Thursday, September 2, 2010
A Masterpiece of Fiction: "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare
"There's plenty of sense in non-sense sometimes, if you wish to look for it." -Will
It's only one of my favorite lines of his, but I wanted to share it. :)
So, three days after purchase (which I did the morning of 'release day' of course) I have finished the book with much sadness (because it's over) and yet, anticipation (for Clockwork Prince; the 2nd book in the trilogy)! I am sure that I will go back soon to re-read Clockwork Angel so as to catch the things I missed, as I do tend to read fast and furious when I'm in the heat of the moment. By which I mean not only the exciting moments of the book itself but more importantly, the excitement of reading a masterpiece of fiction.
What is a "Masterpiece of Fiction"?
I'm sure we all have a similar definition for this, but here is mine; It is when I'm engrossed so completely in a story that I'm happy simply to be reading the book and nothing else can deter me from it...well, at least not anything short of the house being on fire...or possibly Matthew Bomer stepping into my bedroom, but that's a whole different story all together, yes?
We all have them...that one author who we love more than the others. Cassandra Clare it that writer for me and Clockwork Angel is yet another testament as to why. She not only takes you on a journey but feeds your imagination in a way that is not only emotional but visual and for me, spiritual. The latter I speak of is because I too am a writer and when I read Cassie's work my imagination for my own books becomes more inventive...it stretches its legs...it becomes clearer and more detailed. Few authors do this for me like she does.
Anyhoo...on to my review of the book, yes? As I see no reason to bleed my brain (which is what it feels like to try and fit a whole story into three small paragraphs) to give you the basic idea of the story, I will regurgitate the online summary for you at the end of this blog entry, okay? Scroll down and read it if you want now...I'll wait for you here.
Done? Good...let's continue!
So, I follow Cassie on Twitter and marvel at how she fields the same questions over and over...and love that she sometimes answers me! :) But, there is one thing that was constantly on my mind throughout the book, that was brought up on Twitter... and it's a very heavy concept...try to follow along if you can...
Team Will or Team Jem?
Hey now, it's a hard question. How does Cassie expect us to choose? Why can't we just ask Magnus Bane to turn them into ONE man and be done with it? Simple solution if you ask me. Silver hair, blue eyes, healthy, in touch with his feelings, passionate...and well, not an ass to those he loves. What? We can't do that? Bugger.
Okay, so...am I Team Will or Team Jem....??????
Let me think on it as I write this (because obviously 476 pages wasn't nearly long enough for me to think on it)...
As always Cassie has handed us an amazing throng of characters to connect with in a setting that is vivid, enticing, and complicated. Not that NYC for Mortal Instruments isn't a perfect setting...but this just adds interesting changes that bode well for the texture of the story. Now, something else I found interesting was that unlike in The Mortal Instruments, I became rather fond of some of the adults in this book. Yes yes the adults in MI are great characters, I'm not saying they aren't, but you don't really get to know them that well. In CA you get that honor, and I like that. I think secretly I have a thing for Henry, but don't tell Charlotte...I'd hate for THAT woman to have a problem with me!
Speaking of the female characters...they all are terribly complicated and completely different which is a testament to great writing if you ask me. Each have qualities you love, ones you don't, and yet they all fit together perfectly...no matter how different they are. Of them all I do love our leading lady, Tessa, but I have a special spot in my heart for Charlotte...I suppose as head of a theatre company in NYC I connect to her the most as she tries to prove herself to the Enclave as the head of the Institute in London. (Aunt Callida and Benedict Lightwood can suck it!...eh-hem...sorry...I just had to say it).
The boys (Will and Jem) are night and day. Will reminds me of my love for Jace so how can I not bend toward him? He's gorgeous, quick witted, a talented fighter, damaged emotionally, passionate and hides himself behind a bravado we can't help but enjoy. Jem is beautiful, graceful, attentive, empathetic, a good fighter, there when you need him and kind. Tessa says it perfectly at the end of the book, "Then came Jem, and then Will, looking like two chess pieces from some odd game, both Jem's silver hair and Will's tangled black locks set off by the pallor of their clothes. White Knight and Black Knight, Tessa thought as they went up the steps and vanished into the Institute."
How is one to choose just one young man? *sigh* But I suppose I must. The problem is you get to know Will more in this book than Jem. You get more emotional attention to him by Tessa so you're pulled to him more, even with his "issues". Because of this, the passionate young woman in me is very much Team Will...he is so much like Chase in so many ways...and the passion in his kisses, ugh--to die for! So how can I not be Team Will? BUT...as I have just turned 40 the sensible side of me is Team Jem all the way! Passion is wonderful but communication, kindness, gentleness, intelligence...well, they go a lot further. I think if we'd had a bit more Jem with Tessa time I'd be leaning even harder that way...
That said...for now...I am team Jem who secretly wants to be Team Will. I know. It's a sickness. How about this, I reserve the right to change my mind after book two! I need more info to be solid on this...I just do. But for now, I suppose I'm on Jem's side...while I dip my toe in Will's side of the pool. ;)
This blog entry truly has been long enough. I leave you with one of my LOL moments from the book...
Jessamine recoiled from the paper as if it were a snake. "A lady does not read the newspaper. The society pages, perhaps, or the theater news. Not this filth."
"But you are not a lady, Jessamine--," Charlotte began.
"Dear me," said Will. "Such harsh truths so early in the morning cannot be good for the digestion."
"What I mean," Charlotte said, correcting herself, "is that you are a Shadowhunter first, and a lady second."
That's all for now...the full online summary is below...I do so suggest you go out and get this book. And when you're done go get The 3 books of The Mortal Instruments. You'll thank me.
Have a great weekend...and happy reading to those who have not yet read CA!
xo Tamsin :)
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.