Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme created at A Daily Rhythm that I discovered today via Heather from Bits & Books. Its simplicity greatly appeals to me since all that you need to do is grab your current read, open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences, being careful about spoilers.
This week I’m reading Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, the first book in her The Infernal Devices trilogy. Set in 1878, it tells the story of Tessa Gray who arrives in England, hopeful to find her brother Nate, only to become embroiled in the supernatural underworld of London after meeting Shadowhunters, Jem and Will, whilst escaping from the clutches of the mysterious Dark Sisters. Together, they dig deeper only to come up against the mysterious organisation “The Pandemonium Club”, with its vampire, demon, warlock and human members – and their odd clockwork creations. My teaser relates to that clockwork:
“[Leonardo da Vinci] was the first to suggest that human beings are only complex machines, that our insides are like cogs and pistons and cams made of muscle and flesh. So why could they not be replaced with copper and iron?” (p.160)
Confession time: I’m not especially a Cassandra Clare fan due to the multiple accusations over her writing career regarding plagiarism. I could never buy a Cassandra Clare book, I’m afraid, knowing I was in some small way condoning what could (potentially) be, at worst, plagiarism and, at best, a complete lack of creativity. You see, I tried to read City of Bones on three separate occasions and couldn’t get past how annoying the world building process was, along with an annoying narrative voice, but I did decide to give Clockwork Angel a chance when I saw it at my local library.
It’s very different to what I was reading last Teaser Tuesday but it’s a fun romp so far and I’m enjoying the characters in The Infernal Devices much much more than their Mortal Instruments counterparts. The author still doesn’t sit entirely right with me but separating the author and their work is a common occurrence in the arts so I guess I can manage that for something that turns out to be a lot of fun and enjoyable to read, even if it isn’t the greatest literary masterpiece. Plus my NaNoWriMo attempt in 2015 was set in a Victorian, steampunk-ish London, so it will be useful for me to get a feel for what else is already out there in this setting.
Do you have a Teaser Tuesday? Please do share/comment below!
3 responses to “Teaser Tuesday | 16th February”
Ooh, I had no idea about the alleged plagiarism stuff. I saw a cryptic tweet someone posted a few weeks ago regarding a well known author and plagiarism. I wondered which author it was at the time and it sounds like it might have been Clare.
I bought and read ‘The City of Bones’ (although I’m now regretting purchasing it if the plagiarism is true) and it was ok. I enjoyed reading it but I wasn’t absolutely bursting to read the next book in the series. It was the characters that bothered me the most – they were all very annoying.
This series sounds a bit better though – but if I ever read it, I think I’ll get it from the library!
It’s quite possible the tweet could have referred to Clare – I believe there have been fresh accusations recently about the similarity of the Shadowhunters to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. I’m always a little hesitant to mention it on book blogs because a lot of people love Cassandra Clare and the Shadowhunters series but yeah, if you Google it, I’m sure you’d find some different sources on what people are alleging re: plagiarism.
I feel unkind to ditch an author entirely because of accusations that are difficult to prove/disprove (plagiarism is always a tricky subject anyhow) but something has never quite sat right for me about Cassandra Clare anyway. Just a lot of lines in City of Bones especially gave me a sense of deja vu, whether that was to TV shows or films or books. And obviously it’s fine to be INFLUENCED by other art forms but I think there is a line (however blurry) between being inspired by and downright copying elements of another’s work. Like I said – the jury seems to still be out on Cassandra Clare but the whole debacle has left a funny taste in my mouth that means I couldn’t fully enjoy her books, even if I was super into them – which I’m not, really, I don’t understand the hype but I mean they are what they are and what they are is okay.
All that being said, I’m enjoying Clockwork Angel A LOT more than City of Bones – I couldn’t even make it through to the end of City of Bones (I HATED Jace when I’m sure he was meant to be all kinds of “charming” and Clary’s voice was annoying to me) but Clockwork Angel is holding my attention. I think that is mostly due to the Victorian setting since I do like a bit of Victorian London! :)
There are so many books these days that it’s so hard for something to be original, but I agree that there is a definite line between being influenced and copying.
My sister is working her way through The Mortal Instruments series at the moment and loves them – I think I’m firmly in the ‘I tolerate it’ camp, and that’s only after reading the first book. Based on what you’ve said, I’d definitely consider giving Clockwork Angel a go (I’m a sucker for Victorian London), but I’ll probably pick it up when I run out of my own books to read (so maybe never!).