Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare AND Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

While these two books might not appear to be similar enough for this kind of comparison, I was reading them at about the same time and was struck by a few similarities and things I wanted to discuss in relation to each other.  So, I present to you another double feature.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry)
Publication date: August 2010
ISBN: 9781416975861

Source: ARC provided by Traveling ARC Tours

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication date: October 2009
ISBN: 9781416989424
Source: Purchased

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)  Hush, Hush


Clockwork Angel: Tessa Gray does not expect what awaits her when she arrives in England, searching for her brother.  After being kidnapped by the Dark Sisters and discovering a world full of dark creatures - vampires, werewolves, warlocks - she finds herself as one of them, a creature not human with a unique power.  She manages to escape for a time and hides with the Shadowhunters, those who are supposed to protect humans (mundanes) from downworlder creatures.  But, she finds herself drawn to two best friends, Will and Jem, both different and yet appealing to her in different ways.  But, being caught up in this world means she might have to make a choice between saving her brother or saving the world.

Hush, Hush: Nora Gray is just an average girl, trying to recover from the unexpected death of her father.  When her new biology partner, Patch, is thrown into her life, she feels equally drawn to his dark nature and repelled by his sinister secrets.  But, when she learns the truth about him, she is sucked into a deadly game where she is the target.

Nephilim and/or Angel Mythology: 

CA: In this book, the Nephilim are the good guys (even if they're pretty arrogant), set to protect humans/mundanes from demons and other downworlders.  They are not necessarily descended from "fallen" angels, but from a mixture of one angel's blood with human blood, creating somewhat immortal beings that call themselves Shadowhunters.  This also inevitably includes mixtures of the demon race with humans, who are downworlders like werewolves, warlocks, and vampires.  Tessa is introduced to Shadowhunters rather abruptly - a bit like throwing the whole bucket of cold water on her at once - and right near the beginning of the book.  However, she already has had some glimpses of unnatural beings because her own abilities.  I prefer this kind of introduction, since the slower ones are usually so long in coming they get ridiculous.

HH: In this book, Nephilim are not the good guys.  Fallen angels and the Nephilim are separate things in this book.  And the Nephilim are not all descended from just one angel.  They are the race created when a human and a fallen angel have children.  Fallen angels apparently don't experience human things completely.  However, they can possess bodies of humans so that they can experience things more fully.  Things are less well explained in this book, I think, leaving a lot of questions and confusion.  There is not really any talk of demons as separate from fallen angels, so I get the impression that they are the same thing in this book.  Nora gets a very slow introduction to them.  She mostly just thinks she's going nuts, rather than that Patch might have a big secret that means he's not human.  Nothing like a slow-revealing mystery that was pretty obvious to everyone from the front cover of the book, but which Nora must figure out one painful step at a time.  And, of course, through the internet.

The Ladies:

CA: I like Tessa - she's timid and definitely not what you'd immediately think of as a tough heroine.  She's a regular woman in the 1800s who still pretty much believes in a place for women and that she should not step out of it, which is refreshing to me.   A lot of historical characters in books have very modern views, but I think she balances that quite well.  She's a likeable character who is true to her time and not totally modern, but also not really a wimp either.  She isn't into fighting and everything, but she's got a brain and will use it if needed.

HH: Nora is back and forth for me - she says things that are smart and that would indicate intelligence, yet she also ignores warning and feelings and keeps being drawn to dark, dangerous, and rebellious Patch.  Apparently she thinks, but does not really act on those thoughts.  I do have to admit she's stupid when it comes to liking a guy she's not entirely sure is safe, not to mention wants to possibly kill her.  She's a very conflicted person, obviously.  One minute she likes and trusts him, the next she doesn't.

The Gents: 

CA: I like both Jem and Will, though they both obviously are flawed and have problems.  Deep down, I think they are both good, but there are some things that make them just a little bit frightening as a love interest.  However, both feel quite real, their characters' are described in such a way that they are brought to life.  They have both good and bad sides, just like all of us.  I'm not sure which one I like more, since they are both so different.  Hopefully the next book will help me decide.

HH: I hate Patch.  Really, I do.  I've never been drawn to bad guys, so maybe that's it, but he's got some serious issues that I'd never be able to overlook.  I'm sure there are guys out there like him, which I would stay far, far away from.  He seems really back and forth too, which probably exacerbates Nora's wishy washy ways.  He's a little bit good, a lot bad, a jerk, a nice guy, etc.  Make up your mind already. 

