Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices #1
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
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.
Clockwork Prince: The Infernal Devices #2
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Clockwork Princess: The Infernal Devices #3
Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING
A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.
Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.
As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?
Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, paranormal
Overall series rating: 4⭐️
I absolutely flew through this series and found it very addictive and enjoyable. Since I read the entire trilogy in a matter of days and it is such a well-read series in the book community, I wanted to review the series in one post rather than multiple posts.
One question I had before reading this series was: do I need to read the entire mortal instruments series to understand what is going on? I read the first three books a long time ago and couldn’t get through the entire series. I was bored and had no desire to finish them. I was hesitant to pick up this series but ended up being very happy I did. To answer my question above, no not really. The story was easily followed with no prior knowledge and is a standalone trilogy. However, I did have some baseline knowledge since I read some of the TMI books and this enhanced my enjoyment of the story and world-building. I know there were also references and names that I missed because I didn’t finish the TMI series. It didn’t bother me, but I definitely googled some things along the way.
This series follows Tessa, a girl who discovers she has the power to change shape, as she is immersed into of the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Tessa herself, she discovers, may not even be human. Her path leads her to the institute where she meets Will, Jem, Charlotte, Henry, Jessamine, Sophie and other characters. The overarching plot involves automaton creatures that keep popping up to cause destruction and someone named the Magister who is holding a serious grudge against the Shadowhunters. And he wants Tessa.
I honestly can’t remember specific events in each book, it feels like one big long story to me (probably because I binged them in a few days 😅). The first book was good, the second book was better, and the third book was great. Once we hit book two, the action does not stop and the stakes are higher than ever because we are so attached to each of the characters.
While the plot with the Magister, automatons and demons is good, the heart of the story is the relationship between Will, Jem, and Tessa. Will and Jem are already very close as parabatai and love each other like brothers. They are both hiding their secrets, but it is clear from the beginning that their bond is precious. When Tessa joins the crew she bonds with both of the boys and eventually falls in love with them, but the love is so well done and respectful. It felt genuine they way things all played out and I was impressed with how well-written the love triangle was. Love triangle aside, the trio truly cared for each other and it was a bond worth reading about.
In terms of side characters, I really enjoyed Charlotte. She is a position of power in Victorian England, which is not easy for a young woman. I enjoyed watching her character develop as she gains the confidence to be a trusted, loyal leader. Henry, her husband, is quirky and misunderstood and not always well-liked by other Shadowhunters. Charlotte stands by him despite all this and watching their relationship develop and blossom was beautifully done throughout the series.
In the third book we see more of other characters such as Gideon, Gabriel and Sophie as they play a larger role in the plot. I thought I would get lost with so many characters but I enjoyed each and every one of their plot lines. We start to see more strain on Will, Jem and Tessa’s relationship due to the boys’ feelings and Jem’s failing health. Despite the fact that they had conflict, this trio loves each other so deeply and I am happy with how it all played out, even though there was quite a bit of emotional turmoil along the way. Tessa finally comes into her own as a character as she learns more about her history and her power as a shapeshifter – I loved seeing her character develop. And finally, that epilogue was so bittersweet. It could not have been more perfect. 😭
I am so happy I decided to pick up this series and it is guaranteed to get you out of a reading slump. The Infernal Devices was such a great trilogy and I highly recommend if you are like me and want to give Cassandra Clare books another try. I can’t wait to continue the other series and see more of these characters.
I did include a spoiler section at the very end, so if you are the one person on earth who hasn’t read this series yet, don’t read that part if you don’t want to be spoiled!
I mostly wanted to talk about the epilogue because Will, Jem and Tessa was such a perfectly executed YA love triangle and I personally loved it. Tessa is quite lucky to get not one but two lifetimes full of great loves, and while each love is very different, they were both special in their own way.
I know some people say that Tessa didn’t love Jem as much as she loved Will, but after reading the trilogy I think she did. She just loved them differently. Will was beautiful, passionate and forbidden (for a time). He made her laugh, he read the same books as her and she was attracted to him, but she didn’t love him until much later in the series. Part of the reason she fell in love with Will was because of his love for Jem, which makes all of their lives that much more intertwined. And sweet Jem. Jem was more of a slow-burn for Tessa, but she loved him. Will rejected her time and time again (I know he had his reasons) and she eventually turned to someone else’s company she enjoyed and grew to love. There was a trust, respect and attraction between them that was undeniable.
While I found it sad that Tessa doesn’t age while her loved ones do, I like that Clare included this problem because it is always ‘magically’ resolved in every other mortal/immortal love story. Will & Jem were both so lovely and I’m glad they each get to spend a lifetime with the woman they love. I do think it’s sad that Will & Jem only got 5 years together though, this seems so little compared to the time Tessa gets with each of them! Overall, I adored this trio and thought they 100% carried the series.