Friday, May 2, 2014

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Series) By Cassandra Clare and HyeKyung Baek

I am generally a huge fan of graphic novels. "Persepolis",  "Unfriendly", and "Maus" remain some of my favorites to re-read. However, the graphic edition of Clockwork Angel will not be added to that list. I chose this book because I have read the original novel version, I own it and the others in it's series and those just in the same magical steam punk story world, but they are all just novels, wonderful detailed, fully rounded novels. this graphic novel follows the story of Tessa Grey as she searches for her brother, who is in way over his head, and her true self, while learning to navigate an underground world of supernatural beings. The plot line is the same between the graphic novel and the novel that it originated from, in fact there are some places where the wording is really similar. I believe that these similarities are in place for the readers who have read the original books, however they actually are a detriment to this text. The wording often seems to leave room for the pictures to take over and tell the story but the pictures don't quite full in the blanks. For example, there are several mentions of one of the characters coloring, in the book you know that he is tanned, pitch black haired, and brilliantly blue eyed, but how are we to tell any of that from the black and white picture as shown below.

Because of the inconsistencies and gaps between the text and images there is no explanation for the importance of Tessa's clockwork angel, and with out that there is a great hole in the readers understanding of some of the main events of the book. I'm unsure, however, if these issues would have been so glaring if I had not read the original. Original Book Excerpt
Book Trailer
Book Website


Anonymous said...

I clicked on the title of the review because the title sounded fascinating to me. When I got to the review and saw that you were not 100% on board with it, it was disappointing that the graphic novel with the cool name did not live up to it. I never read the 'original' like you did and I like that you note your own bias but what do you think could improve this novel? maybe have it in color or breakaway from the original and have it stand alone? I would be interested in reading it if I understood the world in which the story takes place (the fact that is a supernatural infuse novel is already a plus for me).

Giovani Toledo said...

How could this book be implemented in a middle or high school? What are some of the themes that the graphic novel explores?