I first discovered Cassandra Clare when a friend of mine gave me one of the books in The Mortal Instruments series. I devoured this (at the time) trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed the world that Clare had created. It is a world that exists within our own, but demons and supernatural creatures, such as faeries, also exist in the shadows outside the knowledge of mundanes (normal humans). In this world there is a race of people called Shadowhunters who have been tasked with sending the demons back to hell.
Clare was able to give a fresh twist on the supernatural genre that has oversaturated the market recently, especially within the Young Adult (YA) genre. So when I happened upon a new series she has written, set in the same world, but back in the 1800’s, I was thrilled. So far there have been two books in The Infernal Devices series: Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince.
Tessa Gray leaves America to join her brother in England. When she arrives in England she is held captive by two women she knows as the Dark Sisters and she discovers that she has the ability to shapeshift into other people. Once Tessa seems to have mastered her new ability, the Dark Sisters tell Tessa that she is to marry a man known only as the Magister. Tessa attempts to escape and, with the aid of two young Shadowhunters, she is able to do so. It does not take long for them to realize that there is much more going on than they are aware of and that the Magister is behind it all.
This new series has a lot of similarities to its predecessor. The female lead finds herself suddenly thrust into the world of Shadowhunters and the supernatural; one of the male leads is a dark, brooding character with a mysterious past and a sarcastic tongue; there is another male character that has a softer personality than the dark one and begins a friendship with the female; a love triangle develops between the three….there are more, but these are the most glaringly obvious. In spite of the similarities, though, there are enough differences in character and plot that my interest was maintained.
One of the really neat things for people who have read Clare’s earlier series is that there are a few familiar faces. Many of the supernatural beings that exist in this world are immortal, so even though a couple hundred years separate the two series these characters are able to exist in both. It is a nice treat, an added bonus, but certainly not necessary to ones understanding, so people who have not read the other series miss out on nothing that is happening.
The Infernal Devices is a really fun, YA series to escape into. It is not overly complicated or literary (in otherwords, it’s an easy read), but sometimes that is exactly what you need. For me, Clockwork Prince was the perfect book to read between books 3 & 4 in George R.R. Martin’s incredibly complex A Song of Ice and Fire series. I really do care about the characters and want to know what is going to happen to them. There is much we have learned by the end of Clockwork Prince, but there is still so much more we do not yet know. I can’t wait to learn the answers to all of my questions. It is with eager anticipation that I await the next and, I believe, final installment.
Have you read either of the books in The Infernal Devices series? What about The Mortal Instruments? What do you like or dislike about them? Let me know in the comments.