Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Clockwork Angel Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with my first summer reading challenge post! I decided to try something a little different and write this as I was reading, since this trilogy is (almost) the only thing I'm reading this summer that isn't a re-read. I made sure to note the page that I was on whenever I decided to make a comment or quote. I may or may not continue this format for everything this summer, but it did help to break up the reading and to collect my thoughts, so I might keep on doing it.

That being said, in the "As I Read" section, there are spoilers for this book (and The Mortal Instruments, perhaps) since I did update as I was reading. I'm going to put my overall opinion and book discussion down below the "As I Read" section, and there will be a non-spoilery section, so if you want to scroll down there and check it out, you can!

Book Summary

No spoilers in this section! Our main character is Tessa Gray, a teenage girl from New York City, who is travelling to London to meet up with her brother, Nate. Once she gets there, she's kidnapped by two women called the Dark Sisters, members of something called the Pandemonium Club. Tessa discovers that she has the ability to change into different people, and that The Magister- the head of the Pandemonium Club- wants to use her because of this power. She escapes and takes refuge with London's Shadowhunters- people who fight to rid the world of demons, and finds herself in the middle of a conflict which has more to do with her than she originally believed.

As I Read...

Page 86: Tessa: "Perhaps he's in love with Agatha." Will: "I hope not. I intend to marry Agatha myself. She may be a thousand years old, but she makes an incomparable jam tart. Beauty fades, but cooking is eternal."
Amen, Will Herondale. Amen.

Page 100: Jem plays the violin! Love, love love!

Page 130: "Well, she's not responding to my advances," he observed more brightly than he felt, "so she must be dead."
Will Herondale: constantly reminding me of Jace...

Page 186: I think I'm officially in love with Jem. He's such a sweetie. I just wanna give him a big hug.

Page 201: "How clearly can you see the thoughts of the dead? For instance, if I gave you an item that had once belonged to my father, would you know what he was thinking when he died?"
Jem's doing a great job of tugging at my heartstrings...
Also, his eyes are silver. I've always thought that grey/silver eyes are extremely attractive.

Page 224: "Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book. It's easier to know what they would do."
Will Herondale gets me, y'all.
But I still think I like Jem a bit more.

Page 233: MAGNUS BANE! Magnus Bane has entered the book and everything is sunshine and rainbows and glitter.

Page 268: "There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn't."
So sassy, William.

Page 272: OK, Cassandra Clare, stop being so secretive. I just want to know what's wrong with poor Jem. Gabriel said something about Jem when Will referenced opium, but I'm not sure that really makes sense. It almost seems like there's a demon inside of him, but I would think that would be causing him to act oddly, and it doesn't. Hmmm... hope it's answered in this book.

Page 275: I'm setting it down for the night, so I figured I should give my opinions so far. Unlike most of the first-time reads I've had so far this year, I find it very hard to read this series critically. I fell in love with TMI two and a half years ago, and it's been a long time since I've dived into this world. Reading the ID is almost nostalgic, even though it's set in a different time with different (but similar) characters. I have a feeling that although better series exist, probably with better writing, plot, whatever, all of the books set in the Shadowhunter world will probably continue to be among my all-time favorites because of how head-over-heels I fell in love with TMI upon a first read.

That being said, I'm really enjoying Clockwork Angel. I wasn't so sure at the beginning, but once we fully delved into the Shadowhunter world (nephilim, vampires, and warlocks- oh my!), that "Cassandra Clare book" feeling hit and it felt very familiar. Not in the way that it's unoriginal or anything, but rather that I understand this world and feel at home in it. It was especially nice to see characters who overlap from TMI, such as Magnus and Camille. Although I daresay I wasn't terribly excited to see Camille.

Page 293: Kudos to Cassandra Clare for waiting until almost 300 pages in to really get into the romance. The romance in so many of the books I've read lately has felt like instalove, whether because it was actually instalove or because it seemed rushed. But Cassie's taking her time, and I like that.

Page 307: Now I'm really curious why everyone seems to love Will Herondale. He's cool and all, but Jem is so sweet . And he plays the violin.

Page 338: Finally! Finally, we’re going to learn about Jem’s illness!

Page 340: Addicted to demon poison… wasn’t expecting that one. But my guess wasn’t terribly far off!

