Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
This title is the prequel to Clare’s amazing Mortal Instruments series, and the first in her new Infernal Devices series. (Do we sense a trend here???) This story takes places in the late 1800’s, when sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray’s guardian aunt dies, and she receives a letter from her brother in London with an ocean liner ticket for her to join him. Naturally, things are not a simple as they seem, and she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters upon her arrival, who claim to have her brother captive who they will kill if she doesn’t cooperate with them. They insist and training her to hone her shape-shifting skills, where she can turn into other people by holding an object that belonged to them. When Tessa finds out that their planning to give her to the Magister to marry, she realizes she must escape and is rescued shortly thereafter by two Nephilim Shadowhunters: Will and Jem. The plot become more complex as Tessa discovers that as a shape-shifter she is also a downworlder, moves into the London Institute, and begins to realize that her brother may not be the person she thought he was.
Clare’s rapid-fire plot does not disappoint, moving quickly from one crisis to the next. As in her other books, her characters are well-drawn, although we don’t learn much about Will’s mysterious past, the reader gets the sense that all will be revealed in future volumes. As always, I highly recommend this title for all science fiction and fanstasy fans, especially readers who were enthralled by The City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass.