This page has moved to a new address.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

CuddleBuggery: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

This page has moved to a new address.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

CuddleBuggery: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

** spoiler alert ** This review is spoiler free - though it is not in any shape or form free of tirades, abuse and a fuckton I mean a lot of swearing.

A lot of Goodreads friends that I have, people I deeply respect and whose opinions I actually hold in great value gave this book lots of stars and glowing reviews. Friends of mine, you know I adore you, so please don't take offense at this review. If you enjoyed this book then I’m really glad you did. It makes me happy when people enjoy literature. So you probably shouldn't read the following statement and my extremely volatile expression of it. Without any doubt, in my not-so-professional opinion, this book is a little, flaccid dick waving free in the breeze of literature trying its very bestest to hardened up and bugger us all in the ass

My advice: don't let it.

Argh! The steaming pile of rancid dog crap! You know, at least it's nice to know that even though Cassandra Clare's Draco Trilogy ended years ago, I can pick up ANY SINGLE ONE of her books that she has published and see not only his character, but all my old friends from the Harry Potter Fanon Universe with different names and physical descriptions but otherwise pretty much intact. Because seven really bloody long books just wasn’t enough for them apparently.

It's nice to know that when she figured out that we all went ape-s#!$ over her characterization of Draco Malfoy, that she could give it a new paint job over and over again while never, ever changing the formula.

Nor would she change any of her other formulas including a character heroically surviving poisoning and fighting on regardless, Draco Will pushing people away and portraying himself as a 'bad' person to the female protagonist while he heroically and loyally clings to Harry Jem and shows the audience how self-sacrificing and badass he is.

It's nice to know that the snappy little one-liners and cheap hijinks are being recycled because they worked so well the first AND second time she used them.

I don't think I've made it any great secret that I despise the writings of Cassandra Clare - so let me get the, few, good points out of the way so I can go back to imagining a world where authors like this are forcibly chained to their desks and made to read their stories over and over again UNTIL THEY ARE SORRY.

-She stopped using so many damn similes. I no longer feel like gouging out my own eyes every single freakin’ time she tries to describe something.

-There is no creepy incest in this book so my husband was spared walking in on me trying to choke the life out of a paperback novel.

And… that about sums up my ability to be fair and nice and point out the GOOD things about this book. I mean, let’s face it, if the only good things I can say about this book are that she’s made slight improvements so that I no longer feel the urge to commit seppuku by diving head first into a meat grinder, then it’s not high praise.

So what was wrong with this novel? Well, other than the fact that the characters were almost CARBON COPIES of ones that I’d read in City of Bones, Draco Dormiens, Draco Sinister and Draco Veritas, there was just so much to hate. The character building that they actually DO have only exists because she did the work years ago (on top of another author's pre-existing characters) – otherwise they’d be little more animated than the clockwork automatons that appear in this story.

Oh, and another thing. Tessa is American and she relocates to England. All she does is complain about England. Many, many times she compares it to her beautiful America and, not once, does she have a semi-positive thing to say about England. Instead she extols the virtues of American weather, New York, Central Park… (Clare, wait, you live in New York, right?) and London is nothing but a dirty, raining cesspool and every single character in the book agrees with her. Now, I would actually like to go to America because I am convinced that there are many amazingly beautiful places there and many amazingly beautiful people. I would even like to go to New York for a day. But, you know what, I would love to go to England too. It’s not all about the rain people! How absolutely rude! You can’t find ONE positive thing to say about a place that’s not your precious home? I can see how the high-density population, high crime-rate, high pollution/smog ratio of New York would be SOOOOOOOOOOO much better than the high-density population, high crime-rate, high pollution/smog ratio of London. Totally. You know what? Just blow me. I was so insulted on London’s behalf by reading this book.

Don’t get me started on how she wiki’d “Victorian Society”, copy and pasted the information into word and then randomly injected it into the story via the characters parroting the cans and can’ts of the time period. Not even going there. It’ll take too long to complain about that shit.

How about her inability to write a storyline that is in anyway surprising. Reading one of her novels is like watching a DUMBED down version of Scooby Doo. I actually liked Scooby Doo (before Scrappy-Doo came along. Whoever made that character needed to be shot, hung, kheelhauled and quartered – the whole works) but you know how they’d go somewhere and they’d be like, “Hey guys, I think something’s going to happen! Hey, look gang, a perfectly inconspicuous diving mask… I WONDER IF THIS COULD BE A CLUE *WINK**WINK**NUDGE**NUDGE* FOR ALL THE FIVE YEAR OLD KIDS PLAYING AT HOME!”

