Excuse my dust while I do a little remodeling!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Let’s Talk! Book Series


Let’s Talk is a fun new meme to discuss an little bit of this & a little bit of that (not always bookish) hosted by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.

What are your thoughts on series? How many books in a series is too many? What authors do you think handle longer series well, as opposed to ones who seem to stretch it out less successfully?

If you had asked me this question before I started blogging I would have said I wished that all my favorite series would go on forever! Even if the quality went downhill, because I still like seeing what my favorite characters were up to.

These days I’m reading dozens of series and I know this sounds cynical but I don’t have time to waste on stories that aren’t moving forward or making an emotional impact on me.

My other problem is that so many series started sounding similar to me and they run together so I can’t keep track. Particularly with the PNR - tortured hero meets virginal yet spunky love of his life - genre.
I cut out quite a few series last year when I realized I didn’t remember what was going on from the last book or I started getting irritated by the lack of progress with the plot. I also don’t have time for series re-reads anymore to refresh. The Sookie Stackhouse series is one I cut loose. I probably read the first four books a dozen times but I can’t seem to drum up enough enthusiasm to see what Sookie is up to these days.

I actively seek out stand alones now and very rarely start a new series these days. I enjoy companion novels too. You get to revisit the world and  characters but move on to a new story. Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss / Lola and the Boy Next Door) and Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan / Stealing Parker) seem to be two authors who are successfully leading this trend.

I’m also noticing a switch to two book series. This seems promising because the second book in many trilogies that I’ve read is usually a let down, padded with filler to keep the drama going until the conclusion in the third book.

The one series that I hear only gets better is Kresely Cole’s Immortals after Dark series. I have only read the first book. The series is at book #13 and going strong and I haven’t heard anyone complain – the exact opposite – people love the series even more now. So yay! for the authors who get it right.

I think in general a series should go on as long as it needs to for the story to be told but make sure you’re telling that story. A few that have gotten it right and ended on a high note for me are: Ann Aguirre’s five book Sirantha Jax series, Stacey Kade’s Ghost & the Goth trilogy, Jeri Smith-Ready’s five book WVMP series, Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series – thirteen books total.

What are your thoughts?

16 comments:

  1. I agree there are some series that need to continue on and others I wish would go away. But your right since blogging there is that shift. I agree with all those books mentioned and with being a companion like Anna :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't it funny how our reading tastes change drastically after blogging for a while. I used to HAVE to read a series straight through every available book. Whereas now I'm easily distracted by other books to the point where it is very very rare for me to read two books in a series in a row. Funny how that works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I could never give up on a series before. But now I'm lucky if I even remember the last book. I just have so many books to read that it takes a lot to stand out these days.

      I have more of a - I'll get to it eventually - attitude than an OMG I can't wait feeling now.

      Delete
    2. Yep, I'm so glad that the panic has lessened greatly. Not remembering the last book is really hell. I'm always having to go back and read the last chapter of the previous book before reading a new one, otherwise I am just so lost.

      Delete
  3. I would much rather my favorite series end than linger on until I fall out of love with them. I think any good book series has a clear end in sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah - just end it if you don't have anything new to add. It's better to be left wanting a little more than to have the whole series ruined by a few bad books just to drag things out.

      Delete
  4. I LOVE series!! However, the series that I love the most are the historical romances that focus on a different couple in each story, but you still get to read about the other characters in a supporting role. I can see what you mean about series growing old when it's always about the same characters. Still, I love them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like them, but at the same time noooo! It comes to a point when they start to suck. So please give up before..7..at least

    ReplyDelete
  6. We have all definitely morphed in terms of our reading preferences. You learn a lot once you've drowned yourself in a few ton of books. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truer words have never been spoken Smash! lol

      Delete
  7. Oh, most definitely my reading tastes and habits have changed drastically since I started blogging. I still re-read as much as possible, but I can't do it as often as I'd like and I am much pickier about what I pick up. I do love a good series though and there are some that I just can't get enough of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very picky these days and it's much easier for me to drop a series that isn't working for me than it was in the past.

      Delete
  8. I actually feel the same way about dystopia books. They all start to sound the same and it seems like they're always trilogies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't read much dystopian for that very reason.

      Delete
  9. Yes! I hate when I get my series storylines mixed up!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree with ALL of your points! All of them. Too many series get draggged out and become boring, and while I always regret when my favorite series come to and end (Unearthly! Infernal Devices!) I'd rather that they finished on a high note rather than making me bored and indifferent to them.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    ReplyDelete