Thursday, July 12, 2012

Problems I Have With Series

In my last All The Books post I mentioned that planned trilogies and series make me nervous and I thought I'd explain that a little bit, with some reasons to be wary of planned series.

reason #1: (the obvious) YOU HAVE TO READ ALL OF THEM TO GET THE FULL STORY-- I feel like this needs no explanation. Every book lover knows this feeling of not quite knowing if they want to commit to a multiple-book story arc. And with this trilogies are one thing; three books isn't so bad. But it's the series that are planned as five or six books, or the ones where you don't know how many books there'll be, that give me the most pause before reading book one. Examples include: all the series.

reason #2: IT MIGHT NEVER END-- Sometimes, if a series does exceptionally well, it gets a bit bigger. And then a bit bigger again. And the original trilogy is actually five books and there's also a couple of spin-off series. I've mostly stayed away from these (and with the books I read, I'm much more worried about #3 below...) Examples include: Gossip Girl, The Baby-Sitters Club.

reason #3: IT MIGHT END TOO SOON-- This is a particular peeve of mine because it's happened to a few series that I absolutely loved. The books don't do as well as hoped, they fade into obscurity before the series is even finished, and then the series is cancelled. And the reader (in this case me) is sad because they (I) never know what happens! How does it end? This is infuriating, especially if the last published book ends on a cliffhanger (as is so often the case). Examples include: The Mockingbirds, The Naughty List, Bradford Novels.

reason #4: EVERYTHING FALLS APART-- You know what I mean. Things are going fine and great and omg this is the best series evarrrrr!!! but then suddenly, with a change of character or a convenient plot twist or a whatever, things are just the worst ever. Too often this happens in the last book of a series so there's no on-page redemption, which is sad. Examples include: The Luxe, Twilight.

Worry about these four things happening is what makes me so wary of starting in on a series -- and also what makes me crazy nervous for the series that I already love (there's still time for something to go wrong!). What say you, readers? Do you have the same series/trilogy issues that I do?


  1. I find all the above annoying, but rarely will it prevent me from starting a trilogy or series. I also find I go through phases. I haven't read a series of any kind (new -- I've reread or finished several I like) in probably six months or so. But eventually I'll catch up on all the standalones I've been reading and want something more lasting, and pick up a series.
    About your point #2, this bothers me when something has been slated to be a particular length and more books get picked up, but less so with series that are never-ending in strong worlds that are easy to return to later. Mostly I'm thinking Jim Butcher here -- his Dresdan Files is long and endless, but I can read a few books at a go because I can pause and wait for more to be published. I love the characters and world enough to come back around when I want to, and I don't feel like I have to get every book on release day. That's a nice, comfortable feeling for me.

    1. I think a big part of the reason I'm wary of starting a new series if all the books aren't published yet and it's not being promoted much is because I've started too many series that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED that were cancelled.

  2. I agree with bailey m kelsey. However lately I've been picking up the first of a series and then not picking up the 2nd,3rd,etc..... I think I am just tired of series! I would love read a standalone fantasy or sci-fi. :-)

  3. I agree with all of those reasons, and one more. I don't read epic fantasy anymore unless the series is FINISHED. I haven't picked up A Song of Fire and Ice because I fear GRRM may not make it to the end of the series, like Robert Jordan and Wheel of Time.