Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clockwork Angel and Crescendo

Angels seem to be a hot topic in new young adult literature, especially the Nephilim. The biblical references to Nephilim suggest that fallen angels descended to Earth and mated with humans, producing the Nephilim. Traditionally, the Nephilim are giants, but in YA lit, the Nephilim are usually angels, who have super human powers. Two highly anticipated new novels, Clockwork Angel, the first book in Cassandra Clare's new Infernal Devices series, and Crescendo, the sequel to Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush, find the main characters involved with the Nephilim.
Taking place a hundred years before the Mortal Instruments series, the companion steampunk novel Clockwork Angel introduces Tessa Gray, who has been kidnapped by the Dark Sisters when she travels to London to find her missing brother. She is held captive and trained to use her shape-shifting abilities, of which she was previously unaware. After being rescued by Will, a demon hunting Shadowhunter, she takes refuge at the Shadowhunter’s Institute. There she is introduced to a world of supernatural beings, including demons and half angel Nephilim. She meets Henry, a bumbling inventor, his wife, the head of the Institute, and Jem, a gentle desperately ill Shadowhunter, who are all trying to stop the evil plans of the mysterious Magister in nineteenth century London. In a battle between the Shadowhunters and the Magister, who controls an army of clockwork automatons, both sides are hoping to capitalize on Tessa’s shape-shifting powers. This compulsively readable first book will have readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. According to Cassandra's website, there will be three books in the Infernal Devices series: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess. She is also adding three more books to her Mortal Instruments series, including City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire. She recommends reading Clockwork Angel before City of the Fallen Angels ( due to be released April 5th), because some of the Clockwork characters appear in it.
Crescendo, the sequel to Hush Hush, finds Nora Grey in love with Patch, who is now her guardian angel; but the archangels have forbidden their becoming romantically involved. In a fit of jealousy, Nora breaks up with him, only to discover she has thrown him into the arms of her archenemy Marcie Millar. As Nora struggles with her lingering feelings for Patch, Scott Parnell, a former classmate and Nephilim vassal, returns and her deceased father's ghost begins appearing to her. Although Nora is still obsessed with Patch, she gets involved with Scott in order to find out more about a secret Nephilim blood society and its Black Hand leader. Meanwhile her friend Vee gets involved with Patch's friend Rixon, who makes Nora question Patch's possible role in her father's death. The deeper her investigation of her father's disappearance goes, the more Nora begins to wonder if her Nephilim bloodline figures into what has been happening to her. As with most second novels, Crescendo leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Tempest, the third book in the series is due out in the Fall of 2011. For those wanting more information, Becca Fitzpatrick's website includes playlists for the books, contests, international fansites, as well as writing tips and a blog.

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