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Thursday Afternoon Haiku Moment: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Beware: There May Be Spoilers Ahoy.

I’m going in blind
Never read your HP fic
Bought for hot cover

book review Looking for a fix
I need a new series to
Get my ‘crack’ fix on

Sorry – this ain’t it
I tried, I really did try
But you soon lost me

Here’s a quick recap
Clary sees a cute boy at
a club…and he’s killed

But his killers? Hot!
And only Clary sees them!
Plot unfolds from there.

Right away, I have
Many, many issues with
Heroine Clary

She’s a hardcore Sue.
Clary Sue can see ‘Hunters
She is SPECIAL, guys!

– Show quoted text –
Miss Perfect? Miss Chosen One?
Misses the big clues

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (maybe this should be spoiler-cut all the way to
the end)

Clary Sue’s mom was
Married to the bad guy and
Then ran away, hid.

Never told Clary
Sue about her missing dad.
Big “Who is dad” plot.

IT’S THE BAD GUY. WHY CAN NO ONE SEE THIS BUT ME. WTF.

Ahem. Sorry. Cough.
That’s the big ‘gasp’ plot reveal
She is evil’s kid.

Cue lots of ‘oh noes’
And then? Epic wallbanger
moment happens here.

Hot hero guy Jace?
She’s been kissing? Get ready.
‘Nother big reveal

Won’t spoil it here but
It rhymes with TWINCEST. So. Yeah.
Book hits wall. I’m done.

DNF.

This book can be purchased in mass market from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

49 Comments

  1. SonomaLass
    May 28, 2009 @ 16:05:10

    Jaiku: Excellent review, as always. I think I like them better when you didn’t like the book. Snarky haiku, my world needs more of it. Thanks!

  2. Silver James
    May 28, 2009 @ 16:25:38

    Oh dear. Please tell me the heroine’s name is NOT Clary. That is the name of my Only Child(tm) and I will be eternally going ewwww if Clary Sue is this book shares her name. Do. Not. Want! Ever.

    And…uhm…the author’s last name is Clare? Maybe Clary Sue is appropriate…*sigh*

  3. ME
    May 28, 2009 @ 16:41:16

    I loved all the books. Loved them. I will admit to being a little put off by the “twincest” thing, but I knew it would end up where it should, and I’m happy to say that it did!

  4. Michelle
    May 28, 2009 @ 16:41:51

    Also she is a plagiarist. Just google Cassandra Clare/Claire/plagiarism. I wouldn’t touch her books with a ten foot pole.

  5. Edith
    May 28, 2009 @ 16:56:03

    I thought the “interruptions” which prevented them from consuming their abiding lust were so contrived. Then I found out it was to keep them from committing rhymes-with-twincest. Ugh.

    What was worse was the end. It’s also contrived. There is an opportunity to do away with evil evil person, AND THEY DON’T TAKE IT. Just so there can be book 2 and 3 and 4. I never ever read books/sequels where good guys have the opportunity to take out the bad guy, but don’t. That’s where Rachel Caine lost me with her Weather Warden books (or for that matter, any other book she chooses to write). I so totally hate that.

  6. Angelia Sparrow
    May 28, 2009 @ 17:23:30

    So, it’s basically a gender-swapped, earth bound Star Wars Knock-off.

    feh. Typical Cassie

  7. Lori
    May 28, 2009 @ 18:13:26

    Thanks for the head’s up on the plagiarism, Michelle. One more author to add to the Never Buy list.

  8. anon
    May 28, 2009 @ 19:46:40

    Given your stance on plagiarism, I was surprised to see a review of a known plagiarist here.

  9. Pai
    May 29, 2009 @ 03:03:35

    I’d guess that was because she didn’t know she was a plagiarist until someone pointed it out to her in the fourth comment. =P

  10. Helen Burgess
    May 29, 2009 @ 04:52:18

    Googled as curious. I have to say there is a whole world out there I never knew about and probaly would be very happy if I could “unknow” it. So another author on the don’t buy pile.

