Blogging from A to Z

S: Series

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9Sometimes people have very strong feelings about book series. (Unrelated: I hate singular words that end in S. Is the plural form also series? Serieses? Seri?)

With the abundance of series out there at the moment, I know people who very carefully cultivate their list of book series to stick with. I, however, tend to be less discriminating. Unless I absolutely hated the first book, I’ll continue to read a series, just because I started it and now I have to know how the full story goes.

I have nothing against standalones – often, a second (or third or fourth) book just isn’t needed. In fact, it drives me crazy when it’s totally obvious that the only reason a series is still going is to milk it for all its worth. (I’m looking at you, Wheel of Time! Which I’m still totally going to finish eventually, because of what I said above.)

In some cases, though, I actually prefer a series. Generally this happens when I read fantasy. Would it have been at all possible to tell the story contained in the A Song of Ice and Fire series in just one book? (Well, maybe if GRRM would cut out all the descriptions of food and sex…) Sometimes there are stories so epic in scope, they need the additional books to reach a satisfying conclusion.

What are your thoughts on book series?



9 thoughts on “S: Series”

  1. I love series too, but I seriously dislike the waiting (and often forgetting key plot details) between books. I wish that more series were published as a two-book set instead of three, four, more… The only example that I can think of is INSIDE OUT and OUTSIDE IN by Maria V. Snyder. A lot of series could be broken into two instead of stretched out (with a good deal of filler–like food and sex descriptions) into more than that. Like you, I feel compelled to continue in a series unless I really disliked the first book.

  2. I like series that are a sequence of stand-alone books. But I seriously hate the villain being rescued at the 11th hour(plus 58 minutes…) just so he can be dangerous again in the next book. The next book needs to bring something new to the reader, not just a re-hash! I like reading more books by the same writer even if they aren’t actually a series, they often are similar enough that you know you’ll like what you’re getting into. Marian Keyes’ books are a good example – her stories are about the different members of a family, but you can read any one on its own.

    1. Philippa Gregory’s Tudor books (The Other Boleyn Girl, etc.) are like that, too – I read them all out of order because they were only really connected by the time period they were set in.

  3. Even if he GRRM had chopped 1/2 of book 4 & 5 [which he could have done very easily], it’d still take more than one book. Series are fun, and I like them best for fantasy and sci-fi. Although, I loved Anne of Green Gables when I was younger.

  4. I’m far more brutal about series than you, Stephanie. If by the end of book 1 I don’t care what happens next (*cough* CITY OF BONES *cough*), I’m done with the series. There are so many books I want to read, I’m not going to waste my time on something I don’t care about. Which, of course, warns me as a writer, that if I should ever enter the Valley of Series Books, I need to make book 1 really compelling, and have a great cliff-hanger at the end: give the reader a reason to wait for book 2!

    Do I like series (and I think “series” is both the singular and the plural–perhaps a longer “e” sound for the plural)? I don’t mind them if the story is clearly big enough to warrant being more than one book. HARRY POTTER, LEVIATHAN, CINDER, DIVERGENT, and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE are examples that spring to mind of stories that couldn’t have been told in one book. But I’ll as soon read a stand-alone.

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