Page 399: Well that’s a plot twist if I do say so myself… Didn’t see that one coming. We’d gotten so used to the idea that de Quincey is the Magister. It’s pretty clear to me at this point, now that we know that de Quincey is not the Magister, that it’s actually Mr. Mortmain. And if it’s not, then we at least know that he’s a villain, because he claimed de Quincey was the Magister, as well as claiming that Mrs. Black was alive again. But we’ll see what happens. 

And... that's where I stopped taking note of things because I got so into the book that I simply couldn't put it down. So much happened, and it was just so crazy. Anyway, on to the non-spoilery overview.

Overall thoughts...

Now that I'm getting into this series, a lot of the hype surrounding it is surprising to me. Everyone has said that it's way better than The Mortal Instruments, but so far I'm just not seeing how it's leaps and bounds better. Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely loving this series so far. I'm just a little surprised by the fact that everyone seems to think it's so much better. So far, I think the books are on the same level. But who knows, the second and third books could be even better.

That being said, just as I loved The Mortal Instruments series, I'm loving The Infernal Devices. At first, I was a bit annoyed at some of Tessa's antiquated tendencies even though they were common for the time, but once we got into it, that went away a bit. I've said this before, but I love this Shadowhunter world that Cassandra Clare has created and it's always a pleasure to dive back into it.

Also, although I really like Will Herondale, I once again am surprised by the intense love he gets on booktube. Compared to Jace from TMI (the obvious comparison, here), I still prefer Jace. Honestly, I'm really loving Jem a lot more than Will. Obviously, there's a lot more to find out about Will, so I guess I could change my mind, but I think Jem has sufficiently stolen my heart.

One thing I did have a small problem with is that Cassandra Clare has kinda created the same dynamic between the main characters in this book as she did in City of Bones. We have our female protagonist, who is new to the Shadowhunter world and is trying to learn about it, while simultaneously worried about a family member. We have one lead male- sarcastic, charming, witty, moody- but who seems very deep and has some family issues. Then, there's our other lead male- a bit quiet and unassuming, parabatai with the other lead male. Finally, we have our secondary female, who is very feminine and who we immediately dislike (but will probably come to love at some point). I love the dynamic between these characters, but the similarities are undeniable, and it seems really unoriginal to practically write the same characters again. But yet, I love them.

Another small complaint is that I think Cassandra assumed that the reader would have already read The Mortal Instruments. While I definitely think that the reader gets a good sense of the Shadowhunter world, I don't think that it was explained as thoroughly as in TMI. But I have a feeling that most people wouldn't pay too much attention to that.

As I was reading, I marked parts that I really liked. The blue sticky notes are Will moments (mostly an especially sassy comment), the purple ones are Jem moments (mostly places where I exclaimed, "Aww!"), and that one green one that you can barely see is where Magnus Bane shows up. Because it's Magnus.

OK, before spoilers, I'll give my overall opinion. I really enjoyed Clockwork Angel. I loved the characters and the world and the plot, despite a few minor flaws. Overall, I'd have to give it 4.5 stars out of 5.  

Spoilery Discussion!

I almost didn't do a spoilery section, but I did want to talk about those twists near the end. 

Honestly, I didn't see the twist coming at all. Usually, I can see what's coming, but when it was revealed that de Quincey wasn't the Magister, I was really surprised. Although only a couple characters told us that he was the Magister, it was extremely easy to accept, and when we were told otherwise, I was surprised. As I mentioned in my last "As I Read" update, I did figure out what was going on immediately upon being told that de Quincey wasn't the Magister. However, I still failed to realize that Nate betrayed his sister. That one surprised me too.

I was also surprised when we realized that there's a good possibility that Tessa can't have children, because I was pretty sure she'd end up with Will and that we'd learn a bit about her great-great-great grandchild in TMI (not going to go into that, in case you haven't read TMI). However, since we really aren't sure if she's truly a warlock, maybe she can have children? Who knows...

So Tessa, Will, and Jem. I wouldn't be surprised if Tessa and Will ended up together. But seriously, Jem is the one she should end up with. I really, really, really love Jem. As seen in my book marks, there were so many parts where Jem was just so sweet. He's sarcastic and funny like Will, but he's just so sweet. I want to give him a big hug.

OK, so that's all for this summer reading challenge post! So, the preliminary plans for the posts this week are: CDs On My Shelf will probably be out on Thursday. My As I Read for Clockwork Prince will probably be out Friday or Saturday. My One Day Tumblr Challenge post will be on whichever of those two days that the Clockwork Prince post isn't on. And that's about as far as I've gotten. 

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all in a few days!

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