  11. shelly
    May 29, 2009 @ 05:36:18

    If you search for her on fanhistory.com, you’ll find all you never wanted to know about this author. She is a piece of work and a half.

  12. Karen Mahoney
    May 29, 2009 @ 05:45:15

    I very rarely speak up – I am a shy & retiring Brit! *g* – but what a shame to see the comments here stating that Cassandra Clare is a plagiarist. Wow, guys… really? It’s okay to just put that out there on a respected blog like Dear Author and not have it questioned?

    Accusations of plagiarism always put people on dodgy ground, and I am immensely uncomfortable about it. All I would say is that, knowing Cassie is a great friend of many, many other writers – all hugely talented (inc. people like Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbelestier and Holly Black, who has blurbed her books) – I sincerely doubt these authors would be so close to a “known plagiarist”.

    There is a LOT of stuff on the interwebs, and I don’t believe everything I read without doing some research and thinking about the issues.

  13. AB
    May 29, 2009 @ 05:54:20

    She did plagiarize, though, during her time in the Harry Potter fandom. She was blackballed from fanfiction.net because of it. Most people think it’s because she put little unattributed quotes or “homages” to shows like Buffy, Red Dwarf and Blackadder in her fanfiction. It became a game with her readers to find them. But that’s not the entire story. She copied, wholesale, several paragraphs from a Pamela Dean novel into her fanfiction. All she did was change the character’s names. Her defence, when it came out, was that she’s copied down the paragraphs because she liked the writing so much, but “forgot” to put down the source. Later, when she was writing the chapter of her fanfiction in which these paragraphs appear, she found said paragraphs in her notes and thought she had written them herself. I believe she also got permission from Dean after the fact to use them. Basically, she was one of the hugest BNFs in the Harry Potter fandom at the time, and the fandom decided to sweep her dirty little secret under the rug (or at least her friends, who held most of the power in the fandom at the time did).

    But you’re right to question some of the accounts. The one on fanhistory is most definitely grudgy and biased.

  14. Denise
    May 29, 2009 @ 06:10:23

    I watched the whole plagiarism issue with Cassie Clare as it blossomed. Those who exposed it went about it the same way it was done with Cassie Edwards. Lines in the fanfic compared side by side to lines in books by other published authors. Trust me, there is a mountain of proof to show this woman used the words of others and claimed them as her own.

    I’m sure many respected authors were and remain great friends with Cassie Edwards, just as with Cassandra Clare. That, however, neither defines nor proves innocence. Those authors may simply not know of Clare’s writing history prior to her professional work.

    If someone will steal another’s words while writing a fanfic, what’s to stop them from doing it while working on their supposedly “original” work? Whether or not the prose in City of Bones is purely Cassandra Clare’s, my trust in the writer’s integrity is broken. I’d never buy these books as I’d always wonder.

  15. Jane
    May 29, 2009 @ 07:25:27

    @Karen Mahoney Have you done the research? Here from the wiki entry on Ms. Clare/Claire:

    Nevertheless, Claire’s activities as a fan fiction writer were soured by accusations (with overwhelming evidence) of plagiarism in The Draco Trilogy.[4] [5]

    You can get a start here.

  16. Karen Mahoney
    May 29, 2009 @ 07:33:30

    @Jane Thanks for the links.

  17. Michelle
    May 29, 2009 @ 08:23:54

    As others have said look at other known plagiarists-Janet Dailey is still being published. Having friends stick by one doesn’t equal innocence. Some writers don’t even view plagiarism as a big deal. That view baffles me. Also they could say she didn’t know better, she has learned her lesson. blah, blah, blah.

  18. FD
    May 29, 2009 @ 09:16:55

    Having also been around in HP fandom at the time, and having done the compare and contrasts for myself, I have no hesitation in saying that at that time Cassie Clare was definitely a plagiarist and all the usual excuses were trotted out.

    However, there’s no suggestion that she’s plagiarizing now, and I would expect that having lived through the backlash from the resulting scandal, she’s probably likely to be very, very careful about any appearance of impropriety now. Ditto her publishers, who (reputedly) picked her up on the strength of her fan fic, which plagiarised bits aside had a huuuuuge following.

