This is going to be more of a rant than a review. Because I can’t review this I’ve reviewed it already. Or let’s say I’ve reviewed its source material.
Yes, source material because if we’re going to get down to it Prophecy Girl, the first book in the Angel Academy series (yeah, can’t get more obvious than that). I can’t even really review this book because I really don’t know what I can review from it. I mean, I’ve talked about the problems I’ve seen with it’s respective series already. As for the basics: characterization, pacing, etc. I actually sort of liked Schuyler Rose Fray Amelie. However, as the series dragged on she got on my nerves and read total poser than kick ass demon hunter. The insta love and lack of pacing also hurt the book as well. However, all of this was pushed back in my mind because the book WAS a rip off. Let’s look at some examples:
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer:
Oh, the beginning in the end are so Twilight it’s not funny. And I know everything’s like Twilight. We’ve been through this over and over again. But the prologue is just like the Twilight one-you know, heroine in distress talking about dying. And hey at the end they’re talking about going to Antarctica for a honeymoon because of vampires (sorry, for that minor spoiler). Um, yeah, I remember Bella and Edward talking about frolicking with the penguins for about a hundred pages or so of Stephenie Meyer’s whining.
This was the first real big offender. I’m going to put the similarities in bullet points because there’s a lot of them:
- “Kick ass” heroine.
- Best friend is named Lisa (hmm, seems really close to another best friend’s name-cough, Lissa, cough.
- New teacher is interested in our bawdry heroine.
- Heroine goes to a school that teaches her to fight paranormal creatures.
- Had a mother that was known for being kick ass.
- Is considered a pariah at said school.
- Is on the verge of being expelled.
- There’s something special and dark about said best friend.
- Magical tattoos
Honestly, there are a lot of similarities between Vampire Academy and The Covenant series, that makes this series in itself a rip off but this book rips off the Covenant series in a way too-so it’s a rip off of a rip off. Once again, bullet points will be used to point out the similarities:
- There’s a prophecy made about the heroine that could potential cause the apocalypse.
- The relationship between the hero and heroine is forbidden.
- Dead mothers.
- An evil close family relation that the heroine is forced to kill.
If you know me, then you know that Blue Bloods is my favorite YA series (purely for sentiment now), but its heyday the series kicked ass. This book decided that it was going to “borrow” and twist quite a few things from that series and that just pissed me off. To be honest I thought this was a Blue Bloods fan fiction fused with Vampire Academy and The Mortal Instruments, but I frequent the fan fiction boards for Blue Bloods and don’t remember seeing this (interestingly enough, if you Google “Angel Academy fan fiction” there are a couple of Mortal Instruments fan fics by that name but none of them are an identical match). Here’s some of the similarities:
- The hero’s name is Jack. Yeah, I know lots of YA heros have that name but it gets better.
- He’s supposedly bonded to someone other than the M.C. (at least that’s what we think at the beginning of the book)
- Bonds aren’t supposed to be broken–hmmm, yeah.
- Amelie’s mom broke her bond with dire consequences.
- Bonds make you stronger.
- Amelie is not suppose to exist.
- Amelie is a bit of an outcast.
- One of the parties is related to Gabriel.
- There’s a mark of the archangel.
- One of the parties is related to Lucifer.
- There’s a hidden sister who has Lucifer’s bloodline.
- The main character is the key to saving the world.
- The relationship between Amelie and Jack is doomed.
- Jack is Amelie’s conduit.
- Oh, yeah and vampires.
It pains me that I’m going to have to defend Cassandra Clare’s originality because like this book I question its originality. However, since I feel it’s my duty to report my feelings. Here are some of the eerie similarities between Prophecy Girl and City of Bones.
- Demon fighters with tattoos that are a part of their culture
- Greater demons play a prominent role.
- The term crossworlder is used, sound familiar to downworlder*.
- The crossworlders are fighting for equal rights.
- A possible love interest is a vampire.
- The demon hunters are of angel blood.
A mysterious twin that everyone thinks is you killing everything. Yeah, seen that done that.
That’s right, this book even rips off freaking House of Night. They had the gall to rip off one of the worst written YA series ever. That my friends, is sad. Really sad. Grant it, the rip off isn’t horrible in comparison to that of Blue Bloods or Vampire Academy, but still. There’s going to be a sequel and from what I saw of the vampire mythology in this one (calling them fledglings not real vampires and the fact that they’re only sensitive to the sun and don’t have to drink blood yet). Yep, total rip off of The House of Night mythology which while not totally original in itself was probably the best and most original thing about series. Oh, and it sort of ripped off the magical tattoo thing too, but lots of books do that as seen from above.
Closing Thoughts (or before I have to go pop a Beta blocker because I’m getting too upset):
I don’t really know what to say. I’d like to think that this is unintentional or maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I’ve just read so many YA PNRs. Everything just seems the same. But I really don’t think I am. I mean, I’ve read enough Twilight rip offs and I can handle most of them because they diverge enough from the original source material and become original (sort of). This one though was like ooh I’m borrowing too much from Vampire Academy got to borrow from another series now. It was annoying.
Look, there’s no such thing as an original ideas and you can’t copyright ideas, I get that, but this to me goes beyond that. I was really excited for this book. Did I expect it to be the most original thing I ever read? No. But I did expect it to be enjoyable instead I just got agitative with how much it borrowed from these other series. I feel really bad for all of these authors, especially Richelle Mead and Melissa de la Cruz. What’s really disturbing is that this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a Vampire Academy rip off. And if we’re going to be honest about it, there’s a whole slew of P2P of Twilight fan fics that have been out there are essentially like this-borrow just enough from the original series to get started then make it original. To me that’s wrong. But I feel like this even goes a step further. Taking part of an idea slightly twisting it to make your own, before proceeding to another YA work and doing the same thing over and over again if that’s original then….then maybe the dictionary needs a new definition for original.
*I’ve been told Clare didn’t originate the term downworlder either.