Author Topic: When do you stop following a book series?  (Read 4709 times)

Offline Steven Hardesty

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #75 on: June 29, 2013, 06:12:12 PM »
I just set aside the most recent of L.C. Tyler's comic tea-cosy mysteries in his Ethelred and Elsie series, which starts with the terrific "The Herring-Seller's Apprentice."  Too often series don't measure up to that first grand outing for the protagonist, and this series fails, too.  The two lead characters just can't seem to carry the series.  Too bad, too, because Tyler stuffs a lot of funny asides in his stories which are almost worth the price of continuing to read.

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Offline MineBook

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #76 on: June 29, 2013, 10:41:09 PM »
I stop when the next book of series
had failed with my personal expectations. ???

Offline tahliaN

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2013, 12:10:09 AM »
When it's obvious that they're just churning out more books because the series is popular, not because there is actually more story to tell. Or when they do something stupid to a character like turn him into a whiner (as the author did to my favourite character in the mortal instruments series book 4.) Books should get better in a series, not worse and once the story is finished, they should finish!
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Offline the quiet one

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2013, 06:45:41 AM »
Two reasons for me:
(1) The series becomes so long and formulaic that it loses its sense of originality. For me, the iconic example is Anthony's Xanth series, which I thought was outstanding for the first 8 or 9 books, reasonably enjoyable for the next 3-4 volumes, and then very uninteresting for the next...well, I don't know how much farther in the series I got, but there are 30+ volumes out and I know I've not come close to reading all of them. It just lost its appeal after a while.

(2) I've found it more difficult to really absorb myself in reading longer works of late, which saddens me because I've had to abandon series that I really enjoy and want to continue reading. I will get back to Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Weber's Safehold at some point, but at least for now they are, sadly, on hold.

Offline Dina

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2013, 07:04:06 AM »
That's a good question and I have no answer. From my own experience, here's what I notice:

I stuck with Sookie, just to find out what happened in the end, and because I was tired of hearing readers bash her the author for her writing choices. So I stayed out of loyalty to the author and her right to create. Did I love the ending? Doesn't matter.

I've long given up on eagerly waiting for the next Outlander or Song of Ice and Fire because I could die waiting, yet when one comes out, I read it eventually and am always happy when I do, Red Weddings and all.

The Anita Blake series I stopped reading by the third book because I just did not care enough about the character. And I LOVED the Dead Witch Walking series but stopped reading a couple of books after Kisten's resolution because my heart was broken, and while I trusted the author to remedy all in  the end, it was too many books to wait.

I like to pretend The Witching Hour series ended at Taltos and I will re-read that series but I never go beyond.

Narnia - never gave up. Susan Cooper's series - never gave up. Harry Potter - never gave up. There were some books that bored me in each of those series but I stuck with them.

I wish I knew. I think it depends on the reader's mood as much as anything.

Offline Y. K. Greene

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2013, 02:56:59 PM »
I've only ever consciously stopped reading a series once - and that would be the Anita Blake novels.

Seems I stuck with her longer that most. I didn't mind the increasingly detailed amount of sex in each novel or the increase in partners or justifications for them. I didn't mind the fact that Anita, the monster hating vampire hunter then became more than a little bit of a monster slut. In all honesty as a fan of the villains - I was enjoying her complete and total fall.

However there came a point, in a book who's title I can't even be bothered to remember, in which Anita was so busy [expletive]ing around - that she forgot to solve the case. That was it. I'd signed on for a petite mostly mortal woman who knows necromancy and is occasionally contracted to kill vampires when it can be proved by the letter of the law that they are breaking those laws. By that time she'd long since forgotten about her need to raise the dead regularly but that was ok because her necromancy was having some tantalizing new effects on vampires; she'd become far more than human, but that was ok because it facilitated more wild and raunchy monster sex; but when she forgot to solve the crime - I was done.

The author's rant on her right to write whatever the frell she wanted, didn't help either. To me, she'd completely and utterly betrayed the character to satisfy her own agenda (an agenda that was already being ably served by the Meredith Gentry series I might add) and that, can not be forgiven.

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Offline KevinH

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2013, 08:57:42 AM »
I'd probably say that I stop when the writing makes it clear that the author is no longer interested, or when the series seems to lose it's way. Still, I'm big on loyalty, so if the first book really hooks me I tend to stay the course, even when I shouldn't.

