Mortal Instrument’s mortal failure


To plagiarize is to loose all respect from the writing community in a whole. Sure, the people who read your work might love it, but it isn’t really even yours though, is it? My biggest fear in college was to be accused of plagiarism so I made an extra point to rewrite anything I had to use to such an extent that it was truly mine, and I of course cited sources when needed. The average turn-it in score for me was a two percent. Six is the student average, so obviously I was pretty good at this. When I heard that Mortal Instruments was actually a fan fiction novel that had been ripped off of the Harry Potter universe I was astounded and appalled. To steal someone’s quote is bad enough, but to steal their whole universe? That’s just downright wrong! So I of course had to investigate!

Apparently Cassandra used the Harry Potter universe as the stage for her books and even called it the Draco trilogy when it was on fan fiction. She changed names and the location of the books, but didn’t change much else, it is still obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Harry Potter world that she used Draco and Ginny as the main characters and even kept the concepts of the three horacruxes (renamed of course).

I mulled this information over and realized it wasn’t the fact that she plagiarized that upset me. It has long been a tradition for people to write ‘fan fiction’, creating stories based on the works of others and trying endlessly to improve upon each others work. My favorite story, Romeo and Juliet was indeed a work of fan fiction, based on a centuries long story that has been a significant part of culture perhaps since culture began. I myself love the idea of fan fiction and thinks it encourages the mind to be creative while providing it a safe diving board. What bothered me was that she made money off of this book without consulting JK. Rowling. Even if she had profited from it and not shared a dime with JK. Rowling I wouldn’t mind, if she had only asked permission. I highly doubt J.K. Rowling would have said no considering she loves encouraging writers to write whatever it is that inspires them and she even will read Harry Potter fan fiction herself sometimes.

Mortal Instruments mortal failure is a simple one that could have been avoided if she had just said please!


About Everyrosehasathorn

So I have finished my first book, Every Rose Has a Thorn, which is available on amazon for free if you have an amazon prime membership, or 2.99 otherwise. This is a book about Emily Rose who is drawn into a battle between angels that want to not only destroy the world and human race, but for some reason want her on their side when they do it! She must learn that doing what is right isn't always easy, especially when you fall in love with a very dangerous angel! View all posts by Everyrosehasathorn

26 responses to “Mortal Instrument’s mortal failure

  • emmamcc21

    Wow. I had no idea the series was from her fan fiction though I did of course notice the obvious parallels to Harry Potter! I’ve fallen in love with the series and now feel a bit cheated! :/

  • MishaBurnett

    Having read both the Mortal Instruments series and the Harry Potter books, I have to say that I don’t see the resemblance. Both are set in the present day and feature characters with supernatural abilities, but that’s true of a lot of stories these days. I realize that Claire has admitted being inspired by the Potter books, but I personally would never have connected the two series unless someone had pointed it out, and even now I don’t consider them as similar as, say the Percy Jackson books are to Harry Potter.

  • Tammy Farrell

    Oh, that’s so irritating! The whole 50 Shades of Grey rip off annoyed me too. First off, what respectable writer would want to admit that their story started as fan-fic in the first place? Second, it’s fine to get inspired by other books, movies, tv shows, but to create a story that is so similar to another is just lazy.

    I fear we will be seeing more and more of this in the future.

  • theparasiteguy

    I must admit I disagree with this assessment. I gather that this series is derivative, but I don’t recall it being directly adapted from the Draco Trilogy (unlike, say, Fifty Shades and its original incarnation) and so I don’t really have an issue with it.

    That said, I must also admit that I’m not really in a position to judge one way or the other, having not actually read the series in question.

  • Hayden

    I never read the books (was never interested in them plus, while I never read HP, I’m good friends with some people in the HP fandom, so I’ve always known about her plagiarism and other issues), but from what everyone’s saying, it seems as though, fanfiction or not, the books are nothing more than rehashed cliches everywhere. And what gets me is that there are dozens and dozens (hundreds, even) of YA authors out there who’ve published more original fiction and yet never get recognized for their work.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I agree, I think about the parents of the teens who write some of my favorite stories and wonder if they realize how brilliant their teen, that they fight with and think is going nowhere In life, is. Some of the writers are better than the original writers of the stories!

