Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel

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Clockwork Angel Summary

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Clockwork Angel (2010), Cassandra Clare’s young adult fantasy novel, is the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, which is the sequel to Clare’s bestselling The Mortal Instruments saga. Clockwork Angel follows a young girl who finds herself immersed in London’s supernatural underworld when she goes looking for her missing brother. An international bestseller, the book received numerous award nominations. Clare is a New York Times bestselling author of numerous young adult and middle-grade fantasy books. She’s best known for her debut series, The Mortal Instruments, which has been adapted for film and television.

Tessa Gray is a teenager moving from New York to London during the time of Queen Victoria. Her goal is to find her brother, Nate, who can look after her now that their aunt is dead. Nate wrote her a letter promising to meet her at the docks, but he isn’t there. Instead, two women, Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black, await her, saying that Nate sent them. Against her better judgment, Tessa gets into their coach.

Meanwhile, two boys, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs, are fighting demons in London. These demons are killing teenagers. Will and Jem are Shadowhunters, trained to kill demons and other supernatural monsters. Their investigations into more missing teenagers lead them to the Pandemonium Club, where they encounter Tessa.

Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black, otherwise known as the Dark Sisters, are holding Tessa hostage. Tessa can shapeshift into anyone she wants, living or dead, and the Dark Sisters want her power. Will and Jem rescue Tessa, taking her back to their own home at the London Institute, which is a haven for Shadowhunters from all over the world.

Because Tessa can shapeshift, she is someone that Will and Jem would usually hunt. However, they sense that she is not a full-blooded monster, and they need someone to help identify her nature. A senior Shadowhunter studies her, telling her that she is not quite a demon, but she’s not human, either. Will is quite taken with her, which doesn’t surprise anyone, since he has a reputation with the ladies. Jem, however, warns Will to keep his distance until they know more.

In the meantime, the Shadowhunters at the Institute promise to help Tessa find Nate. They believe that he is somehow connected to the Dark Sisters and their desire to steal powers from demons. Tessa thinks that her brother is sweet and kind and that he couldn’t possibly be involved with anything sinister. The Shadowhunters, however, believe that anything is possible.

The Shadowhunters agree that Tessa should pose as one of them so that she can gain access into privileged places. They believe that this will help them with their investigations. Tessa turns into a girl called Jessima; she plans to go to a ball wearing this disguise. The Dark Sisters will likely be there. However, their plans change when a local vampire tells them that there is trouble in the underworld, and other vampires are breaking the law.

Instead of changing into Jessima, Tessa becomes Camille, a powerful vampire. She goes to the ball, hoping to find out which vampires are breaking the law so they can be punished. However, when she discovers vampires trying to hurt Nate, she blows her cover, exposing herself as Tessa. Chaos ensues, and Will almost dies trying to get Tessa to safety.

They manage to grab Nate and drag him back to the Institute. Thanks to Nate, they discover that the head of the Pandemonium Club is making his own clockwork army to bring down the Shadowhunters. The soldiers in this army are demons trapped in mechanical, clockwork bodies, and they’re extremely difficult to kill. Tessa realizes that her brother isn’t so innocent after all, because he’s been working with these people.

Before Tessa can alert the Shadowhunters, Jem falls gravely ill. He is addicted to a life-altering drug that will eventually kill him. His hair, eyes, and even his body are turning grey. He has run out of the drug so he is having withdrawal symptoms. Tessa runs to alert Will, but the clockwork army attacks the Institute.

Soon, the Institute is swarming with clockwork automatons. Tessa doesn’t know how to fight them off, and she feels like a burden to the rest of the Shadowhunters. She faces off against Nate, who isn’t just working with the Pandemonium Club—he’s the leader’s accomplice. Tessa is heart-broken and betrayed, and her emotions make it difficult to concentrate.

The fighting rages on, and the Shadowhunters are losing. Tessa offers herself to the Pandemonium Club if they promise to spare the Shadowhunters. The leader, who calls himself the Magister, thinks someone like Tessa is a rare prize, and he agrees. However, before he can seize Tessa, she stabs herself and falls into a fountain. She buys the Shadowhunters a chance to regroup.

Will finds Tessa. He thinks she is dead. However, Tessa reveals that she shapeshifted before the wound turned fatal, healing herself. Now back in Tessa’s body, she is fine. She bought the Shadowhunters the time they needed to fight off the clockwork automatons for now, and the Institute is secured. Nate’s whereabouts is unknown.