Cassandra Clare: The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel)

| London, April 1878.

| The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.

Thus the story commences. The Clockwork Angel (the first book under the trilogy called The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments by the same author. While it was Clary in The Mortal Instruments (TMI), this time it’s Tessa Gray. As far as I’m concerned they just got too many things in common I almost thought Tessa was Clary’s previous incarnation.

Tessa, like Clary, was also brought up not knowing who she really is. And when they were awakened to their true selves, they almost always did not have time before they are flung into some conflict their innocence can barely catch up with. And while there’s a Jace in TMI, there’s a Will in TID. Again, these guys always are gifted with super good looks, have an air of too much confidence, and always with some kind of pain hidden inside. And sidekicks who are equally good looking but with some form of weakness, e.g. being gay (pardon me if this is not supposed to be a weakness), or having an irreversible illness.

Having read 4 of Cassandra Clare’s books, I have now began to wonder how other readers are imagining how the characters look. Of course, Cassandra Clare has commissioned an artist to paint the characters (the book covers themselves are not much of a help as they don’t show the faces). There’s a site called,, that showed some artworks (by Val Freire) of how the characters look. Here are some of his works.

Will, Tessa, and Jem.

Jessamyn, George, and Charlotte.

See more of Val Freire‘s art here.

I hope though that if ever these novels are given a chance in the movies, the casts would give justice to the good looks that Cassandra gave them. The artworks just seem to fall short of what I imagined these guys should look. But I do have suggestions.

Tom Welling of Smallville seem cool enough as Will. What do you think?

Would Emma Watson be good enough as Tessa?

I also found that some enterprising folks have created pendants, rings, and other jewelry based on Cassandra Clare’s books. Shown below are just some of them

If you are interested, you can check them out at

Also, The Mortal Instruments is not a trilogy as I earlier thought it to be. There are 3 more books coming out sometime this year in the mortal instruments series.

Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instruments (City of Glass)

I knew it! There’s something more than the obvious between Jace and Clary in Cassandra Clare’s ‘The Mortal Instruments trilogy. You find yourself heaving one huge sigh of relief when the long hidden facts are divulged. Early on in the story The City of Glass), there have been a few instances where the truth were almost spilled out, even as early as the second book (City of Ashes) in this trilogy, but Cassandra Clare kept it from the readers until the last.

After reading the first two books, I was also hoping that Valentine would turn out to be someone not as monstrous in the end as he is painted out to be. I thought the third book would somehow justify Valentine’s action; that there’s actually someone more evil behind him; that his purposes are really noble and not that selfish altogether.

In an earlier post where I gave my reaction to Cassandra Clare’s ‘The City of Ashes’, I enumerated a couple of questions that were left unanswered in that book. I expected these to be answered in ‘The City of Glass’, and sure enough, I found closure there.

  1. What ‘experiments’ was the Queen of the Seelie Court referring to that Valentine did on Jace and Clary?
  2. [tip]
    The experiments were responsible for the exceptional abilities of Jace and Clary. It is these experiments which made Jocelyn, Valentine’s wife, when she accidentally discovered his secret ‘laboratory’, to finally see beyond the facade that Valentine was displaying to her and to everyone.

  3. What did the Inquisitor (Imogen Herondale) whisper to Jace at her final breath?
  4. [tip]
    Jace did not give it another thought, as at the time, he misinterpreted it as an insult. Had the Inquisitor lived through that battle, Jace’s identity would have been settled early on. But that would mean one less surprise to anticipate in the final book. Cassandra thought it best to hold on to it a little longer.

You will find the answers in ‘The City of Glass’.

Personally, the book is indeed enthralling as the reviews point out. Cassandra Clare masterfully weaved the story such that the readers are never disappointed in anticipating for a climactic finale in the trilogy.

Sometimes I think Clary is not using her abilities the best way she can. Anyone who can effectively replicate the biblical ‘writing on the wall’ and ‘the mark (on Cain’s forehead)’, to me would be like God himself. She could conquer any obstacle, solve any problem, etc. But I think Cassandra Clare gave her just enough warrior intelligence and more of innocence and other human weaknesses to keep the story less predictable.

