Frequently Asked Questions
How many books are there in The Infernal Devices trilogy?
There are three. The title of the trilogy itself is The Infernal Devices: the first book is called Clockwork Angel, the second Clockwork Prince, the third, Clockwork Princess.
When will Clockwork Angel be out? When Will Clockwork Prince be out? When will Clockwork Princess be out?
Clockwork Angel: August 31, 2010. This is a worldwide English release date that covers North America, the UK and Ireland, Australia and NZ. (These are English release dates. They should apply to the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ and South Africa. They do not apply to "open markets" like Singapore, India and the Phillippines where there are large English-speaking markets but they are not considered an "English market." If you live in one of those places you are better off asking a bookstore than asking me.)
In Germany, the release date will be in December/January of 2010/2011. In Spain, November 2010, in Poland, October 2010. I don't have information about other foreign release dates (France, Portugal, Brazil, etc.) at this time.
Clockwork Prince: September, 2011
Clockwork Princess: November/December, 2012
You can find my full publication schedule, including all paperback and hardback releases, here.
What's The Infernal Devices about?
When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld,where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
For those still confused about The Infernal Devices, its relationship to The Mortal Instruments, and which to read first, there is a simplified explanation here.
Can I read the Infernal Devices without having read The Mortal Instruments?
Absolutely you can. There is nothing in the Infernal Devices that will spoil The Mortal Instruments for you, and additionally, no information in the Mortal Instruments that you absolutely must know before you read The Infernal Devices. The two series stand alone, complementing but not spoiling each other.
How does The Infernal Devices tie in with The Mortal Instruments? Will we see some of the same characters in both?
As you meet new characters and encounter new settings in the Infernal Devices, you'll start recognizing the family names of characters from the Mortal Instruments books — names like Herondale, and Lightwood, and Wayland. And characters who have either been in the MI series, like Magnus Bane, or who have just been mentioned and not seen — like Camille — will make appearances. There are even questions answered in the ID series about stories or objects in the Mortal Instruments, like the origin of Isabelle's ruby necklace. (Or course if you read the books in the other order, you'll have the opposite experience. But neither series spoils the other; they just complement each other.) And vice versa, Tessa shows up in City of Glass, though so briefly you might miss her if you don't know what you're looking for.
Will there be romance in The Infernal Devices like there is in The Mortal Instruments?
I get this question all the time, and I don't know why! It totally puzzles me, but it's clearly something people want to know. Yes, there will be romance in the series. I love writing romance. All my books are, in some sense or another, love stories. And complicated, passionate, maybe-it-will-work-out-maybe-it-won't romance is my favorite kind. While Tessa clearly is not going to have the exact same romantic problems that Clary did, I think the story of her romantic life is just as interesting.
Where did you get the idea for The Infernal Devices?
I actually got the idea for The Infernal Devices before I got the idea for The Mortal Instruments. It started with a strong mental image: the image of a Victorian-era girl and a boy standing on a bridge in London while creepy-looking mechanical monsters came after them. I had always loved the Victorian age in London, and always wanted to write a story set there; I knew I wanted to include steampunk elements, and I knew I wanted there to be a love story. I knew I also wanted to bring in fantasy and magical elements, and that the main character of the story would be a girl with an unusual power — the power to change her appearance and disguise herself as anyone. The idea for the Mortal Instruments came later and I decided to write it first, basically on the theory that it would be easier to sell a contemporary fantasy than a historical one. (Hey, you've got to get your foot in the door somehow.) While I was writing the Mortal Instruments, the story of the Devices remained in the back of my head, nagging at me, and I would occasionally make notes about the plot and characters so I wouldn't forget about them. As I built the world of the MI series, I realized I wanted Devices to take place in the same world, and that the mythology of one could be easily folded into the story of the other. I started drawing family trees, connecting the characters in one series to the characters in the next, and was surprised at how quickly the connections came.
Wait, what's "steampunk"?
Steampunk is very hard to define. There are a number of definitions to be found here, including this one from Tinker Girl at Brass Goggles, that I like: "Steampunk is a genre of fiction set somewhere in the 1800's during the Victorian Era. The fictional part comes in that technology has gone a bit skewed - though the exact methods vary, generally steam-powered devices that would have been impossible or unfeasible at the time are found to exist. Examples include steam-robots, flying castles, under-water bases, moon rockets, time machines etc."
