Monday, June 21, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare + Contest!

Pub date August 31st, 2010.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother in Victorian England, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she has the power to transform at will into another person. 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, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. She soon finds herself fascinated by - and torn between - two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose volatile moods keep everyone at arm's length. As their search draws them deep into a 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. (book back blurb)

Potential Spoiler Alert!!!
Really, I'm going to try not to give anything away of the plot but what one sees as mundane information another may see as spoiling. This also isn't going to be a glowing review. You've been warned.

When I read City of Bones, I didn't have much issue with the story itself as I did with the writing. The text was drowning in descriptions and the plot was very derivative. I didn't read on in the series because while I was entertained by the story, I wasn't entertained enough to try and slog through Clare's writing again. I have been told that her writing does get better as the series went on but I still didn't venture.

Until Clockwork Angel. I figured by now the writing's improved enough that it isn't going to be as hard for me to get through as CoB was and if it was anything like that book, at the very least I'd be entertained.

Well, thankfully the descriptions of doom did die down substantially. The similes were kept to a minimum and they didn't slap me in the face every time I came upon one (multiple times a sentence). Having said that, the overbearing descriptions were replaced by something more awkward. Every time I did hit a simile (which, as I said, was minimal), I felt that Clare tried to find something to compare whatever it was she was comparing to to but couldn't find the words so she just settled. It's hard to explain. The similes were lackluster and, to me, read rather defeatist. Tired. I found a lot of redundant descriptions that even with a little effort could have been avoided. It was rather disheartening.

As for the overall story, it was slow. Very slow. A lot of exposition. A lot of information is learned from the characters listening in on meetings or having sit-downs or going for walks or whathaveyou. There was much by the way of talking heads and little by the way of action. Tessa was kind of getting shoved around from plot point to plot point without much will of her own. Not to say she wasn't a strong character, but instead of her moving the plot, the plot moved her. Slowly. While I found CA a faster read than CoB, I wasn't nearly as entertained and at times was rather bored with all of the eavesdropping. I get there was a lot of information to be had in this book but there are better ways to relay it.

The whole love theme talked about in the blurb is a shadow to the overall story. It's so slight that, personally, I don't think it bears mentioning in the blurb itself. As for the tearing love triangle, I didn't feel much of that either. I didn't think Tessa's "attraction" to Jem was anywhere near what I think it was to Will. By the blurb you'd think she were equally pulled to both boys. I didn't get that. But I'm sure I can see which boy she chooses by the end of the series. What girl wouldn't want to attempt to reform the asshole prick that treats her like shit? Such attractive qualities, I know. Really, there is nothing appealing about Will. He's an asshole. Yeah, he's had some bad stuff happen to him in the past (which we don't know about even as the story closes) but it doesn't make it okay for him to be a jerk to everyone. But oh, that's just Will. Blech.

The plot as a whole feels really familiar, like I've read something like it before. Really I felt the only thing that was original was the Shadowhunter deal but the more I read about their runes and all the "help" those things provide, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. A rune for opening doors. For protection. For healing. For everything you could possible need. It just seemed contrived. As for the plot: evil megalomaniac has bid for world domination, uses evil robot us-es to attempt to get it (ten points if you get that reference), wants to make confused yet super-powerful girl his wife to parasite her power, girl gets saved by superheroes, whom she teams up with to save the day. It's just . . . blah.

As for the actual clockwork angel . . . don't think you're going to find out what that is. Just don't even think about it when you start reading the book and don't try to keep guessing as the story goes along. If there is an answer, it's not in this book.

I liked a lot of the history and my favorite part was where Tessa was with the Dark Sisters. Unfortunately that was the very beginning of the book. The tension just seemed more real. I liked the mystery and the intrigue but once she's out of there, I found my mind wandering.

Overall, I was actually much more disappointed with Clockwork Angel than I was with City of Bones. The writing's nominally better albeit heinously overwritten and the story's short on action and on giant in talking heads. I see the book as being entirely exposition for what's coming in the series. Tessa gets to London. Shenanigans ensue. She now realizes what she must do. I could have lived without it but I hope it ends up in the hands of someone that'll appreciate it more than I did.


Contest Time!!!

With stipulations! I want to make sure this book gets into the hands of someone that'll read it and then spread the word about it. I don't normally limit contests like this but considering the popularity of Clockwork Angel, I don't want the copy getting sucked into oblivion, never to be seen again.

ONLY A BOOK BLOGGER CAN WIN THIS BOOK!!! Not a cake blog, a bible camp blog or a cross stitch blog. A BOOK BLOG. Yup. You heard that right. You must have a book blog to enter, at least 3 months old with an average posting rate of 2 to 3 entries per week. You will also acknowledge that you agree to review the book once you're done reading it. No time frame but the word should be spread about it. If you do not meet this criteria, do not enter. I will be verifying all entries and those that don't fit will be deleted. Other than that, fill out the form below and good luck!


36 comments:

E.J. Stevens said...

Wow, thanks for the giveaway! I know what you mean about wanting to spread the word when you find an incredible book. Now I really can't wait to read this one. :)

xx,
E.J.

The Lovely Reader said...

