I'm going to be upfront here. As someone who was in the HP fandom while Cassie Claire was a BNF, it was completely impossible to come to this book without any preconceived ideas of it or its author. There is a lot of virulent hatred for Cassandra Clare, and by extension, for these books. I just read the comments on a thread about casting choices for the City of the Bones movie on ONTD, and the only ones who weren't anti-Cassandra Clare were from people asking why everyone hated the books/her so much. Supposedly she got her writing contract through the popularity of her fanfic (we all know publishers love a pre-existing audience) which is all well and good, except when your fanfic was the subject of an extensive plagiarism accusation. (Apparently publishers are not in fandom, or just value an audience over baggage.) If the series hadn't been so successful, people probably wouldn't care so much. But the series was immensely popular - the people who love Cassandra Clare and these books are every bit as passionate as the haters. Now maybe I'm biased, but I'm not quite sure why. I don't see any reason why she couldn't have gotten published even without her fanfic fame. Her writing in this book is fine. It's no worse than a lot of other debut authors in the paranormal YA genre. Sometimes it's good. Sure, a lot of the book is derivative, but then again there are a lot of derivative books. Honestly, it read like mediocre Holly Black. It had all the elements of the kind of paranormal book I love - but there was something missing. Is it because I came into it with so many preconceived notions? I'm not sure. I never read the Draco Trilogy, but Jace Wayland was so so obviously fanon!Draco that even though he was technically just the type of character I usually love, I didn't love him. He felt weirdly OOC, or out of place, like he didn't belong in his own story, and it was really disconcerting to me.