This seems to be a statement I’ve encountered a lot lately. And it made me wonder why people seem to say it so much.
Perhaps it’s because a series’ fan base is so loyal they cannot fathom another series that holds similar attributes. They feel they hold some sort of territorial grip over the author and their works. They might feel they need to “protect” the author from copycats. Another reason could be that the person complaining is not well read, that is to say that they have only read the series and live by it, and the second they read another book it will of course be in the same genre. This is because they enjoy the genre of the series they like. This might make them jump to the conclusion that any other series in that genre is a rip off the one they enjoy.
What they don’t realize though, is that there are only so many ideas out there before you have to start reinventing the old ones. That would be an explanation as to why there are hundreds of books related to dystopian civilizations and people having to go through trials. This is not to say that these books are all the same. On the contrary, each author puts their own spin on the genre. Just because an author decides to sew a story about magicians does not automatically make it a Harry Potter rip off. There is also the matter of trends. Vampires was the last big one and many authors jumped on that wagon. We are now in the trend of dystopian civilizations and trials.
So just enjoy each book you read and understand that you are reading a unique work, separate from any other.