RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Roundup: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.There was not a review submitted for the RITA® Reader Challenge, so out we go for more reviews.

Book CoverPlot Summary: When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. 

This book has averaged 4.26 stars on Goodreads and has over four thousand reviews, holy smoke.

Annie wrote in her four-star review:

I can’t say if this novel, being a prequel and all, is better or worse that the original series, but I will tell you I loved this novel. It was fast paced and the characters were witty, especially Will. TEAM WILL here all the way! Tessa had her moments when I didn’t connect with her, but she somehow found a way to redeem herself and draw me back in.

This book is available from Amazon | Kindle | BN & nook | WORD Brooklyn  |

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Tina C. says:

    This book was a DNF for me.  After nearly 250 pages (halfway through the book), I barely knew more about the heroine than was mentioned on the book flap and the two supposed “heroes” were practically nonentities.  I don’t consider this book a romance or even, really, a book with romantic elements.  What it was, at least to me, was a well-written, atmospheric, descriptive bore.  (I knew more about the two houses that the heroine had been kept in than any of the actual characters.)

  2. 2
    Lori says:

    I don’t care that this makes me sound like the not-good kind of bitch——I hate it that Cassandra Clare was nominated for any kind of award. Yup, still bitter.

  3. 3
    Kelly says:

    I’m with Lori. CC’s reputation was forever tarnished for me with the plagiarism episode and complete lack of contrition, I’d never pick up one of her books because of it.

  4. 4
    Pear says:

    So, I started reading Cassandra Clare before I ever heard about the plagiarism stuff. And, while in theory I think I should be mad that she’s getting published, I enjoy her books. I actually bought them, mostly in hardcover. Maybe that’s wrong, but…well, I can’t say I actually feel that bad.

    I did enjoy Clockwork Angel immensely (I’m craving more steampunk now), but I felt the romantic element was a bit weak for what I’d think a RITA-read book should be. This is the first in a trilogy, and it sets up a love triangle that wasn’t resolved by the end of the book and probably won’t be until the final book is released.

    I enjoyed it, and the literary allusions were wonderful (CC does a good job at that), but on a grade for the romantic element…I wouldn’t choose this for the YA winner. There were some nice romantic scenes, but none were really about LOVE. It’s too early for the characters to really be in love.

  5. 5
    EbonyMcKenna says:

    I’ve read this but it didn’t really grab me even though I was all ready and willing to completely fall in love with it.

    It was a good adventure but there were times when a major turning point happened off the page – or mentioned as having happened in the past. Specifically when Tessa discovers her powers. This was all told in past tense, the reader didn’t see it play out in front of them. I felt a bit cheated, to be honest.

    With 4,000 reviews and an average over 4 stars on Goodreads, there are plenty of people who absolutely adore it.

  6. 6
    Michelle says:

    I refuse to read the work of a known plagiarist.

  7. 7
    Heather says:

    Don’t read her, won’t read. I don’t reward plagiarists.


  8. 8
    Cats says:

    I agree with everyone else. Known plagiarist, and the fact that she gets published and recognition like this makes me sick.

    (Nevermind that her books are suspiciously like her fanfic, the seat of her plagiarism. So hooray for enjoying thinly-veiled Harry Potter characters, I guess?)

  9. 9
    Jen D says:

    I always feel a little queasy when I see her books. I can’t reward the “work” of a known plagiarist in good conscience. I don’t care how good it might be.

    …so yeah, adding my voice to the chorus, I guess. The more of us who continue to remember it, the better.

  10. 10
    naked spinster says:

    Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series and Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series are two of my favorite Steampunk romance series. 

    I didn’t know anything about the plagiarism situation until way after I had read a couple of Clare’s novels.  Beyond her terrible ethics is her terrible writing style.  I couldn’t get past it even though I wanted very badly to like the Shadowhunters and their ilk.

  11. 11
    Pear says:

    @naked spinster

    Thanks for the recs!  :-)

  12. 12
    Sycorax says:

    I used to be all rah! about the fan fic plagiarism as well, but I’m ok now with writing it off as a youthful fuck up. Of course, it would help if she had apologised. I think the lack of contrition has been one of the things that has kept this scandal alive and well even outside of the HP fandom community. The similarities between her trilogy and the Harry Potter series can’t have helped either, and it’s even funnier when you recognise the characters from her fan fiction.

    I find with her writing that the purple prose and insane similes get in the way of the story. Also, her love interests are jerks. Fuck you, Jace Wayland.

  13. 13
    Ellen James says:

    I think plagiarism is disgusting, which is why I don’t read Cassandra Clare’s books.

  14. 14
    Kilian says:

    @naked spinster:  Heartless, the newest title in the Parasol Protectorate was released yesterday. Doing the happy dance for steampunk! Thanks for the info re Iron Seas; I’ll check it out.

    building68 – if it weren’t for Kindle, I would be building 68 bookcases to house my books. Now I carry my library in my hand.

  15. 15
    Afroqueen says:

    I enjoyed the 1st book in the Immortal Instruments series…I barely got through the 2nd book and skipped through the pages of the 3rd one and then read the ending.  I didn’t know about the plagarism until afterwards, but after being so into the first book and being so disappointed by other two, I decided that she’s not such a good author afterall, if she can’t keep me interested in a series that had me hooked in the first book.

    @ Sycorax…I totally agree about Jace…he was one of the reasons I couldn’t get into the other books…what a douche.

  16. 16

    I enjoyed the novel, but Tessa was a pretty weak character for the first 2/3 of the novel. But I have wrote about that at length here:


    Let me know what you think!

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