    I guess the question is: do you give a dog a bad name and hang him? Or do you accept that it was something that happened in the past, she’s (presumably) learnt her lesson and anyway (insert sarcasm here) it was fanfic, not for profit, so it doesn’t count?

    Me, I picked up the first from the library, but I shan’t be reading the rest.
    That’s nothing to do with the plagiarism – like her fanfic, her professional writing doesn’t work for me. Too trite, frankly.

  19. K. Z. Snow
    May 29, 2009 @ 13:28:17

    Dude on the cover doesn’t exactly look YA-ish (*slurp*). Aside from that, how sad to hear about another case of I Lack Imagination So I’ll Just Steal Me Some.

  20. librarygirl
    May 29, 2009 @ 14:05:06

    Hmm… These have been big with the Twilight set at work. Good to know what the kids are reading. Up till now, all the reviews I’ve have seen have been fairly positive. I wonder why?

  21. Christine McKay
    May 29, 2009 @ 14:28:38

    I do love the cover.
    Just *wow*.
    Can I ask who the cover artist was?

  22. Rose
    May 29, 2009 @ 16:11:11

    KZ: You don’t know how right you are. There is absolutely nothing original in this book. Anyone who’s read through the sci-fi/fantasy & comics section in their bookstore can pick out the chunks of what she’s been “sampling,” from Fables’ “Mundies” and the farm in upstate NY (for inhuman-looking creatures), to the invisible magically-merging interplane-traveling carriage from Jim Butcher’s Dresden series, to the runes from the Death Gate Cycle, to Valentine/Voldemort and his quest for magical critter racial purity. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, and doesn’t even touch the god-awful writing itself.

    The fact that other YA authors are supporting/backing her tells me something unpleasant about them.

  23. Cathy
    May 29, 2009 @ 17:47:33

    Wow, I’m really glad I read this trilogy before I read this review. I loved the books…absolutely loved them. Did they seem like something completely new and not done before? Well, no….shades of HP and Star Wars….but then there are lots of themes out there that are not completely original (vampires anyone? navy seals from a few years back?) I thought they were a fresh enough entry into the paranormal scene, and exciting enough that I couldn’t wait to finish them.

    I had not heard anything about the previous plagarism charges….if true, that is really, really disappointing. I’ll have to check into that myself before I can comment.

  24. MPH
    May 29, 2009 @ 18:43:24

    I hope I do not sound rude but…I have to question the value and legitimacy of a book review written by a reviewer who owns to not reading (completing) the book. Not that the haiku format and content lack entertainment value but saying “This is a lousy book” when one did not even read the entire book is a bit like saying “Harry’s a lousy lay” when one has only experienced interrupted coitus with said Harry.

    I’m a diehard reader and there are very few books I’ve ever picked up that I did not read to the end even if I felt the writing and storytelling were not to my taste. Usually, the book doesn’t get “better” but at least if the book isn’t to my liking I can articulate my impressions with a sense of “fair play.” Sometimes, although the book may not be to my own liking I can still identify its merits and relay them to others.

    Isn’t all fan fiction plaigirism? I mean, even if the author’s crafted story was his/her own original idea the author obviously must…er….plaigirize, utilizing characterisation and often places, events, etc. created by other authors.

    I don’t know the author being lambasted nor I am acquainted with any of her work, fanfiction or professional. But it does sort of seem some of the posters in this thread have it out for the author for reasons beyond the alleged poor quality of the book substantiated by a review who did not complete the book. What age bracket is participating in this thread again?

  25. SonomaLass
    May 29, 2009 @ 19:19:34

    No, not all fanfiction is plagiarism. Some authors don’t object to other writers “playing in their world” (to quote the late Marion Zimmer Bradley), and even if they do, fanfic is more derivative work than it is plagiarism. However, passages copied word for word from another writer’s work, and uncredited as such, DO constitute plagiarism. That’s what Ms. Clare did, and admitted to, and apologized for. Whether that is enough to turn a reader off of her later work, assuming she did learn her lesson, is a subjective matter.

