The Clockwork Angel graphic novel is a book that has sort of fluttered around the periphery of my awareness for awhile now, but overwhelmed with LIFE and reading commitments this year, it was a book that managed to slip through the cracks of my over-saturated TBR. And then I finished Clockwork Princess, and was doing my post-“Ohthefeels!” ritual that follows the end of any Cassandra Clare book which consists of trawling through the TID fanart that deviantART has to offer, when I was suddenly reminded that “Hey! There’s a graphic novel! Lots and lots of Will, Jem & Tessa. I think I might want it. I think I might need it.”
I’m always a little apprehensive of seeing a beloved story come to life visually on paper or screen. What if the characters don’t look like I imagined? What if the artist/actor/director doesn’t grasp the subtleties and nuances of the characters and their relationships? What if they leave out or change vital pieces of the story? What if it’s just done poorly? Will it forever change my mental image of the the way I imagined the world and the characters — the way I look at the book?
It’s a risk. It might suck. It’s inevitable. Then, that’ll suck too. And maybe.
So with all of those questions and fears hovering in the forefront of my mind, what’d I think of this graphic novel?
That it was awesome. HyeKyung Baek brought Tessa, Will, and Jem’s stories to life beautifully and brilliantly… and sometimes terrifyingly and creepily. It’s like Baek took a peek inside my mind and translated my imaginings of Shadowhunters & Co. to the page, capturing them perfectly. Sure, this version of the story is an abbreviated one, but I am impressed with how much of the story is crammed into 250+ pages, how much detail there is, how rich the character and relationship development is. I got to see with a new perspective where certain plot points had taken root, details I had missed, and tidbits I had forgotten.
Also, another random observation I’ll throw in for free. Being exposed to this story again helped me remember just how much interaction there was between Jem and Tessa in the first book. When I first read Clockwork Angel, I was so hung up on Will (“Aww….look how obviously and tragically tortured you are, and how you cover it up with such reprehensibly cruel behavior! Just let me love you!!!” *Elmyra hug*). I considered Jem to be a romantic foil – a distraction – to the greater love story of Will & Tessa, that I didn’t really pay as much attention to Jem & Tessa’s moments. They’re quiet moments, but meaningful ones with a lot of depth.
“Oh, the feels!”
<clutches heart as she listens to her ridiculously emo TID playlist>
Suffice it to say that reading the graphic novel makes me want to reread the original novels again now that I know things.
Overall. Beautiful, gorgeous, and perfect, The Clockwork Angel graphic novel satisfied my craving to see the Infernal Devices world for myself and gave me the opportunity to live in it a little bit longer, because I’m still not quite ready to leave it just yet.
And a glimpse of Baek’s gorgeous artwork:
click to enlarge