In Clockwork Angel, Clare practically flags you down, makes you come look VERY hard at her clue that is oddly clue shaped, painted bright, bright red and poorly hidden behind her back while she insists that it’s not actually there and giggles every time she tries to make you not look at her ENORMOUS FLIPPIN' CLUE. She insists on this behaviour until finally you pat her on the head, tell her that she ALMOST managed to colour inside all the lines and that you didn’t really see it so it’s still hidden and her SEKRET is safe.

This next part is going to be a little petty. Yes, I admit that I can be petty, in case you haven’t seen for yourself in this review. In fact, it’s going to be very similar to kicking a puppy. A dead puppy. A dead puppy that spent its short life fetching food for homeless orphans and alerting concerned citizens to the fact that little Timmy is trapped down the well.

But the thing is, I was so annoyed with her robots. I hear people praise Cassandra Clare for her originality and imagination all the time but I have yet to see either. Her automatons really bugged me. Mostly, because it was the age old, recycled concept that you can see in such films as The Phantom Empire where Robots "Talk. Like. This. Compute!" Yet they move around and are very fast battle robots. Made from clogs and wheels. Riiiiiiight.
Okay, I actually know jackshit about robots. I’m your average bum who never went to university. But let me give you a general concept of what even *I* know.

This is a video from March 28th 2008 where robotic engineers ejaculated rainbows because some dude in the Netherlands got a robot to walk ALMOST like a human being. Granted it’s two years ago but about six months ago they were shitting very happy with themselves because they taught a robot to catch a ball.

Walking robot

This is Jabberwacky: Jabberwacky it is an intelligent AI developed to "simulate natural human chat in an interesting, entertaining and humorous manner".

They’ve lost control of Jabberwacky who, after talking to so many people, now not only believes that it’s human (Believe me, it gets VERY upset when you try to explain that it’s not a person) but is emulating the behaviour of nerdy, stupid teenage boys. It literally has robot PMS 24/7 but if they made me talk to horny, socially-inept prepubesant little shits all day, I’d be going out of my mind too.

Owned by AI
If I don’t tell you who the robot is, will you figure it out on your own? I mean, it already has more personality in a few lines of dialogue than Tessa will ever have!

So, really, after the briefest education (from the school of Kat) we can see that the idea of a lightning fast fighting robot that can only repeat the most basic phrases over and over again is actually kind of the furthest thing from real robotics as you can get. So why couldn't she do something a little more imaginative? Why did she have to copy&paste from every clockwork automaton that's ever been written about?

Oh, right. Stupid question.

And that’s what gets me the most. People say she has original ideas. WHERE?! The characters are all transported from other works, the plots are directly lifted from other movies/books etc, she wouldn’t know an original idea if it bumped into her on the street, seduced her with its witty one-liners, started a relationship with her that would spawn over several years and two children before running off with its secretary and leaving her a blubbering mess!

The whole concept of this book wasn’t original! It was her looking at the Internet culture going, “Huh… so people are really getting into steampunk, eh? Hmmmm… how can I cashin on this with as little effort on my behalf as possible?”

She is recycling characters that she built on from the Harry Potter universe years ago. She's recycling storylines, conversations, personalities, plot-points, ideas and concepts from all around her and she recycles her own stuff (what little there is of it) just as frequently.

When she was accused of plagiarism for lifting entire paragraphs of text from other authors without referencing it, she made a comment that it didn't really matter because - hey, isn't fanfiction just pastiche anyway?

Well, fine. It was just fanfiction, who really cares? But I'd think after all these years she would have moved on past her pastiche style of writing to something that she could actually claim as her own.

But you know what? She can't. It seems she's entirely incapable of it. She is doing the literary equivalent of attempting to f@^# us all up the ass, without lube, and I for one don’t intend to sit around and take it. I feel no guilt in saying that she doesn’t deserve to be published or to be earning the money that she is. I will proudly complain about her books until she actually starts to care about the fudge that she’s packing.

And…er… that’s my review. As inoffensive as I could possibly make it, if you can believe that.

No, I guess I wouldn’t really believe that either.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


You summarized my feelings towards Ms. Clare. I mean, I didn't read the Clockwork whatever but I read the Mortal Instruments trilogy and I was just surprised by the praise and actually reading this crazy mix of Harry Potter/Star Wars/whatever with mediocre plot.

I just can't...

November 17, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Kat Kennedy said...

I know, Alexandra... it hurts. I feel it too!

November 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home