    Obviously not everyone agrees that DNF reviews are valuable, and some sites don’t use them. The policy of this site has been to allow them, as long as they are clearly labeled as such. Here and at SBTB, the prevailing sentiment of readers participating in discussion of this issue has been that clearly labeled DNF reviews, which articulate the reasons for the DNF, can serve as a valuable guide for readers. Seems to me, entertainment value aside, Jaiku has done that here. I know what she didn’t like about the book, so much that she didn’t finish it, and if the same things would bother me, I won’t try it myself. If those things don’t bother me, I can make the decision to try the book anyway, or to look for other reviews and see what reviewers thought who did finish it.

    I’m pushing 50, how about you?

  26. Katee R
    May 29, 2009 @ 23:08:47

    The reviewer did finish the book. The “big reveal” about the evil father and … um, twincest were done within the last two chapters. After that … nothing really happened. And I did read the first book but I don’t think I’ll read any more. The whole Star Wars switcheroo makes me a little sick to my stomach (not because it’s like SW but because … well, eew). I didn’t hate the book but I found it to be more of the same stuff that’s filling the UF (and YA) markets. Can we please get something DIFFERENT (no vampires, werewolves, etc)?

  27. allison
    May 30, 2009 @ 00:04:26

    @MPH: Wow. We get a bashing of fanfiction coupled with a “how old are you anyway” insult. Nice.

    Or not.

    No, all fanfiction is not plagiarism. I can link you to about 300-400 stories where the original source material was not utilized in any sort of plagiarism issue. Now if you had used the phrase “copywrite infringement”, it’d be a different story. That’s debatable. Plagiarism isn’t. Sure, there are people in fandom that plagiarize but not ALL of them do. In fact, it’s a small group, I’m certain the ratio is similar to the professional authors out there.

    What, exactly, does my age have to do with a single thing that you point out?

  28. MPH
    May 30, 2009 @ 03:39:18

    SonomaLass, hi there and thank you for your civil response.

    I’m not going to debate the finer points of how some fanfiction is plagirism and other fanfiction isn’t. Fanfiction, by its very nature, requires the author to utilize material that is not the author’s own original work. Some authors have provided latent permission to fanfiction authors, others have not and some fanfiction authors still use and/or abuse their intellectual property.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not denigrating fanfiction or fanfiction authors. My opinion just happens to be the work is already accepted as being unoriginal (or at least partially unoriginal) and I would not take issue with an author whose fanfiction was unoriginal. I’ll agree proper citations and disclaimers may give the work less the appearance of tangressing upon authors’ rights, but at the end of the day, well, it’s fanfiction (by nature unoriginal.) As you say, the matter is a subjective one. Again thanks for your opinion.

  29. Denise
    May 30, 2009 @ 06:10:30

    @ MPH

    From the trusty dictionary – plagiarism: the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

    I post this because assumptions regarding plagiarism range from the most narrowly focused to the most general. Not all fanfiction is plagiarism. In fact, I’d suggest plagiarism affects the same percentage of fanfiction as it does published work–hopefully a relatively small amount. Fanfiction dances the line with copyright infringement (depending on publish date of original canon work), and that is a debate intellectual property lawyers go to bat with very often these days.

    If plagiarism was defined as the use of established characters within a created world by the non canon author to tell a prequel/sequel of the tale, another pov of the tale or even a parody of the tale, then we could rightly accuse such authors as Susan Kay (Phantom), Jean Rhys (The Wide Sargasso Sea), and all authors who’ve written Jane Austen stories and had them published by Sourcebooks as plagiarists. As it is, these are not plagiarists based on the definition of plagiarism. And in these particular cases, they aren’t engaged in copyright infringement as the canon in which they are writing is now old enough to be in the public domain.

    Unoriginal doesn’t equal plagiarism. What Clare did was definitely plagiarism. She lifted prose, wholesale and unchanged, from published work by other authors and claimed it as her own.

