Welcome back to Author Fight Club, take two!
This week, we welcome two fandom GREATS—Rick Riordian and Cassandra Clare. Tonight we will not only see the authors face off, but Shadowhunters and demigods as well.
In one corner we have Cassandra Clare—author of numerous YA series in the Shadowhunters universe, including The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices, and The Last Hours. In the other corner we have Rick Riordan—author of the MG/YA series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, The Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase, and Trials of Apollo.
As always, the competition is based on three categories. First, we take a look at Who has more fans anyway? which will reoccur each week as we explore author influence and impact. The remaining categories are mystery categories that will change each week. Today, we’ve got Whose characters would decimate whose? and Whose movie adaptation sucked more?
With two big fan bases and tons of books, who will be the last one standing in this week’s Author Fight Club? Place your bets, get seated, and authors…fight!
ROUND ONE: WHO HAS MORE FANS ANYWAY?
First we take to Goodreads for a look at the stats! We’ll start off with Riordan’s beloved The Lightning Thief. With 1.9 MILLION ratings and 57,977 reviews, the book averages at 4.25 stars.
And Clare’s City of Bones? Since its 2007 release, the book has garnered 1.5 million ratings, 60,179 reviews, and an average rating of 4.10 stars.
But what do the fans have to say? Breaking away from tradition, we’re going to take to Twitter to see what people REALLY have to say about the books.
Protect Rick Riordan at all costs.
(They’re not wrong!!!!)
All I can say is: Yikes !!
My mood 24/7.
Well, I think it’s safe to say both Riordan and Clare have some diehard fans. That being said, with more ratings and a higher average on Goodreads, I declare Rick Riordan this round’s champ.
END OF ROUND ONE
RIORDAN = 1
CLARE = 0
ROUND TWO: WHOSE CHARACTERS WOULD DECIMATE WHOSE?
Didn’t I say you’d get to see Shadowhunters and demigods fight? Armed with Shadowhunters, Clare is going to be tough to beat, though demigods have the gods on their side, so this competition is sure to be fierce!
Let’s take a look at the Shadowhunters first. With The Sight, runic magic, and the ability to use heavenly weapons, Shadowhunters are pretty badass, and not people you want to mess with. One of the most powerful Shadowhunters, as a result of his angelic blood, is Jace. He is not only armed with a sharp tongue, but superiority over other Shadowhunters in battle. You don’t want to mess with the people he loves—because he WILL skewer you.
Of course, Clare also has the badass Isabelle Lightwood and arrogant-asshole-slash-sweetheart Will Herondale (LOML) on her side, which means her team of Shadowhunter fighters won’t be easy to beat. Each of them is not only highly skilled in combat, but are willing to go to great lengths to protect their loved ones. I think that’s one of the reasons Clare’s characters are so impactful—and are sure to give you all the feels.
But we do have to remember that Riordan has DEMIGODS on his side, like, kids with actual gods as parents. As the son of Posiedon, Percy is a badass in and of himself, more powerful than most demigods because he’s born to one of the Big Three. Armed with Riptide and other various magical weapons, Percy is a fearsome enemy.
via Epic Stream
Riordan’s also got Annabeth on his side. Both stubborn and wise, Annabeth will skewer you with her tongue just as easily as she would with a weapon. And don’t forget about Jason!
Both Riordan and Clare have created a wide cast of characters that are as deeply developed as they are skilled in battle. Their characters are the kinds you will love and cry your heart out over, all while cheering them on against their mortal enemies. As strong as their world-building is, the depth of their characters is, I think at least, the reason fans connect so strongly with these series.
That said, this round will only see one character cast come out on top. And despite their gods-given powers, I think Shadowhunters—specifically created to kill and control demons—win this round.
END OF ROUND TWO
RIORDAN = 1
CLARE = 1
ROUND THREE: WHOSE MOVIE ADAPTATION SUCKS More?
Now, before we get started, I just want to address the fact that authors have zero control over their adaptations. Riordan, for one, has even tweeted about how he refuses to watch the Percy Jackson movies (iconic). But we’re going to have a little bit of fun with this round, anyway, since these adaptations are a huge part of the fandoms and their history.
The Percy Jackson movie is…how do I put this? Bad. Just bad.
No film adaptation, I think, can truly capture the book in its entirety. But without the same depth of character or world building that’s seen in Riordan’s books, the film fails as an adaptation.
Firstly and most obviously, the characters are in high school in the movie, where in the books, Percy was meant to be twelve. Over the course of different series, we get to see Percy grow from a child into a teenager. Yet the movie robs us off this, instead turning Percy into a sixteen year old (the same age he is in The Heroes of Olympus series). Not to mention all of the technology in the book—the TVs and smartphones that are lacking in the books (I thought technology was supposed to attract monsters or something??)
Riordan even pointed out many of these errors in emails to the producers, which he has since posted on his website. His three main concerns were age-appropriateness, structure, and the writing.
He even offered to help tweak up the script, sending them some of his critiques, though these were rejected. Let’s just hope the writers at Disney+ do better than their predecessors!
The Mortal Instruments movie still has some changes from the book, but I remember it being somewhat enjoyable when I saw it hit theatres in 2013. Clary is, much like Percy, older than she is in the books (what is it with these film adaptations??) In the movie, Clary discovers her ability to make runes, something we don’t see in the books until City of Ashes. ALSO, absolutely no mention of parabatais, one of the most interesting aspects of the Shadowhunters realm, in my opinion.
via Real Style Network
While there are a lot of plot changes (and a bit of a changed ending), there isn’t anything too major that I had complaints about. I certainly don’t think it captured the essence of the book, but I do think it was comprehensive enough plot-wise that I would enjoy it (perhaps even more so) if I hadn’t read the books.
So, I think Percy Jackson wins this round, strictly because of how much its film adaptation failed (with bonus points for Riordan’s attempts to salvage it—bless his soul). The reason it’s so lacking as an adaptation is because the books were so good. So really, a failed adaptation is a compliment then, isn’t it?
END OF ROUND THREE
RIORDAN = 2
CLARE = 1
Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan are two of the most well-loved authors of the MG/YA genres. With rich worlds built into our own reality, as well as characters any reader is sure to get overly-attached to, both authors have wracked up huge fanbases. Unfortunately, there can only be ONE Author Fight Club champ this week.
WITH A FINAL PUNCH FROM RIORDAN, CLARE IS OUT! K.O.
Rick Riordan is not only beloved because of his books, but because of his non-problematic tweets (*ahem* I’m looking at you Rowling). Riordan has created a cast of characters young readers can identify and grow with as they follow a twelve-year-old Percy into his teenage years. Honestly, I think Riordan deserves the win simply for emailing his movie’s producers to tell them just how much of a disappointment their movie was going to be to fans (He was right!)
Thanks for reading, and tune in to next week’s Author Fight Club to see authors go face-to-face in the ring!