The Infernal Devices #1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareFantasy/Steampunk
This is a prequel series to Clare's Mortal Instruments series although it doesn't really matter which seies you read first. It has many of the same immortal characters at different points in their endless lives.
When sixteen-year old Tessa receives a letter from her brother to come join him in England, she doesn't hesitate. After all, what is there left for her in America? Their guradian, Tessa's aunt, is dead and Tessa is left practically destitute. As soon as she arrives for her fresh start, though, she is captured and imprisoned by the Dark Sisters, who keep her captive and train her to become a shifter, a person who can physically change into someone else.
She is rescued by the Shadowhunters, a small group dedicated to ridding the world of the Magister and his evil minions. The Magister is quite intent on claiming Tessa for his own. Tessa isn't quite sure which side she wants to join. The Magister and the Dark Sisters are evil, but they have her brother. The Shadowhunters aren't much better. They just want to use her for her powers. Or, do they? Whom should Tessa trust? Tessa is also torm between James and Will and is in quite the delightful predicament.
I did really live this book and will continue the series. However, it is not nearly as addictive as The Mortal Instruments. I think if it were more fantasy and less steampunk, I would have enjoyed it more but that is just a quirk of mine. Steampunk always confuses me just a little and leaves me feeling gritty. This book was no different. The characters are all delightful to get to know and Clare leaves much unfinished business and many threads left dangling. And, the best part are always these covers-beautiful!