    I don’t “have it out” for Clare anymore than I do for Edwards or Dailey. Don’t know them, never met them, but I won’t support such authors by purchasing their product, and I have no hesitation telling others exactly why such is the case. At that point, it’s up to them and their own stance on the issue as to whether or not they choose to buy.

    I’m not exactly sure what age has to do with anything, but I’m in my forties.

  30. Cathy
    May 30, 2009 @ 08:37:00

    Ok, after looking into this myself, I understand that the issue has to do with fanfiction, and not a “regular” published novel. I admittedly do not read fanfiction – nothing against it at all, but my tbr pile is large enough as it is. I agree, what she did was plagiarism, but in the context (fanfiction), that does not pack the same punch for me. To me, fanfiction is something written by fans in order to continue to enjoy someone elses characters. By its nature, that to me is plagiarizing. Should they all be stamped guilty? Well, no, it’s for fun, and I assume people are not raking in money for these stories, and it probably supports and encourages the fandom, which in turn supports sales of the “real” books.

    I’m sure there is a point where these fan writers go too far (lifting passages), but from what I read, this was a common theme going on, where the readers would guess where these lifted passages came from. Clearly, people got carried away in the fun and went too far. But to tar and feather and vow never to purchase an actual original published work seems awfully harsh.

    I also think a very negative dnf review, coupled with plagiarism accusations that have nothing to do with published work makes me uneasy. If I had seen this before I had read the books, I may have passed on them and I would have missed out on a really enjoyable read. Perhaps I’m missing something about the fanfic stuff, but I have to put my view down as respectfully disagreeing with the above accusors. I’m forty, for what it’s worth.

  31. AnonyGuest
    May 30, 2009 @ 09:09:13

    @Christine McKay:

    Cover artist is Cliff Nielsen, he has some great work.

  32. anon
    May 30, 2009 @ 10:37:03

    @Cathy:

    While continuing “to enjoy someone else’s characters” may be plagiarism to you, it’s not the standard definition. There’s a huge difference between plagiarism (word for word stealing of someone else’s work while claiming it as your own) and copyright infringement (creating derivative works based on someone else’s work). By your definition, authorized tie-in novels would be plagiarism, as would movies made of books and comic books, etc. Does the explicit permission rather than the tacit turn it legitimate for you? Because I can tell you from experience, there are print books out there that started life as fanfiction until the author reworked them to make them original. Does that make them plagiarized, even though they’ve been revised to remove mention of the source material?

    As far as I’m concerned, someone who lifts the prose from a published author’s work and posts it online while claiming it as her original work is no different to the person who publishes it in print form while claiming it as her own work. Stealing is stealing. This isn’t something that I see as a moral gray area.

    And given the stance taken by the folks here at Dear Author, I was stunned that they would review a book by someone who is such a well-known plagiarist (she’s a running joke among the online community) while making no mention of the fact.

    I really don’t understand this attitude of “well, it’s just fanfiction, so it was okay for her to plagiarize. Let us know if she does it with a REAL book.” Do you not see the disconnect here for a group that fights the “Oh, it’s just romance. Let us know when you start reading REAL books” attitude?

  33. FD
    May 30, 2009 @ 11:20:07

    I commented above re my opinion of the book, which I have read, and I can understand why Jaiku didn’t finish it.

    As to the plagiarism – having further considered it – as far as I am concerned, intellectual dishonesty is intellectual dishonesty, whether for profit or peer applause.

  34. Denise
    May 30, 2009 @ 11:24:55

    @Cathy – That would be a very sweeping definition of plagiarism–one to net thousands of authors who’ve written derivative works. Every author who’s written a movie or TV show tie-in would be a plagiarist (regardless of permission from copyright holder), as would anyone who has ever revisited a Brother’s Grimm fairytale.

    I may be reading this incorrectly, but your take on it seems to be if it’s not publishable based on copyright infringement or done solely for fun, there is no harm, no foul. If so, I must respectfully disagree. Plagiarism is not a crime; it is, however, considered dishonest and unethical amongst academia and the journalist community. The many definitions of plagiarism out there are very specific about what it constitutes. None offer exceptions to the rule such as not applicable if used for hobby writing or outside the qualification of publication.

