Sunday, April 03, 2005

What is it about the series

OK, I’m doing my first rant today. What is it about series that makes them so popular? I just don’t get it. Julia Quinn is a perfect example. Readers just can’t seem to get enough of the Bridgerton family. I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority but I just completely lost interest in this family after the third book. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why so many people are so hot to read a story about the mother. She’s just not that interesting a character to me. She strikes me as being a twit.
Mary Balogh is another author who fell into this that I don’t read any more. Her earlier stories were very good but I read two of the Slightly books and lost interest. I can’t see me ever reading her again which is a shame.
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books are another series I’ve given up on. They started out interesting but now it’s way too much of the same old same old. I bought her latest release but just haven’t been able to read it. I know I’m in the minority but at this time I could care less who Ash ends up with. I don’t mind if an author writes two or three books in a series but after that enough is enough.
For this type of series, there seems to be such a build up to the final book that it always ends in disappointment. Whether it be Ash, Rothgar or Wulfric.
For the most part each succeeding book seems weaker and weaker, rather like clones being weaker than the original.
The only exception to my dislike of series books I’ve come across is the Compass Club series by Jo Goodman. I think in part because she has put such a unique spin on her books. I enjoyed each and every one of them.
And Connie Brockway, in my opinion is wise. Her Rose books are only a trilogy. That I can handle.
I may be way off base but I think one of the reasons is because it’s easier on the authors. They already have half the cast of characters set in place. By writing a series, they don’t have to establish histories for the main characters. I don’t like this. This may be sacrilege but it smacks of laziness to me when they write five, six or seven books all based on related characters. Move on already. Be fresh. Write something new.
Another thing that irritates me is when an author starts a series she’s almost guaranteeing herself a fan base that will buy all books in the series just to see how they end. I prefer to purchase each book on an individual basis, not because I’m being manipulated into buying book four of eight.
Another thing bout series books that drives me batty is the frequent requests I read on board for the stories of the most insignificant of secondary characters
“Author A, have you ever considered writing a story about the niece of the sister-in-law of the aunt of the nephew of the hero? She made such an impression on me in that one paragraph you wrote about her that I would love to read her story”
I just don’t get the appeal of the series.


Avid Reader said...

Hi Kristie(J),

I'm not a big fan of series books either because sooner or later they become staid and predictable. But, OTOH, there are some that can stay original and continue to grow along with their characters. Unfortunatley, I can't think of a romance series that has stayed original and not gone into a rut. The J.D. Robb series actually is pretty good but falls into the same traps. That is a series I can only read every once in a great while. I love Roarke and Eve, loved the concept that they fell in love slowly or that Eve was the reluctant one, afraid of commitment and Roarke was the one who wanted a commitment so at the beginning, it definately had a big appeal to me. I have no interest in reading Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.

Marianne McA said...

Kristie(J) - I've always been a series reader, but I'm not sure if there's a single reason why I like them. Sometimes the appeal is in reading almost the same book again, but different [P.G. Wodehouse, Evanovich] - sometimes it's continuing the adventures of characters that have a strong hold on the imagination [Elizabeth Peters, J.K. Rowling] - sometimes it's the author building a more complex world or character than a single book could encompass [Lois McMaster Bujold, Terry Pratchett]. Different appeals from different series. [And often a mixture of those factors.]
I agree that sometimes a series hook can be used as a manipulative thing, a marketing tool, but I think it can be just a way an author naturally writes - and, in a sense, if those of us who are series readers enjoy that format, we're not really being manipulated.
The author may make some sales from me because it's a series - if it's something I've followed I'll usually read two books past the 'that's enough of that' book - but on the other hand, once I drop a series, it stays dropped, no matter how stellar the reviews - whereas I might be tempted back to an author who writes single titles.

Kristie (J) said...

The In Death is series I forgot about. It's another one of the few that I don't see getting tired of either. I think it's because Eve continues to grow as a person and I love watching it. I think it's different though as it still focuses on the same couple Eve and Roarke.

BJ Deese said...

Hi Kristie. I'm a big fan of series. I really like the sets that are done by differet authors. Such as the In a Fairy Tale World... from Silhouette. There are six books by six different authors.

I like how the characters appear in each book. It is nice to visit a H/h in another book, after their own story ends.

I recently finished LADY IN RED by Karen Hawkins, and it is the 5th book in the Talisman Ring series. It was a very captivating book, and I'm definitely going to be getting the previous books.

Giselle said...

Hi Kristie J.
I avoid series like the plague. I'm probably the only person on earth who couldn't get past the third In Death book :) I'm pretty much a trilogy kind of gal since authors tend to lose me after that.

Kaitlin said...


Hi, came across your blog on & had to comment on this one. I totally agree with you for the most part when it comes to series. The only series I wish there were more of are Nora Robert's MacGregor series. Unfortunately, since she's no longer with Silhouette, she can't continue.

I greatly enjoy your blog & hope you come visit me at mine someday! :)

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