I approached this book with a great deal of trepidation. I've heard mixed reviews of the author, and I've read some truly terribly steampunk. To my surprise I really enjoyed this book, love triangle and all!
Unlike many victorian/steampunk books I didn't feel as though the steampunk elements were an afterthought. The clockwork creatures were integral to the plot and made sense in the universe. We weren't burdened with continual descriptions of someone wearing goggles and driving a dirigible, so it felt as though those story elements were organic.
I have not read Clare's other series, though I plan to soon. I read this one first because I find I prefer historic novels to contemporary settings, particularly where supernatural evens take place.
The characters felt real enough to me, with the glaring exception of Will. Will is one of (probably the main) love interest of our heroine Tessa. He's surly and difficult, thought I'd imagine he will improve later in the series. For now? I can't imagine what she sees in him, but ah well. I have read far worse, so I can overlook that, as the romance is not the focus of the novel.
I took off one star because it seemed that not much happened for the first 2/3 of the novel. I know that starting a series requires exposition, but it was a bit slow. It felt like it had just gotten interesting when the novel ended. I'm going to read the next novel in the series - I'm excited to continue, and I happily recommend the Clockwork Angel to fans of Steampunk, Victorian novels, and urban fantasy.