Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-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.
I am convinced that Cassandra Clare herself is a Nephilim, because who could write this beautifully if they're NOT part angel?
I LOVED that this story was set in London, it was possibly one of my favorite aspects of the novel. I really love London during this particular time period and reading anything set there is really a treat for me. I really liked how it allowed different dynamics for the characters as well, like Tessa's worry about a woman's proper role and Jessamine's hopes for her future.
So now the characters. I really enjoyed Tessa, personally I found her to be a wonderful protagonist! I really enjoyed that she had an obvious literary side, and the way she really started to embrace her power. I also enjoyed the way she didn't take any of Will's crap! Oh Will, what do I say about the magnificent Will? First off, I definitely noticed similarities between him and Jace (for those of you who have read the Mortal Instruments series) they're both cocky in a lovable way. That said I'm not sure if I love Will as much as I love Jace, I still really enjoy him as a character, I'm just not sure if he's my favorite. Plus who could center all of their focus on Will when they have Jem vying for their attention? Jem, sweet Jem, how I enjoyed the wisdom of your character. At this point I just don't think I could choose between Jem and Will for the position of Tessa's love interest (although I'm leaning towards Will just a tad bit!)
So the characters, the setting, whats left? Oh right, that little thing called the plot! I loved it! It was really creepy at times, but totally enjoyable the entire time. I also loved that Tessa was a Downworlder rather than a Nephilim, I felt like it gave us an insight into a different side of that whole world. My only complaint would have to be that, at times, the parallels between The Mortal Instruments and Clockwork Angel were VERY prominent. However, I did definitely see this book as it's own separate entity.
This is definitely a book for any lover of The Mortal Instruments series or even for someone who has never even heard of them! I can't wait for the sequel!