Monday, 28 May 2012

Suzanne Collins versus Cassandra Claire: Celebrity Author Deathmatch

uses one of the favourite tricks of YA and kids literature.

Got to get rid of the adults.

Ever since Enid Blyton sent the Famous Five on absurdly dangerous summer holidays, up Mount Everest and through the Amazon Jungle (practically) authors have been finding ways to evade watchful eyes.

Boarding schools are a classic example (more about them HERE)  as are absentee parents, like in Twilight or Amanda Hocking's My Blood Approves.

Suzanne Collins way around it is to essentially have the government isolate the children on purpose. Basically the state takes on the role of the evil stepmother, forcing the kids to the worst chores imaginable.

Cassandra Claire's take on this old problem is innovative and refreshing. She has young people who are that extraordinarily able that they take the roles of adults, then combines that with a life that is so tragically prone to early death that they have to get on with it before it gets on with them.

I read The Hunger Games back-to-back with Cassandra Claire's . the second work is set in the same shadow hunter world as the Mortal Instruments series, but winding it back 150 years to Victorian England. It's nicely Gothic, without over doing the top hats and goodness gracious ma'ams.
And as in the Mortal Instruments there's an institute inhabited by a bunch of teenagers who seem to run around the city, doing more or less what they want. Just like the Mortal Instruments, too, it has a haughty, distant, handsome hero. Jace Wayland as a brunette.
For all the familiarity the story motors along nicely. The plot is excellent, stacks of twists and turns, and the characterisation is very strong, there are a couple of flawed characters who are especially well drawn.
So who wins the death match?
I read these two books, but only when I finished one of them did I buy the sequel straight away. Which one?
Clockwork Angel.


  1. Ah, see I'm a big Hunger Games fan. But I've heard all sorts of good about Cassandra Clare lately, so I'm going to give Clockwork Angel a go soon.

  2. Cassandra Clare is the reason I started writing. Her MI series blew my mind. I'm still in love with Jace.