I just read City of Bones [Book 1, Mortal Instruments trilogy] by Cassandra Clare, in which 15-year-old
Mary Sue Buffy Princess Leia Clary and her dorky friend Xander Simon [who has a crush on her] experience the supernatural world of the Hellmouth New York City.
Naturally, Buffy discovers that she too is a Slayer, so she accompanies the Scoobies to
Hogwarts the Institute, a wizarding academy Shadowhunter school, presided over by the grandfatherly Dumbledore Hodge [who has a pet phoenix raven]. She learns about her special Slayer heritage while making goo-goo eyes at Draco and kicking monster butt with l33t skillz that will only surprise you if you’ve never read any Mary Sue stories at all. There’s some crap about a banished evil resistance of anti-mudbloods anti-demon, pro-purity wizards Shadowhunters headed by the charismatic and deadly Darth Vader Voldemort Valentine and the pursuit of a Goblet of Fire One Ring Excalibur Mortal Cup, all of which drives the plot. Princess Buffy and and Draco Skywalker run around, getting on each other’s nerves, until they find the Cup and the truth about their parentage, which is that Darth Voldemort is their father and that they are siblings. Blah blah blah, cliffhanger ending with gratuitous flying motorcycles.
Now I have a long long love affair with fan fiction, especially since my sister and I were doing Labyrinth-based self-insertion tangential fantasies [super-powered twins with Jareth as a father and Sarah as a sister in a world where magic existed, along with many mythical beings and characters from Back to the Future, Disney’s Little Mermaid, etc.] from the age of 8. We shamelessly ripped off our most and least favorite media and spun weird sci-fi plots and make countless overdone jokes. Then we developed our own individual styles of writing and creating, which were clearly reformulating and addressing the media which we had grown up with, but were obviously doing so in an original way.
I am not saying that fanfic is stupid and immature and published professional fiction is better and more mature. I’m just saying that there are different expectations for professional published fiction. In professional published fiction, you have to cite your sources, either literally if you are quoting directly, or figuratively. To do so figuratively, you put your signature on the old tropes so that we know that you’ve actually paid attention to them and not just regurgitated them whole. Clare has not sufficiently
degenerated hah Freudian slip! differentiated City of Bones from the rest of the garbage in the Trashcan of Dead Plots.
As I’m sure you gather from the sarcasm in my plot summary, I do not think that Clare cites her sources at all. I think she just hurks them up in such big, obvious chunks that I can easily identify what books and movies she devoured earlier in her life. I don’t want to look at your recycled lunch, Cassandra. In fact, I don’t want to see anything more from you until you can convert the media you consume into actual food for original thought.
P.S. Your vampires were supremely dull.