Vampires in Clare’s world are given less stature than those in Meyer’s Twilight world. With the exception of Simon, werewolves are more interesting and less disgusting than vampires*. And I think I’ll need to re-read the part of the story where Valentine tortured Simon for his blood. I still can’t see where in that ritual did Simon get his daywalker (daylighter) power. I still think it’s Jaces’ blood somehow, because Jace, after all, is not an ordinary shadowhunter. He’s got purer angel blood circulating in there, like Clary’s.

Fight scenes? Gosh, again, I’d say a movie battle choreographer would find free reign in this story. It would be violence at it purest. The lucky team of movie artists and designers would be competing for the ugliest, scariest, most gross looking demon they could imagine. There would be no empty space on the big screen as the sky, the ground, and underground would be filled with shadowhunters, downworlders and demons spilling each others’ guts and blood. It would be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer many times over. And it must be fun watching long-time arch-enemies fighting side by side (with their abilities shared equally) against a common enemy instead of against each other. Whew!

* If given only two options, becoming a vampire or a werewolf in Clare’s world, I’d probably choose to become a werewolf. I only wish it doesn’t come with the dog smell though.

The Mortal Instruments is not a trilogy after all, as I earlier thought it to be. Cassandra Clare is set to release 3 more books under the mortal instruments series this year.

The Mortal Instruments: Cassandra Clare (City Of Ashes)

It just keeps getting better and better. I have just finished reading the second of Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series called The City Of Ashes. The story picks up where The City Of Bones left off. Valentine, having the Mortal Cup (one of the mortal instruments) in his possession wasted no time in using it for his own ends.

It is here where Valentine shows no mercy and unleashes into the world, well at least in the world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves and faeries, his ‘God-assigned’ plan of ridding the world of all forms of demons and evil beings. This plan is supposed to succeed and be irreversible especially when he also succeeded in stealing (with much bloodshed) the second mortal instrument – the Soul-Sword or Mortal Sword. With two mortal instruments in his arsenal, he is virtually undefeatable, almost like a god.

I can imagine the artistry and effects of the battle sequence where the shadowhunters (lead by Jace, Alec, Simon, Luke, Magnus Bane, and Clary), with the help of some downworlder folks, battle the legion of demons from hell itself. The roles of the battle choreographer and director, should this book be considered for movie production, are enviable.

This second book springs a lot of minor and major surprises. Clary has finally seen Simon not just as a childhood friend but as someone she can finally get intimate with, though she still helplessly entertains the thought of Jace in her mind. Evidence of this is when the Queen of the Seelie Court threatened to hold Clary captive unless she (Clary) gets ‘the kiss she most desires’. Thus, the (seemingly taboo) kiss happens. I say seemingly because I have a feeling that the third book is yet to spew out some more surprises. I have a feeling that some past event is yet to be revealed that will drastically change things between Jace and Clary. Otherwise, why would Cassandra Clare keep on broaching the idea of a Jace-Clary love affair, unless Cassandra has some hidden taboo desires herself. EwEW!?.

Simon, previously considered by Jace as nothing but a nuisance, now ‘rises’ to the ranks, having become a vampire (due to a previous mis-adventure). He even became one of Valetine’s tools because of his blood which Valentine needed for a ritual for turning the Mortal Sword from plain lie detector to something more demonically useful. Thus, Simon, previously refered to as ‘this mundane’ by Jace, is now ‘this bloodsucker’, though Simon thinks he prefers the former. Another big surprise is the transformation of Simon from plain vampire to daywalker, thanks to Jace’s generosity. But, what do you think will happen to Jace? One would think shadowhunters are impervious to the vulnerabilities of common folks. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Luke was once a shadowhunter. What is he now? Would something similar befall Jace?

Clary and Jace, by the way, began to bloom ability-wise, after a little revelation from the Queen of the Seelie Court. Jace started to become more and more like Twilight’s Edward. Clary started showing her special ability over the ‘unspoken words’. And speaking of Edward, this is what Stephenie Meyer, Twilight’s author and creator of the Edward character, has to say about Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments:

“The Mortal Instruments series is a story world that I love to live in. Beautiful!”


