Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Infernal Devices, Vol. 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray thought she was starting a new life in London, but she never thought things could go so horribly awry.  Not long after she arrives in London, she is kidnapped into London’s Downworld.   Downworld is the sordid supernatural underbelly of London, filled with vampires, werewolves, and people called Shadowhunters.  Tessa learns that she has been taken to be the bride of someone called “the Magister.”  A couple of young Shadowhunters came to her rescue and took her to recover at a place they refer to as “The Institute.”  Once here, Tessa learns more about Downworld and that she herself is not a regular human (called a “mundane” by Shadowhunters).   At the Institute, Tessa is taken under the wing by two young Shadowhunters who each teach her more about their world and what it means to be a Shadowhunter.  A mystery must be solved and the Institute is in peril of being closed, and Tessa is the center to it all.

The dark world created by Cassandra Clare is brought to colorful life by HyeKyung Baek.  The characters literally come alive on the page in each panel.  Baek has perfectly melded the fantasy world created by Clare with Victorian London.   The story and art together pull you into the dark world of The Infernal Devices.  To offset this, there are some moments of humor interspersed throughout.  The art and narrative compel you to keep turning the page to find out what happens next.  Although the source material was written for teens, this adaptation is more appropriate for older teens due to some of the more violent and somewhat graphic portrayals of scenes from the book.  Adults will also find this manga enjoyable and definitely a page-turner. 

You can find The Infernal Devices, Vol. 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare on the VBPL Catalog.  If you enjoyed The Infernal Devices, Vol. 1: Clockwork Angel, you may want to try Soulless: The Manga by Gail Carriger or Black Butler byYana Toboso.

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