Reading Response – Clockwork Angel

I finally finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.  While it is extremely massive (497 pages), it is really good.

I’ve decided to do a Quotation Response journal because this book just had so many good, thought-provoking quotes.  I wanted to share my thoughts with you!

Quotation Questions and Thoughts
“The face from her nightmare hovered in the darkness before her – a great white moon of a face, its head shaved bald, smooth as a marble.” (52) Is this figure really there? Is the thing good or evil?

What does this face have to do with the Shadowhunters? I think this face/being is not seen by everyone, just the Shadowhunters.

“The room they entered was bigger even than the ballroom she had seen before. It was longer than it was wide, with rectangular oak tables set in the middle of it, vanishing up to the far wall, which was painted with an image of an angel.   Each table was illuminated by a gas lamp that flickered white. Halfway up the walls was an interior gallery with a wooden railing running around it that could be reached by means of spiral staircases on either side of the room. Rows upon rows of bookshelves stood at intervals, like sentries forming alcoves on either side of the room. There were more bookshelves upstairs as well; the books inside were hidden behind screens of fretted metal, each screen stamped with a pattern of four Cs.   Huge, outward-curving stained-glass windows, lined with worn stone benches, were set at intervals between the shelves.” (86-87) This library sounds amazing. I really love the imagery in this book and this quotation is just a small example of the color and pictures the author creates in my mind.


It is difficult to think that this room could really be there. Since the preceding passages describe things the “mundanes” cannot see, how do we know this is really there? How will this library be important in the story?

“Somehow all of this-the Dark Sisters, your brother, your own ability, and de Quincy’s involvement-fits like a puzzle. We simply haven’t found all the missing bits yet.” (163)  

I think de Quincy kidnapped her brother.   Does Nate have shape shifting abilities too?

Is de Quincy making an army of automatons to overthrow the Shadowhunters? Does his plan have to do with the dead people Tessa turns into?

“I believe in good and evil,” said Jem. “And I believe the soul is eternal. But I don’t believe in the fiery pit, the pitchforks, or endless torment. I do not believe you can threaten people into goodness.” (175) Simple but eloquent way to describe the human condition.
“This is your true self, Tessa. This power is who you are. Whoever loves you now-and you must also love yourself-will live the truth of you.” (197) Tessa is in the midst of discovering who she is.   When we are struggling to understand ourselves, it is hard to love ourselves. We have to love our own truth before others can live us.
“Perhaps most of the objects given to you by the Dark Sisters were taken from people they had murdered.” (201) I hadn’t thought about the Dark Sisters being murderers. I know they are evil, but did they murder those people?
“You can’t concern yourself with that.   Certainly it would be wonderful if we all knew exactly who we were. But that knowledge doesn’t come from outside, but from inside. ‘Know thyself,’ as the oracle says.” Jem grinned. “My apologies if that sounds like sophistry. I’m only telling you what I’ve learned from my own experience.” (282) It is very difficult to know who we are.   Don’t we all struggle to define ourselves based on what other people say we are? How much of my identity is shaped by other people’s opinions?
“It’s just-Master Will.” Sophie’s words came out in a rush. “He isn’t someone you should care for, Miss Tessa. Not like that. He isn’t to be trusted, or relied on. He-he isn’t what you think he is.” (296) It seems really like Will has two faces.   I want to trust Sophie and discover what Will’s real story is.
“And why you fight, you take more of it? So, why don’t you stop fighting? Will and the others–”

“Would understand,” Jem finished for her. “I know they would. But there is more to life than not dying.” (341)

Jem has a great philosophy on life. There is more to life than not dying.

Does Jem’s story, his history, play into this?   Why does he say this? What does he know that we don’t know?

“The chain around her neck was vibrating and twitching. She managed to look down, her vision blurred, and saw to her amazement that the little metal angel had emerged from beneath the collar of her dress; it soared upward, lifting the chain over her head. Its eyes seemed to glow as it flew upward. For the first time its metallic wings were spread, and Tessa saw that each wing was edged with something shimmering and razor-sharp.” (405) It is about time that clockwork angel helped out Tessa! What significance does the angel have to her mother? Her parentage? Tessa’s abilities to shape shift?
“But I recalled what you had said about Boadicea. If it had not been for your words, Will…” (450) I LOVE that the history of Boadicea is in this story. Roman history for the win!
“She stood and stared at him, willing him to say what the hero in a book would say now, at this moment. Tessa, my feelings for you have grown beyond more feelings of friendship. They are so much more precious than that…” (462-463) Tessa is like all of us – she just wants the same happy ending we want for ourselves. We want the person we love to love us. We want everything to turn out nice and tidy. Yet, there is always another page…. A sequel….

7 thoughts on “Reading Response – Clockwork Angel

  1. I loved Clockwork Angel!! So happy that you decided to read it. 🙂 There are so many great quotes that you listed. I loved the last quote that you included in your post. I really enjoyed Tessa’s character and agree that all she wants is the happy ending in life that we all want!


    1. Wouldn’t books be boring if everyone got their happy ending? Without too many spoilers, what do you think of Will? Not sure about him…


      1. Absolutely! It would make me feel a bit better though. 😉 I don’t know! Will is such an interesting character. I was really rooting for him up until the end of the book.. Now I’m just not sure what I think about him.


  2. I love this book!! There are so many great quotes I’m sure it was hard to pick just a few!! I love the ones you pick and you have some great questions that go with the other books in the series! I hope you will finish them becuase they are all very good!


    1. I am interested in reading more. There were quite a few good plot twists. It did drag for me a bit in the early parts. Are the other books a bit faster paced?


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