Review 17: The Infernal Devices series (Cassandra Clare)


Title: Clockwork Angel; Clockwork Prince; Clockwork Princess

Series: The Infernal Devices

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy

Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them… (Goodreads)


I’ve heard a lot about this series and this author, and I’m not sure if it lived up to the hype for me. I did find reading about the different groups (Shadowhunters and Downworlders) and their practices very interesting. I enjoy fantasy and books that focus on more than one race of magical beings. However, I did not enjoy some of the drama surrounding the characters, particularly the love triangle. There were other couples in the book that I felt got hit by instalove, all for the sake of pairing them off. The pacing also felt off to me, and I felt that the books dragged at times.

As much as I enjoyed reading about the groups on their own, I really liked seeing how they interacted with each other. Most of the Nephilim think that the other races are beneath them and are meant to be controlled (or killed). The other races think the Nephilim throw their weight around and use their angel blood as justification for killing. Vampires think werewolves are mindless animals, while werewolves think vampires are stuck up bloodsuckers, and the like. All this really rounded out the world for me.

I feel torn about the characterisation because I like some characters and dislike the others. Jem is my favourite out of the love triangle because he seems to be the most sensible. I like Tessa and Will enough, I suppose. However, I just couldn’t take the love triangle itself because of all the angst, all the teenage hormones spilling onto the page in the form of intimate physical contact. To be honest, I just kind of skimmed those bits. I preferred reading about Jem and Will, and how dedicated they are to each other and how much they love each other.

The secondary characters (or tertiary?) were my favourites. I loved Charlotte and Henry, and absolutely adored Magnus and Camille. Especially Magnus. Seeing how Magnus cared for Will, how he just wanted to help Will, and his attachment to the Shadowhunters. Now THAT is a love story that I would have preferred. As for my complaints, I really liked Jessamine at first but I didn’t like how her character development went. It felt like a cop-out and a disappointment.

Overall: This series gets three stars out of five because I did enjoy reading about their world, and the conflict between the different races. I enjoyed most of the characters, but not the love triangle. I did not swoon over it, I felt some bits were sweet, but it was ultimately just not my thing. The pacing tended to drag and I was wishing some bits were taken out, but it was still enjoyable enough. Not the best, but not the worst.


5 thoughts on “Review 17: The Infernal Devices series (Cassandra Clare)

  1. I loved TMI but this was just meh for me, I hated the stereotyping from the british “Allo there mate” to the Irish “Do you cook anything other than potatoes?”. I shipped Will and Jem, their relationship was stellar, Stupid Tessa getting in the way!

  2. I’ve never read The Mortal Instruments series, even if I’ve heard a lot of things about it. After reading The Infernal Devices, I agree that I didn’t really enjoy her writing and probably won’t be reading TMI. 😐

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