Wish I could enter, but my blog's only about a month and a half old. Too bad. Hope someone with lots of followers gets this one, so lots of people get to hear about it. This is the first bad review I've seen so far, but you're always honest, which I love :)

Adriana said...

I felt the same way as you did about City of Bones and haven't read the rest of the books in the series. Thanks for the giveaway, although I wont be entering since I'll probably feel the same about this one.

Orchid said...

OMZ! I hope I win. I love, love Cassandra Clare's books and cannot wait to read this book. :)

T.V and Book Addict said...

haha I love the giggidy thing you have there.

I am very curious about this book and I'd rather win it or check it out of a library than buy it bc I did not much fancy the chick's previous series.

Blueicegal ♥ said...

man i am so glad to see a giveaway for the clockwork angel i adore the series so seeing it as a giveaway is such a treat thanks!

vampireprincess said...

Haven't read the others yet but have been hearing all about this book everywhere. I entered with my new blog but also had a linked to my old blog. Great giveaway. Would love to win this

Kate said...

Oh yay! Ive been wanting to review this! :)

Bianca said...

Great giveaway! In one of my challenges I'm doing (3 4 5 reading challenge) I'll be reading The Mortal Instruments series and would love the chance to win this!

Tata said...

I would love to win this!!! \o/ [2]

Ѽ Cαяℓα said...

wow, I really want to win! I'm dying to read this book. Kisses

dulcesimmer said...

OMG.Thank you for this Contest..

Elie said...

Sorry this sucked. but I want to read it anyway.

Cleverly Inked said...

Awesome!

Lisa R said...

Gee, I was really looking forward to this. I still wouldn't mind giving it a shot although I have put it on hold purchasing in. If it totally sucks, I can pass it on yet again. though a new follower, I've been blogging about 6 months now.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

miss cindy :) said...

The cover looks great, awesome HONEST review :)

MissHavoc said...

thank you so much for the opportunity to read this! sorry you didn't like it. i'm a huge TMI fan and am hoping to love ID. thank you again!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the honest review, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one but I guess books can't suit everyone. I haven't started reading the Mortal Instruments series yet but I've heard a lot of good things about that & Clockwork Angel so I'm curious about giving them both a try :o)

Thanks for hosting the giveaway

Donna said...

You're all very welcome! And thanks for understanding about the review!

mm_megan said...

Thanks for the honest review. :)

I read an excerpt of Clockwork Angel on Cassandra Clare's website actually and I wasn't too impressed. I still want to read it though, since I worship the Mortal Instruments.

If my blog was two months old, I'd be all up on this challenge. As it is, I started up just two days ago. Talk about unfortunate timing, haha. =)

http://bringmebooks.blogspot.com

Josette said...

Hi, I like the sound of the story of Clockwork Angel. I love historical fiction!

I'm also a new follower and thanks for the giveaway. :) Your blog looks fabulous!

Dee said...

Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway! I hope I win! I've been dying to get my hands on this booK! hehe :-)

Savannah said...

Thanks so much for this giveaway! I am so excited!!!

Haku said...

Hi awesome giveaway! I filled out the form!

Mandarina said...

Hello, what is the mean of "GIGIDDY"?

i am spanish haha

Mary (BookHounds) said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! I am so glad someone got to read this early!

Bookaholic (Jessica) said...

Thanks for the chance to win Clockwork Angel. I loved the other books by Cassandra Clare so I was really hoping this one would be just as great. Thanks for the honest review though :) That's why I like coming here.

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

Heh, thanks for the review! I've heard so much about CLOCKWORK ANGEL that I was starting to wonder (after starting CITY OF BONES and not liking it) whether I should give the series another chance... sounds like I won't be! Thanks for such a thoughtful and considered review, it's so helpful!

And yeah, I'm not eligible to enter since my blog (at least recently) isn't that bookish, but I gotta say I don't think I'd want to win this one anyway. :D

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thank you for the great review and awesome contest!!

AtenRa said...

Thanks for the amazing contest!I'd never believe there'd be a giveaway with this one!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I felt the same way about the writing in City of Bones. The plot was a little too scattered for me as well. But, I read it for a local YA book group and the kids LOVED it. I mean, they were enraptured by it. So, as a teacher who hopes to connect kids with books that they'll like, I like to read what kids are reading and keep up with the trends. And Cassandra Clare is definitely a trend.

Here's to hoping I win so that I can stay trendy. (Which is something I haven't said since 1989, I think!)

Sandy! said...

One question: does manga count as book? =D thanks anyway

Candace said...

I want to read this book SO bad! I hope that I find it better then you did, but I've read some positive reviews so I'm not too worried about it. Though if I don't LOVE it I will be disappointed! Thanks for the giveaway!

Khelsea @ Once upon a review said...

Eh i cant remember if I filled out the form or not! Im sorry! If i did please delete my first one, thanks!

sRy_ said...

I don't know the meaning of gigiddy, too :)
thanks for make it international :)

Audra said...

Just found your blog via...EJ Stevens, I think. Going to be stalking your reviews a bit -- you love just what I love! I entered the contest but I'm going to read this book whether I win a copy or not -- it sounds so delicious!

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