Monday, March 3, 2014

Series Review: Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 479 Pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2010

From Goodreads:
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.

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 502 Pages
Publication Date: December 6, 2011

From Goodreads:
In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

 Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 565 Pages
Publication Date: March 19, 2013

From Goodreads:
London 1873 shape-shifter Tessa Gray 16 is engaged to Jem Carstairs 17, dying of addiction to demon drug, all bought up by evil Mortmain. The "clockwork prince" controls an army of automatons to abduct Tess, kill the Shadowhunters, and blackmail Charlotte Branwell, head of London Institute. Will and Tessa hide their love, for love of Jem.

It's rare that I want to read all the books in a series right in a row, but in this case it was an easy decision.  If you have not read any of the books by Cassandra Clare I would STRONGLY recommend starting with the Infernal Devices and then reading the Mortal Instrument series. 

Here are my favorite things about this series that I hope will convince you to read them. 

First, there is a strong and complicated relationship between the two male leads.  I enjoyed their relationship because they regularly express their feelings (admiration and disappointment) towards one another and the other characters.  I think this series provides  great examples of modern young men who can be tough and assertive but also expressive and nurturing. 

Second, there are some complex sexual identities that are great for teenagers and really all of us to be exposed to.  Magnus is clearly portrayed as bisexual with an interest in a female character as well as a male.  He is also shown to be able to have close emotional platonic friendships with other male characters.

Third. all of the amazing references to women challenging traditional gender roles.  Even though the stories are set during the Victorian period girls today can take so much from the stories.  I particularly loved the scenes with Charlotte, the head of the group, and her relationship with her husband, supporters, and critics.

Fourth, the supporting characters, in the form of servants, Downworlders, and other shadow hunters provide a lot of depth to this series and helped me to understand more about the world Clare has created. 

Finally, I love the style of writing.  I don't exactly know how Cassandra Clare does it but she describes the setting in just enough detail, keeps the pace moving but not rushed, and creates interesting characters that I care about and want to see happy even when they make atrocious decisions (Jessamine).

Posted By: Sheri


  1. I love this series so so much. And TMI, but Infernal Devices really holds a special place in my heart. It's just so freaking amazing. I love Jem and Will's relationship. The strong bond of friendship is just amazing. And yes to Charlotte! I loved how strong and confident she was. She wasn't afraid to stand up for herself and I loved that. So glad you enjoyed this series. It's definitely one of my favorites!

  2. I loved this trilogy! I especially loved it more than her Mortal Instruments series. I think the characters were less...naggy and irritating. Tessa was a great female lead in my opinion. Although I was Team Will, I grew to appreciate Jem. I didn't love him, but I appreciated him as a character.

    Like you said, there's just something about Cassandra Clare's writing that's enthralling and addictive. <3

    I've never read a series review before, so great job!

    Tori @ YA Book Queens

  3. Ya know, I might not have thought to list your first three bullets among things I love about this series, but I absolutely love these things (did that make any sense). They are strong messages that I appreciated while reading and help this book stand out but might not be obvious? Idk how to say it any other way but basically, perfect list and I am glad you enjoyed this series. It's one of my favorites!