Ah, the Mortal Instruments series. The fanfic changed just enough to make it legally publishable. Truly, these books are an inspiration to would-be authors everywhere.
‘Inspiration’ in this case meaning, “Hey, if this crap can get published, so can mine.”
Now, being male, straight, and in my mid-20s, I managed to avoid this series for a good long while. My first real exposure to it came from the group sporking hosted over at Das Sporking, which you can find here (if you’re just dying to know what happens and/or don’t feel like waiting on my lazy butt, check it out). I enjoyed it, for the most part, so when the call went out to sign up for the second book, I decided to give it a whirl. (I’m sporking chapter 3, in case you’re wondering).
So, in preparation for that (and because it was available for 99 cents in the Kindle store), I decided to buy the first book, City of Bones. I thought it would be easy. After all, I knew what was going to happen. I knew it would be stupid. How bad could it be?
Oh, how naive I was.
Well, I’m reminded of a quote from Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s Zero Punctuation web-series. I can’t remember the exact quote or the episode, but the comparison was something like “eating a turd sandwich only to occasionally come across a bit of Branston Pickle.”
That was what reading City of Bones was like – lots of crap, with the occasional bit of actual good writing, which, rather than making the book as a whole more tolerable, actually makes the bad parts seem even worse, and leading me to wonder at what could cause such a huge disparity in the quality of book as a whole.
And so, after reading only one chapter, I decided to spork the book. Am I a bit of a masochist? Probably.
But first, a few quick notes.
One: I have not and do not intend to read Clare’s Draco Trilogy, which this series is purportedly adapted from. Please, do not link me to some out-of-the-way site where they’re still hosted, nor offer to email me a copy of the trilogy you happen to have saved on your hard drive. While your intent is appreciated, I’m not going to read them. Being exposed to the published version is bad enough; having to deal with the undiluted version might kill me. The only other works of Clare’s that I have read are The Very Secret Diaries, which I thought were pretty funny, and I was actually a bit saddened to find out that Ms. Clare had effectively disowned them.
Two: Ms. Clare herself. I will try to avoid discussing her as anything other than a writer as much as possible. I’m aware that certain portions of the Draco Trilogy were plagiarized, but unless I find passages in this book that are clearly taken from another work, I’m not going to ignore that. I’ve read no interviews of Clare, and thus have no idea of what she’s like. Being a good author and being a nice person are neither mutually exclusive nor inclusive.
Three: This is my first big sporking. As such, it’ll probably be a bit rough, especially in the beginning. I’ll try to bring the funny, and we’ll see how it goes. Critique is welcome, as is constructive criticism. I’m also not going to set a schedule for myself, because I’ll inevitably slip up. Let’s just say I’ll post when I have something, and leave it at that.
Four: To avoid the almost certain confusion, I will henceforth refer to our not-so-illustrious author Cassandra Clare as CC. I will be referring to our principle character, Clary Fray, as Clary.
So strap on you waders and nose-plugs, folks, ‘cause the shit’s gonna get deep.