Clare, Cassandra. (2010). Clockwork Angel. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Textbook: Chapter 7
Possible Curriculum Connections: Fantasy Genre Study in High school English Class
Sixteen year old Tessa has just moved to London to find her brother Nate after her Aunt Harriet passed away. Tessa is surprised to find her brother is not at the station to pick her up, and instead, some scary looking women hand her a note from Nate that says she needs to go with them. Tessa soon realizes that these scary looking ladies really are scary! They are the Dark Sisters who are part demon, and they hold Tessa hostage and train her to use a power that she did not know she had. Tessa has the ability to change into any person, did or alive, if she has something of theirs in her possession. Luckily, two boys, Jem and Will, come to save Tessa, and they take her to the Institute, which is a place for people with magical gifts or abilities to stay safe. The Shadowhunters who live in the Institute are trying to find the Magister, who is the one responsible for holding Tessa hostage, and they are also trying to locate Tessa's brother, Nate. Throughout their quest, Tessa begins to make friends with Jem, and is beginning to fall in love with Will. The Magister tricks the Shadowhunters and breaks into the Institute by using robot like machines, and then escapes. The Shadowhunters will continue to look for the Magister and keep London safe in the next books in the series.
Personal Reaction/ Why Teens Would Want to Read this Book:
I had a difficult time reading this novel. Although I liked the overall idea of the book, I struggled with the heaviness of the beginning. I felt like I was bogged down with a lot of details, and I struggled to follow the plot. As the book went on, it did get better, but I am not sure that I want to read the next books in the series. I often struggle with the fantasy genre anyway, but this book did have a unique plot. It reminded me of Harry Potter mixed with Sherlock Holmes.
Although it was not my favorite novel, I feel like most young adults would like this novel. The plot is action packed, there is a bit of a love story, and fantasy is a very popular genre right now. I am sure that both male and female high school students would find something to like in this novel, and it is a plus that it is a series because series books are also extremely popular right now. This is a book I would recommend to high school students who enjoy the fantasy genre.