessa, as I like this character. But we'll have to learn more about Jem and Will for me to make a decision there. And as any reader of the Mortal Instruments saga knows, Clare has some pretty dynamic plot twists that could have us all changing our minds.

Clare has written another winning book, and I can't wait for the sequel, which comes out in September 2011.

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