Things I Liked in CA:
It has some positively lovely writing - her descriptions are so beautiful and vivid that each person and each setting seems so real.  The story was surprising - taking turns, albeit mostly near the end, that I did not expect.  I really enjoyed how things developed and that clues were dropped throughout, but not enough for me to figure it all out before.  I was pretty much caught completely off guard for a few of them.  In an overcrowded market of paranormal, this one shines as original and delightful.  I'm definitely looking forward to more in this series.  Some favorite parts:

Now that she had worn other faces, seen through other eyes, how could she ever say any face was really her own, even if it was the face she [had] been given at birth?  When she Changed back to herself, how was she to know there wasn't some slight shift in her very self, something that made her not who she was anymore?  Or did it matter what she looked like at all?  Was her face nothing but a mast of flesh, irrelevant to her true self?  p 110 of ARC
"I've known girls who were quite companionable with their ladies' maids," Tessa protested.  This was not precisely true.  She had read about such girls, though she had never known one.  Still, according to novels, the main function of a ladies' maid was to listen to you as you poured your heart out about your tragic love life, and occasionally to dress in your clothes and pretend to be you so you could avoid being captured by a villain.  p 132 of ARC
The woman who sat in the tallest of the chairs was slender and stately.  A hat was tipped forward on her head, balancing a massive black plume at its top.  Her dress was of rich red velvet, her icy white skin swelling gently over the fitted bodice, though her chest never rose or fell with a breath.  A rope of rubies wound her throat like a scar.  Her hair was thick and pale blond, clustered in delicate icy curls around her nape; her eyes were a luminous green that shone like a cat's. p 176 of ARC
"I," said Gabriel, "would rather have my entrails yanked out and tied in a knot in front of my own eyes than apologize to such a worm."
"Gracious," said Jem mildly.  "You can't mean that.  Not the Will being a worm part, of course.  The bit about the entrails.  That sounds dreadful."
"I do mean it," said Gabriel, warming to his subject.  "I would rather be dropped into a vat of Malphas venom and left to dissolve slowly until only my bones were left."
"Really," said Will.  "Because I happen to know a chap who could sell us a vat of- " p 207 of ARC
Things I Liked in HH:
I will admit that the creepy atmosphere and the setting of the book were quite well done.  You feel a sense on unease throughout that makes you wonder both what is coming and when it will come.  The ending is surprising as well, not exactly what you expect.  I like how there are some loose ends in the story that will be addressed in the next books.  I thought it had some intriguing twists and turns, not to mention it has that weird element of you-must-keep-reading-me.  It must be the action and suspense and the good creepy atmosphere.  And it has a lot of teen appeal and did much to create interest in reading, rather like Twilight.  I'm glad there are books that will do this still.

Things I Didn't Like in CA:
It seemed a bit slow at the start.  The action, while pretty much throughout, wasn't quite as exciting as it became at the end.  

Things I Didn't Like in HH:
I admit to being completely annoyed with Nora for being such an idiot (I am not entirely sure you got that vibe from my previous comments on the book).  She is so utterly stupid that it makes you wonder how she will survive.  I will agree that some amount of appeal in a dangerous guy exists and that your heart will lead you where it will, but she seems to be brainless.  He treats her like crap sometimes, and she just keeps coming back for more.  Her mother is so blind that she unwittingly leaves her teenage daughter alone for days at a time.  What, kids that age don't need adult supervision?  I thought the ending, while clever, suffered from not enough information and explanation.  An interesting twist that could have been better if there was more information about fallen angels, Nephilim, and Nora's part in it all.  And, of course, it suffers from comparisons to Twilight, to which it has some very strong similarities.  I hope for more from the sequels.

Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Need and Captivate by Carrie Jones

s-factor: !
a few

mrg-factor: none
just some nice kissing :)

v-factor: ->-> 
rather a lot of fighting, as expected

Overall rating: *****

s-factor: !@

some here and there

mrg-factor: XXX
full of innuendo and sensuality, though not much actual action

v-factor: ->->
mostly its frightening stuff, rather than violent

Overall rating: ***

Do you have a favorite fallen angel/nephilim book?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Lauren, I've been mostly underwhelmed with angel books, but I really love Cassandra Clare's books.

  2. I haven't read any angel books but Clockwork Angel sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.

  3. Kim, it is! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you do read it!

  4. The only fallen angel book I've read was The Vintner's Luck by Dreamquake/Dreamhunter author, Elizabeth Knox. I thought it was interesting, but a bit confusing in places. Worth reading though. (But it's probably not YA.)

  5. Andie, I've never heard of The Vintner's Luck, but since I struggled to enjoy the Dreamquake Duet, I'm not sure I'll ever get to it.

  6. I just finished reading Clockwork Angel and can't stop thinking about it, so I decided to stop by your review. I love that you are comparing these two works.

    I love Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series (with the same Nephilim back-story as CA), and I couldn't help but compare Hush, Hush to it the whole time I was reading. I really didn't like Hush, Hush very much for some of the same reasons you had some reservations.

  7. Jessi, I'm with you on the excellence of Clare's books. They blew Hush, Hush out of the water.


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