    As for the game of spotting the passages, if Claire/Clare publically stated her intent in the beginning of the work and clued readers into what she was doing, that would fall under the definition of homage. Where she crossed the line was when homage turned to plagiarism and she took credit for words not her own.

    Where a work stands on the publishing hierarchy shouldn’t justify the act of plagiarism. In many opinions (I’m not one of them), fanfic is at the bottom of this hierarchy, but its low place doesn’t excuse word theft. I find it ironic that during the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal many people who thumb their noses at the romance genre said similar things. I saw one comment on a blog that stated “It’s not plagiarism if it took place in a romance novel. It’s just a romance novel. That’s not a real book anyway.”

  35. SonomaLass
    May 30, 2009 @ 13:58:33

    Derivative works and plagiarized works CAN seem similar; when you mix in the issue of copyright infringement, it can get to be a bit Byzantine to sort out. Some cases are pretty easy — Shakespeare? His plays are sometimes derivative, but he never lifts full passages from his source and always makes significant changes, so not plagiarism. Also not copyright infringement, because no such think back in the day.

    I don’t think most people are claiming that Clare’s writing of fanfic per se was an act of plagiarism. It was a specific instance, where she used a whole section of another writer’s published work without attribution, as if it was her own. It was NOT the work of the author whose works were the subject of the fanfiction, but another unrelated book. That might be copyright infringement, but if there’s no financial gain, damages are unlikely. It IS plagiarism, however — which as others have pointed out, is not illegal, it’s just unethical.

    Because it’s an ethics question rather than a legal question, opinions as to its seriousness will differ, and there’s not one right answer. Those of us who come from an academic background are likely to see it as cheating, and to react as we would when our students do it (can you say fail? I knew you could.). As is obvious from some of the discussion above, other people are not bothered by it if there’s no financial gain, or don’t make much distinction between plagiarism of words and the borrowing of characters and settings. Even when there IS financial gain, some people can look past it and go right on buying that author’s work, and if there’s a market to buy it, someone will publish it. I think that’s sad, but there you go.

  36. MPH
    May 30, 2009 @ 14:59:44

    As to the plagiarism – having further considered it – as far as I am concerned, intellectual dishonesty is intellectual dishonesty, whether for profit or peer applause.

    I agree with this assessment within certain parameters. What if, say, a teenager reads a few good books and gets into fandom and decides to incorporate unoriginal elements and ideas into fanfiction work without providing suitable citation or disclaimer? Later, with clearer understanding of what plaigirism means, he pursues a successful writing career (his own original non-plaigirized work)…and suddenly his past catches up with him and former fans or potential fans are being dissuaded by his previous plaigirism in fanfiction, an art form that we all seem to agree is something of a slippery slope to begin with when it comes to intellectual property infringement?

    Ignorance is no excuse, of course, but given the “grey area” in which fanfiction sits in the first place, I’m unconvinced an author deserves to be blacklisted.

    I’d like to add that different participants in fandom have different ideas of what plaigirism is and whether or no an author should be penalized for it. An experience that put me off and encouraged me to stop reading fanfiction years ago was when I served as a judge for a fantiction awards site. I was looking over a fanfiction novel that had won an award and discovered the entire novel was a plaigirism of “Blood and Chocolate” with a few slight edits to turn it into a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” story. I don’t mean uncredited passages were “borrowed”, I mean the entire novel was recopied as a BtVS vehicle. (At the time I loved “Blood and Chocolate” and had read it several times and could practically recite it from memory.)

    I contacted the webmistress and informed her of the plaigirism, providing the bibliographical info on “Blood & Chocolate.” Her response was a virtual shrug and “Gee, that’s too bad but the awards have already been awarded. That book was really good.” She did not censure the plaigirist in any way, or post a notice on her site rescinding the award and citing the reasons, or anything else. In her eyes, it did not matter that the work was unoriginal, just that it was more professional and entertainting that its competitors.