Obviously, this doesn't really describe my Clockwork series, which is set in our recognizable historical past, not an alternate version of it. But I love the aesthetic of steampunk and tried to work it in in small ways, most notably in the existence of the mechanical human-seeming automatons that figure significantly into the plot, and in Henry's endless inventing of all sorts of mechanical devices that really didn't exist in the Victorian Era — but hey, there weren't really vampires and werewolves in London, either.
I also recommend reading this excellent essay by Cherie Priest.
What kind of research did you do when writing these books?
For six months, I read only books that were written during the Victorian period, or set in the Victorian period. I went to London and walked all the routes I expected my characters to walk — taking into account the way the geography has changed, I did the best I could! I took photos for reference, and went to the Guildhall Library to study maps and records. I read a ton of books that concentrated on one tiny specific historical detail — like "Carriages at Eight!" by Frank Huggett. And I still wish I had many more months to do more!
What are the "Infernal Devices"?
"Captain," said I, just as though I entertained no doubt of the authenticity of Edgar Poe's romance, "is it not the case that all these men perished, some in the attack on the schooner, the others by the infernal device of the natives of Tsalal? — An Antarctic Mystery, Jules Verne, 1897
You'll have to read the books to find out, but as they deal with all sorts of monstrous mechanical devices, I think it won't be too hard to figure out. "Infernal Device" is a Victorian-era term that means a sort of deadly device or bomb. The term is something of a steampunk idiom, most notably appearing as the title of KW Jeter's classic book Infernal Devices.
Will Clockwork Angel be an audiobook?
Yes, there will be an audiobook version of Clockwork Angel, read by the wonderful Jennifer Ehle, best known as Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC "Pride and Prejudice."
Is there any chance of a movie?
The Infernal Devices, like the Mortal Instruments, have been optioned for film by Unique Features.
Who is on the cover of Clockwork Angel?
Will. Jem will be on Clockwork Prince and Tessa on Clockwork Princess.
IF YOU'VE READ THE BOOKS... The following questions and answers contain some spoilers.
What is the plot of Clockwork Prince?
In Clockwork Prince, with the Magister vanished and the clock counting down on how long Charlotte can keep control of the Institute away from Benedict Lightwood, Will, Jem and Tessa must dig into the Magister's past to predict what he will do in the future, But secrets about the Magister aren't all they find buried — Tessa begins to uncover the truth about her own birth, and the ghosts of Will's past return to haunt him. As Tessa grows closer to Jem, and Will is driven further toward the brink of madness by jealousy and guilt, will they discover the truth in time to halt the next phase of the Magister's evil plan?
Clockwork Prince will be released September, 2011. (No, I have nothing more specific than that.)
What about Clockwork Princess?
There's not much in the way of a summary that wouldn't be a spoiler here. I'll say it's an action-filled adventure that takes Tessa and her companions all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it's too late. As Jem's health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves — even if it means never seeing the other one again?
It will be released November/December, 2012.
Are Will and Jace from The Mortal Instruments related?
Yes. Since I don't want to ruin this for people who haven't read the Mortal Instruments, I'll just say there is a fairly obvious piece of evidence that they are.
I thought Jace said female Shadowhunters weren't allowed to fight before the present day? But Charlotte fights.
That is not what Jace says in City of Bones. He says this: "There have always been women in the Clave—mastering the runes, creating weaponry, teaching the Killing Arts— only a few were warriors, ones with exceptional abilities. They had to fight to be trained. Maryse was a part of the first generation to be trained as a matter of course."
He in fact explicitly states that women have always been warriors, but that they had to insist on being trained rather than being required to do it. This is why Jessamine isn't trained; this is why there are many fewer women in the Enclave scene than men, and this is why there are many fewer (probably three among fifty) women in the vampire fight scene than men. There were women Shadowhunters who fought before the present day. They were simply fewer, and had to fight harder to get training and be accorded respect.
Will we ever find out what's up with Will's odd behavior? Why does he push Tessa away? Did he mean what he said on the roof?
