Week 1: Chapter 3 - Chapter 5
Hey quirks! As you may remember from this post, I'm participating in a readalong of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices! We began reading Clockwork Angel this past week. It's still not too late to join us, whether you've never read the series or are a TID old hat! Check out our reading schedule here.
In my recap posts there is a high chance of SPOILERS. If you do not want to be spoiled on anything, I suggest reading the listed chapters before reading this post or avoiding these posts if you haven't read the book.
Tessa wakes up from a dream, seemingly alone in a room, until she sees a "monster." The monster is Brother Enoch, one of the Silent Brothers, which is obvious to anyone that's read TMI. Tessa is freaked out but Charlotte, the head of the London Institute, calms her and chats with her. We find out that Tessa is a Downworlder, and that the Shadowhunters are going to protect her and help her find her brother, thought Tessa is not sure she believes it considering what happened with the Dark Sisters.
I love that tiny Charlotte is the leader. She seems very collected and intelligent and even kind of speaks like a diplomat. We are given more info about the world, which having read TMI I knew already, but it didn't feel as boring to me as I would have expected. Then we meet Sophie, a servant, and I liked her banter with Charlotte. Sophie talks with Tessa about the clothes and why Charlotte doesn't like tight lacing and things, which makes sense and again gives a little peek into the time period. Tessa also looks at herself in a mirror again, which is about the third time. I understand why she's doing it, first to show that the six weeks had worn her down, then because she'd changed into someone else, and now to show the contrast from herself at the Dark House and now and because maybe she didn't change back "properly," but I'm tired of reading descriptions of her looking in mirrors.
Tessa goes to dinner and we get to meet some other Shadowhunters. We see Will again and get the "his eyes are so blue" comments and Tessa blushing when he smiles, but at least it doesn't go beyond that. Jessamine is another beautiful Shadowhunter, but she gets catty about Tessa being a Downworlder, so Tessa gives them a preview of her ability and stuns the room, though I thought Jessamine's reaction to it was funny. Will and Jessamine don't like each other, but we don't find out why yet. I most liked Henry's introduction. He walks into the room and exclaims that Tessa bit him, because she did, but Henry is also on fire and doesn't realize it. He is married to Charlotte and they seem to compliment each other. There is a little talk of the Pandemonium Club, but not much.
The dinner continues into this chapter, and when Tessa leaves, she gets lost in the Institute. Will finds her and gives her a tour. More banter ensues, but I like it better than I did between Jace and Clary because Will is less of a jerk. Tessa ends up touching on a sore subject and Will turns cold to Tessa and shows that jerkish side, but because it seemed to have a source and wasn't just Will being a jerk because he could, I didn't mind it as much.
During the tour of the Institute, we learn a little more about the servants, who are mundanes who have the Sight. Tessa learns a lot as well, some stuff the reader might already know, but there was some new info, like explaining the ouroboros and what a Pyxis is. We get descriptions of some of the rooms, and a look at the library. The Shadowhunter's Codex also makes an appearance.
Tessa, having been left alone by Will after their dust up, has to wander around before she finds her room. When she does, she settles in and reads some of The Shadowhunter's Codex. She falls asleep and we are treated to a second dream (luckily it is short) and when she wakes up she realizes the music she was hearing in her dream is real. She goes to investigate and finds Jem playing the violin. Having been reading the Codex, she plies Jem with questions, which he seems happy to answer. They are having a nice conversation and then Will appears, supposedly drunk. Despite this, you immediately get the sense of Jem and Will's brotherly relationship, which I enjoyed. Jem has a coughing fit and Will is quick to his aid. Tessa realizes that Will doesn't smell of alcohol at all.
The next we see Tessa she is looking in the mirror, again (mirror count: 4). She talks to Sophie about her relationship with the Shadowhunters, which is interesting, then she goes to breakfast. When she gets there, Jessamine is being sort-of nice, which is suspicious. There is talk of trying to find Tessa's brother, and Charlotte and Henry plan on visiting his employer, Axel Mortmain, who most likely got rich off the opium trade. There is more banter, and Tessa holds her own this time, making Jem laugh, which was funny.
The next bit we are with Tessa and Jessamine as they shop for clothing, and the girls seem to be forming a loose friendship, or at least a truce of some kind. Not much other than that happens, though Tessa does see a Downworlder, or at least thinks she does, on the street.
The last section of the chapter shows Charlotte and Henry meeting with Axel Mortmain to see if he knows anything about Nate. It seems like a long shot, considering Mortmain has hundreds of employees, but he seems to remember Nate. He also knows right away that Charlotte and Henry are Shadowhunters. I enjoyed that because it was unexpected.
My verdict so far:
I'm really enjoying the banter between the characters, and since I love lore, there was plenty in these chapters to satisfy me. I also like how Clare is dropping little things into the story, like Jem laughing at Tessa's joke or Will not being drunk, to hint at the relationships. As for the love triangle that I know is to come, I like how these relationships are forming more slowly, or seem to be, and I can see the basis of why Tessa would like Jem or like Will and vice versa. The writing is still fine, but Clare is being a little repetitive with the mirrors and dreams regarding Tessa.
Check back next week for recaps of Chapters 6 through 10!