In 1878, 16-year-old orphan Tessa Gray sails for England to reunite with her older brother. Before she even sees him, she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters, members of the dangerous underworld society called the Pandemonium Club. The sisters, who brutally tap into Tessa’s ability to transform into other people, are grooming her for an even greater evil. As Tessa attempts a daring escape, she is rescued by a group of Shadowhunters, descendants of angels who combat demons. They welcome Tessa into their home and offer her protection; in turn, she must her use shape-shifting talents to help them destroy an android army and save her brother. As Tessa desperately comes to grips with her otherworldly identity, she must also unravel her very earthly feelings for William Herondale, a brooding Shadowhunter with demons of his own.

Cassandra Clare, beloved author of the Mortal Instruments series, has scored another hit with this much-anticipated prequel set in a sexy, steampunk Victorian England. The characters’ clothing, language and mannerisms and the era-appropriate poetry that precedes each chapter all draw the reader into this fascinating historical era. But what would the Age of Innocence be without the passion of first love? Everything from the late-19th-century clothing with its long hemlines and drab colors to the strict societal norms dictating courtship intensify Will and Tessa’s feelings. Will’s quick wit and bad-boy behavior make him Clare’s hottest hero yet.

Clockwork Angel certainly stands alone, but be forewarned: Once readers dive into this first book in the Infernal Devices series, they won’t be able to wait for the sequel.

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