It wouldn't be much of a book series if we didn't find out the answers to these questions! We writers, we delight in dropping hints and opening up mysteries in the first book/s of a series. However, I believe we also have a responsibility to the reader to pay those questions off before the series end. If you have a question about a certain character, you will almost certainly find out the answer by the end of the third book. This applies especially to Will who is almost all mystery.
Will we see Camille again?
Camille appears in City of Fallen Angels, as well as returning later in the ID books.
Who is Cecily?
She's a mystery woman, for the moment.
Will we learn more about Magnus' past?
Is there such a thing as demon pox?
Will seems to think so!
In TMI Magnus Bane is gay. But in ID, he is straight. When did he "change teams"?
The problem here is in the question itself. Magnus wasn't gay in TMI. (Do you recall him ever saying he was?) Nor is he straight in ID. He is and has always been bisexual. In fact, in ID, he as good as says so. I have actually been really surprised at the number of times I've been asked if Alec "turned" Magnus gay; you don't "turn" people gay any more than you turn them short, and why does bisexuality never even come up as an option? Magnus' being bisexual takes nothing away from his relationship with Alec.
I tried to deal carefully with the expression of Magnus' sexuality in ID, not because Magnus would care but because Tessa would, with her sheltered upbringing, probably be confused by the idea of two men in a romantic relationship. (She'll get over that.) However, I thought there were some pretty clear pointers to Magnus' bisexuality. For one, he indicates that de Quincey "wants to be more than friends" but says he despises de Quincey so it won't happen. Not that he isn't interested in men. He just doesn't like de Quincey.
Secondly, in the very last scene of the book, from Magnus' point of view, he thinks "Magnus looked at the boy more closely. Will was beautiful; Magnus had been in love many times throughout the years, and normally beauty of any sort moved him, but Will's never had." This is not the way straight guys think about other guys. The idea that Magnus had been in love many times and is susceptible to good looks, but not in Will's case — because of Will's personality — indicates that Magnus considers there to be nothing strange about evaluating Will as a possibly romantic prospect. In this case, the problem is that Will is annoying, not that Will is a boy.
Magnus = bi. Human sexuality = not that dichotomous.
Are you going to make a family tree connecting all the characters from The Infernal Devices to the ones in The Mortal Instruments?
Yes, but. I am not going to do it until after Clockwork Princess is out. Because while a family tree would be interesting, it would also be spoilery — there would be no way to do it without indicating who lives or dies, who gets married to who, who has children with who, etc, and so on.
Will we ever get a chance to read the Codex?
I have heard Tessa appears in City of Glass. Where is that?
Is Camille, the vampire in CA, the same Camille mentioned by Raphael in City of Glass?
Is the ruby pendant Camille wears the same one Isabelle owns in TMI?
Is Church in ID the same Church as in TMI or a different cat with the same name?
The same cat.
But how can he be the same cat? It defies the laws of science and physics that a feline creature could live that long! I demand an explanation!
So nobody minds werewolves or people being brought back from the dead but a long-lived cat is an issue? :) The Church Jem rescues in CA is the same Church in TMI. Mrs. Dark was using him for a necromantic ritual to bring her sister back from the dead. She never completed the ritual. The residual magic rendered Church immortal and smarter than your usual cat.
If there were a Clockwork Angel movie, who would you want to play the characters?
In the spirit of fun I started up an Infernal Devices imaginary casting page, but I'm still waiting for more fan suggestions to come in!
Will Tessa end up with Will or Jem? What is her special power? What did the Magister mean when he said that he made her? Will we see Nate again? Will Jessamine embrace being a Shadowhunter? What is up with Henry and Charlotte's marriage? What the heck did Will do to Gabriel Lightwood's sister? Is there a cure for Jem's disease? And what the heck did Will want to ask Magnus at the end of the book?
None of these are questions I can answer, because the answers are all spoilers. I'm always surprised when people ask me questions like this, because I figure, you can't really expect an answer, no? I mean, they call them spoilers because they spoil the book for you, and writers are not in the habit of wanting to ruin the experience of reading for their readers. Even if you are the sort of person who wants to read the last page of a book first (evil sorts!) — not everyone is, and once these things are told, they are no longer possible to keep secret. I want you to have the optimal possible reading experience and that is in finding these answers out by reading the books.