  • gabidaniels

    Wow! I had no idea. I may be the last person I know who hasn’t read Harry Potter, but I have read Mortal Instruments. All eight books (including Infernal Devices) had more to do with supernatural myths and the balance between Heaven/Hell than magic. Although there is plenty of magic– Magnus Bane, a warlock in both series, is one of my favorite all-time characters.

    Have you read any of the Mortal Instruments books?

  • lackofharmony

    I actually saw the parallels between both series just from the commercials for the Mortal Instruments movie. “You’re special, because you’re not human.” It, basically, looked just like Harry Potter except from a girl’s point of view so I decided not to see it or read the books. I’ve read Harry Potter. They were excellent books.

  • booksforbelle

    I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and started on the Mortal Instruments series. I don’t see the connection to Ginny and Draco, but perhaps it was where she started from. Jace most definitely doesn’t share Malfoy’s personality and Clary doesn’t have Ginny’s tenacity. I believe that the story is sufficiently different that there should be no issue. Every story comes from some inspiration. It is the differences the writer imbues their own personal tale with that makes each unique. There are many more differences between HP and Mortal Instruments.

  • Aeon Eye

    It seems like more recent popular fiction seems to be derivative of other people’s work. Take for example “50 Shades of Gray” which is really based on Twilight fanfiction that E.L James wrote. The state and trends of popular, best-selling fiction nowadays isn’t very encouraging.

  • Priscilla Thomas

    This is an interesting take, because I’m not sure I know where that line is, between inspiration and imitation, or derivative and plagiarized. I know that fanfiction turned stand-alone work seems like a new trend, what with 50 Shades, but what about something like Mists of Avalon, or Grendel, reboots/reimaginings in general? Gregory Maguire’s whole career? I’m not defending Mortal Instruments in particular – I’ve never read the series & I don’t plan to do so – but I think that literature inspired by an existing story is some of my favorite stuff to read. This is giving me a lot to think about!

    Thanks for the like & follow, by the way. 🙂

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I think the line between imitation and inspiration is a fine line indeed. It is so easy to quote someone without realizing the idea is not your own. When someone writes a story based in someone else’s universe though, I think that line becomes even more blurry and I think that’s why it has caused so much controversy. Though I suppose if J.K. Rowling cared too much she would sue them like she sued the people who let it leak that she wrote a book under a different name.

  • indiereadergirl0329

    Glad I am not the only one who didn’t really enjoy the book. I definitely could see Harry Potter elements, just didn’t focus on it a lot.

    I did two reviews.

    and a book review.

    Happy reading.


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  • jessicabeckerbooks

    You know, I loved the books. Every one of them actually. I could see a little bit of the connection, but when the movie came out…Wow! It was so obvious it was almost embarrassing.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      You would’ve thought that the directors would have intentionally tried to make them different, but nope! I have never even heard of Harald Zwart before, they should have gotten someone who knows big business better!

  • Book Blather

    There are definitely cross over plot devices, but it sounds to me that the fanfiction was pretty far from Rowling’s work to begin with (Ginny and Draco? Really?). I didn’t immediately think of HP when reading this either, and we all know there are only so many storylines out there – nothing is entirely ‘new’. So for my part at least I don’t think CC owes Rowling anything.

    I thought I better put myself down in the ‘against’ column – since you have so many ‘for’ votes! 🙂

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  • Cherese Vines

    I did not know this. Hmm. Nothing new under the sun.

  • The Nerdy Novice

    I so need to read Harry Potter lol I have heard this so many times but since I never read HP I couldn’t put it together. I have seen the movies… But we all know how that is. I just need to stop procrastinating and do it already lol thanks for this though!! You definitely shed some light on it for me! I will be so upset if this makes me think differently towards MI because I am just in love with it!! That will be such a sad day…

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