Clockwork Angel Book Review

Published on 13 July 2023 at 15:56

I just finished reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. Normally, I'm a pretty fast reader, especially if I can't put the book down, but with this particular book I had a hard time wanting to continue reading it. I always finish the books I pick up from the library because not finishing stresses me out, so I read it completely. I don't know what it was about this book, but I just didn't feel drawn into the story. I know that Cassandra Clare's books have a solid fanbase, and I know that the author put in a lot of work and effort into writing (I say this as an aspiring writer since age 5), so this is just my thoughts after reading it, no hate. It simply wasn't my cup of tea.

First, Tessa is a reader. Specifically, books like Little Women, Tale of Two Cities, Ivanhoe, and books by Charles Dickens are brought up by Tessa and Will. I've read most of the books that were discussed, but I feel like her love of books felt forced. She only ever discusses books and reading with Will, who then shows her a huge library. They quote lines from the books and everything, and it felt unnatural. 

Secondly, Will is an unlikable character in my opinion. There are plenty of other male characters in books with the whole sarcastic/mean/bad boy vibe that are able to execute it better. Aaron Warner from the Shatter Me series comes to mind, as does Mr. Darcy, Nico Di Angelo, Rhysand, and others. Those other characters are still able to touch my heart even when they're pretending to be uncaring, sarcastic, etc. Will simply came across as rude, especially to characters like Charlotte who genuinely care about him. He even goes as far as to insult Tessa with an indecent proposition towards the end of the book. I know he probably has some tragic backstory or secret, but I think he takes his act too far. 

Third, the romance in this book didn't have enough sparks. I think Tessa, Jem, and Will are supposed to be a love triangle, but I'm struggling to buy it. There were comments from both boys about Tessa being pretty, and Tessa also thinks the boys are pretty, but that's it. Will and Tessa kiss a couple times, both times without much build up to it, and not enough previous interactions to justify it. There were those book discussions between Will and Tessa, but other than that Tessa just spent time wondering why Will is the way he is. I guess all three of them lack chemistry. 

Fourthly, the plot was too slow at times. I think that book felt slow until right before the end. There wasn't a lot of action and also not a lot of developing the relationships between all the characters introduced, it was mostly reading Tessa's thoughts. The world building was good, we found things out along with Tessa, but if there wasn't going to be a lot of action I would have liked to see more moments between the main characters and the side characters like Agatha and Thomas. It all comes back to the characters not making me like them or drawing me in. 

Also, the scene in the Dark House with the dead people was unnecessarily descriptive, it made me feel like I was watching a horror scene. Another thing I didn't like reading was the situation with Tessa's mother "not knowing she was unfaithful" to Tessa's father. I want that to be explained completely, because it sounds horrible and makes me feel terrible for her mother. 

I think I will read the next two books just to see if I like the series better as things continue to unfold, but I truly hope I like the characters more as I read them, because right now I really don't like Will and Tessa's situationship. Like I said, this is simply my opinion so far because I haven't finished the series and Will isn't very lovable at the moment.


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