    Given those kinds of permissive attitudes, I can see how some naive fanfiction authors might not understand that it’s wrong to plaigirize their fanfiction.

    If Ms. Clare has taken responsibility for her previous errors and offered an apology to those who feel plaigirism is unforgivable in fanfiction, then continued to pursue a successful professional writing career without plaigirizing, I can’t fault her for that. Unless I know for a fact she had a clear understanding of what plaigirism is and clearly understood fanfiction must not be plaigirized, I’m not going to throw stones because I understand how permissive and fluid attitudes towards this subject can be.

    Again, this is my opinion and is not meant to denigrate fanfiction or fanfiction authors.

  37. MPH
    May 30, 2009 @ 15:09:21

    And given the stance taken by the folks here at Dear Author, I was stunned that they would review a book by someone who is such a well-known plagiarist (she's a running joke among the online community) while making no mention of the fact.

    From my perspective of “Thursday Afternoon Haiku Moment,” it looks like Dear Auhor is conforming with the online community’s status quo.

  38. Cora
    May 30, 2009 @ 15:19:57

    I find it interesting that Clare is being portrayed as a naive teen who didn’t understand the ethics of writing, when in fact, she was a professional journalist when this happened. If she wanted to distance herself from her prior errors (and many will argue that since they only happened when she was writing fanfiction, which ‘does not count’), she should have simply changed her pen name. By which I mean, do more than drop the i.

    Oh wait, that would have lost the built in audience. Silly me.

    Obviously her past bothers some people and does not bother others, but I would urge people to actually educate themselves on what happened (The write up at bad penny shows the passages in question in a side by side comparison). If nothing else, it makes for some very interesting reading.

  39. MPH
    May 30, 2009 @ 15:27:45

    I find it interesting that Clare is being portrayed as a naive teen who didn't understand the ethics of writing, when in fact, she was a professional journalist when this happened.

    I thought this was a reader’s site. The “naive teen author” is a hypothetical offering, not a portrayal of Ms. Clare. I am unfamiliar with Ms. Clare or any of her work. I have no idea if she intentionally plaigirized her fan fiction or if she expected her fans to identify the parts not hers, or what.

    If she wanted to distance herself from her prior errors (and many will argue that since they only happened when she was writing fanfiction, which ‘does not count'), she should have simply changed her pen name. By which I mean, do more than drop the i.

    Oh wait, that would have lost the built in audience. Silly me.

    Publishing is business. Evidently Ms. Clare weighed the value of her loyal audience against her detractors and decided it was worth it not to change her pen name.

  40. Cathy
    May 30, 2009 @ 22:48:22

    @ anon and Denise – I appreciate your view, and the politeness in which you responded to my differing opinion. I’m not talking about movie or book tie ins that have author approval -I’m talking about fanfiction. And admittedly, my knowledge of fanfic is slim, and as an outsider I’m sure I don’t have a clear picture of what that community entails. What she did was wrong, definately. It was plagiarism. Would I view it the same level of wrongness if we were talking about her published work? No. Just my opinion. In this day and age where people are sharing all kinds of things to a potentially huge online audience rather than penciled into personal notebooks, I *can* see where people could by stupid mistake or with intent get themselves in a bad situation.

  41. Jules Jones
    May 31, 2009 @ 01:48:35

    Cathy, I was an insider in fanfiction — and I can assure you that what Cla(i)re did was considered in my fannish circles to be good reason to refuse to buy her profic books. There is a difference between allusion and plagiarism, and the bad penny dissection made it very clear that Cla(i)re knew exactly what she was doing but thought she could get away with it. She was letting people assume that she had written a lovely piece of prose, and accepting the praise for great writing which she had not in fact written. That it was in fanfic does not make that behaviour any more acceptable.

    Fanfic as a genre is not plagiarism, even if individual pieces may involve plagiarism. By its very nature, it is not plagiarism, because the definition of plagiarism is that it is the *unattributed* use of work done by others, in an attempt to take credit for work you did not do. And the whole point of fanfic is that it an *open* use of the work of others — why else would we read/write it?