  1. Is there something more to the ‘experiment’ beyond Clary’s and Jace’s abilities ?
  2. What did the Inquisitor whisper to Jace before she expired?

Have I missed something or will I find the answers in the third book?

Tip For Guys

Is Cassandra giving us guys a tip with this dialogue between Maia and Clary?

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, you know. Jace reminds me of an old boyfriend. Some guys look at you like they want sex. Jace looks at you like you’ve already had sex, it was great, and now you’re just friends – even though you want more. Drives girls crazy. You know what I mean?”

Yes, Clary thought. “No,” she said.


You can get the whole set of the The Mortal Instruments trilogy. Click on the picture below for details.

Cassandra Clare: Mortal Instruments (City Of Bones)

I am not a good judge of novelist’s skills (I’m just a reader, not a critic) but I can say this early that Cassandra Clare is one good novelist to watch out for. I just finished reading the first of her Mortal Instruments trilogy series, the City of Bones. The other two books I have yet to read are The City Of Ashes and the City of Glass.

Having read and seen the Twilight series, I’ve known about vampires and werewolves. Then, with Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, I got introduced to shadowhunters. Looks like we humans are not that helpless against demons, vampires, werewolves and other faerie folks after all. We’ve got the Shadowhunters (nephilims) who are secretly watching our backs and protecting us all along. These breed are like humans (just as vampires are like humans) and they live among us, unseen or camouflaged. That old abandoned church in your street may just turn out to be one of their abodes – actually castle-like and magnificient. The ‘old abandoned church’ you saw was just ‘glamour’ cover.

Clarissa Fray is the teenage star of this movie, err, story. Why not? I’m sure some producer will soon see that the Mortal Instruments trilogy is one feasible movie project that can fetch him loads of money, too. After all, all those Twilight viewers are also surely going to fall for this. Why? Because it’s got all the ingredients that they like: a love story, good-looking teenagers, villains, vampires, werewolves, and a world in the fringes of reality.

Clarry is a shadowhunter who was raised as a human – a mundane (or mundie). After a fast-paced series of events, she was rudely awakened into the realization of her true self – that she’s a shadowhunter, with a shadowhunter mother, (and revealed later in the story) a shadowhunter father, and a shadowhunter brother. Unlike regular shadowhunters who are trained warriors, Clarry lived through the whole story, untrained, and seemingly very weak and vulnerable. She’s like Bella in Twilight (before she became a vamp). She had to be accompanied and protected by Jace, another cool shadowhunter teenager, in all her adventures. The two of them seems headed towards a Bella-Edward like relationship. But…

While readers of the Twilight series had to hold their breaths until the last book to see large-scale violent conflicts and flesh-shredding fights, the City of Bones (being only the first book of the trilogy), offers it up to you right there. I can’t wait to see the next two books. (Now, why do most novels nowadays are trilogies? This year, among the multi-volume books I’ve read are the Twilight series and the books of Kristin Cashore).

What books have you read this year? If you haven’t read Cassandra Clare’s books, you should check her out.

UPDATE: August 20, 2013

The City of Bones Movie’s Finally Out!

Finally was able to watch the movie. All in all, I consider it a satisfactory rendering of the novel. I think I agree with most of the casting. I guess though that they could do better than Jamie Campbell Bower to play Jace. Or, if not, at least he could have sported hair that’s a little bit longer. I also imagined Valentine to be a little bit more mature and older than Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

It’s been quite a while since I read the City of Bones, but bits and pieces of the story started to come back as I watched the movie. And since I’ve already read City of Ashes and City of Glass, it was sort of disappointing to know that I have to wait for part 2 and 3 of Mortal Instrument to see the juiciest parts of the whole story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching the movie. My 14-year-old son, who watched the movie along with me and my wife, also expressed an interest in reading the other Mortal Instruments books. Guess I’ll be purchasing the Kindle version of the books from Amazon soon.