    Plagiarism and copyright infringement are two different things, and that difference is important.

  42. Holly
    May 31, 2009 @ 04:32:47

    A friend of mine recommended me these books because I liked the works of Holly Black, one of Clare’s friends. I honestly couldn’t stand them.

    The heroine is described as shy, yet goes around slapping people for daring to save her life with only a 90% probability of success. To say nothing of the way she’s introduced – objecting to the murder the reviewer mentions with, essentially, ‘killing is wrong’… because all murderers are going to listen to that reasoning.

    I did like some of Clare’s descriptions of New York but on the whole, there was nothing original about the plot which made it predictable instead of enjoyable, the characters were unrealistic for their age and the romance, as well as many of the relationships and situations in the novel, felt contrived. Also, some of her word choice (particularly her adjectives) were just weird and distracting.

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  44. Lisa
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:11:50

    I’m sorry to butt in, but I can’t help but point out (as several other commenters have already admirably done) that fanfiction is not, by definition, plagiarism.

    If fanfiction is plagiarism, where does that leave An Assembly Such as This, Enthusiasm, Jane Fairfax, None But You, and the dozens of other novels based on imaginative expansions or retellings of the works of Jane Austen ? What about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, running parallel to Hamlet’s tale ? Scarlett or The Wind Done Gone , one a continuation and the other a parody ? Wide Sargasso Sea ? Mary Reilly ? Wicked ? All of these works are derivative and transformative. They are essentially fanfiction, good and well-edited fanfiction elevated to the status of “real” fiction by a publisher and a paycheck.

    So, no, all fanfic is not “plaigirism,” nor is it plagiarism.

  45. N
    Jun 10, 2009 @ 22:14:35

    One last issue with Clare that I don’t remember having seen elsewhere: the romantic closure of her big fanfic trilogy was ripped from Dunnett, whose work she is known to have read and admired. Despite that it was after the kerfuffle, and after (I think) her novel was accepted for publication, no credit was given. A lot of people have been inspired by Dunnett, but especially under the circumstances, please at least file the numbers off. Or credit. Anyway, I did read City of Bones but I can’t bear to read anything of hers since.

  46. R
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 01:38:10

    Look, to be honest fanfiction is fanfiction. It is not a published story it is just a bit of fun. Cassandra Clare I think was just learning to use different things, yes i guess you could call that plagiarism, but really? Her books do not mean they are in some way plagirised and i have read them all and i love them and they definitely have no similarity to any book I can think of. Fanfiction is really nothing huge. You all shouldn’t get so worked up about this nonsense. And why would her books gotten published? Try getting a book published yourselves.

  47. L
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 19:56:58

    “And why would her books gotten published? ”

    Let’s see R, because she had a built in audience from her Harry Potter Fanfic days which guaranteed sales?

    Also the ‘try getting a book published yourself’ defense is ridiculous. It’s like defending Nixon by saying ‘WELL WHY DON’T YOU BECOME PRESIDENT!’. Rubbish.

    Also even if it’s for fun, it’s ridiculous and pathetic to throw in entire paragraphs from already published books into your fanfiction and all but claim it as your own. Her books may not be plagiarised per say but they are entirely unoriginal. There’s actually a list out there of all the ideas she’s stolen from, and I’m not talking about abstract ideas, I’m talking about characters named Clary who draws pictures that come to life which is the entire plot of Charles De Lint’s novel Memory and Dream. Those kind of ideas. The ones that are almost directly lifted from other books but changed just enough so that she can’t get sued.

    So yeah, shame Clare.

  48. suzette
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 21:43:07

    This book is very amazing…i love it very much!!

  49. ally
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 17:06:22

    this book is very amazing..it’s tightly plotted and lots of twist is the thing that i like the most..im looking forward in reading the second book and i hope it’s just as great as the first one…and by the way, i like jace’s attitude, and i loved the sudden revelation which surprised every characters in the story even me… I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK..

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