For instance, a long time ago I started reading a sci-fi series called Mutans Amok. The first book was great, but the series started to flounder right off with the second book, but I stayed the course and read all 4 or 5 in the series, although it felt like punishment.  With the Wildcard series - edited by George R.R. Martin - the first couple of books were fine, but somewhere in the middle the storylines just became kind of muddled and crazy in my opinion. Still, I read all 15 or so books in the fiirst iteration (There's a brand new Wildcard series out now I believe, but I haven't paid it much attention.) My final example is Piers Anthony's Xanth novels: it seems like he wrote 50 of them, but I only read the first three and then I stopped - even though I had a bunch of the others. the books just ceased to be interesting (or maybe they just couldn't measure up to the first in the series).

The worst part about all of this was that I read these in the days before Amazon, so I had  to hunt all over creation just to find the books and get my hands on the complete series (except for Xanth - there were just too many books)!

Offline ElisaBlaisdell

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2013, 09:47:57 PM »
Starting out with a couple of 'me toos'.

I stopped reading The Wheel of Time about book 6 or so, when I decided that I saw no forward momentum whatsoever. (Lock me in a room for a week with nothing but Books 1 through whatever to read, and I'll settle down and read them in order. Somehow, I don't think anyone will do that to me.)

Xanth series: I stopped when I realized that my reaction on looking at the bookstore shelf had changed from: "Oh, goodie," to: "Egads! He's written another one!"

And, in another genre, I dropped two series by an author I enjoyed, (although not one of my very favorites,) when I learned of the author's personal involvement in a nasty murder. I usually take the attitude that I don't care what writers do when they aren't writing, but there's always an exception to the rule.


Offline Clark Magnan

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2013, 05:30:57 AM »
As many others have said: Dune

I love the original and I think I like the Franker Herbert sequels better than most, but when his son took over, the series dived, fast.

Offline senserial

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #84 on: August 21, 2013, 05:52:27 AM »
I stop following a series when:
1) the story is dragging too much with no sense
2) the new book doesn't contribute to the original story, doesn't bring anything new
3) when the main characters do not develop

In short: when the series is getting like a soap opera.

Online anderson_gray

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #85 on: August 21, 2013, 07:20:54 AM »
Dune. I got as far as Chapterhouse before I gave up. This was way back in the day, long before his son got involved, I believe. Didn't he die right after that?

I've stopped reading a couple of authors whom I felt had start to pander to the reader instead of writing to entertain (big difference) and staying true to the essential cores of the main characters.

Yep. This is the Nightrunner Series for me. I loved the first three books and would have been content for it to end there. Then the fourth book came out and I read reviews and talked with folks who'd read it and read anyway against my better judgment. Something straight out of fanfiction tropes. I felt then she had bowed to her fans and the series jumped the shark.* **

The Anita Blake series. Somewhere after book three. In fact, I'm not sure I made it through book three.

Anne Rice and the end of Queen of the d*mned. After that, I really didn't give much of a care for it.

In short: when the series is getting like a soap opera.

Oh yeah. When I find myself anxious like when I watch soap operas, it's not a good anxious either. Not an anticipation, not an 'omg how are they gonna'. It's that sick anxiousness because I realize that I'm being manipulated and not enticed and all the writer is doing is creating drama because drama creation is expected. The flow of the drama doesn't follow organically from the plot.


Funny. It appears that I usually stop after three books. Except Dune and when I got to book five I realized I should have stopped at book three.



*I've been given to understand that books five and six manage to redeem the series but frankly, after the disappointing fourth, I really have no desire to keep going.

**I won't go into the short stories she released that really did read like slash fanfiction, written slap-dash to appease the fandom. That was a major disappointment because it felt like she was bowing to the whims of her ardent slash fanfiction fans.[/size][/size]

Offline Thomas Watson

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #86 on: August 22, 2013, 09:54:59 PM »
Dune for me as well. I also gave up on Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books partway through the second trilogy. The negativity just wore me out.

It's actually rare that I start a series and don't follow through. In fact, C.J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" series has turned into a long term relationship!
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Online Ann in Arlington

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #87 on: August 23, 2013, 05:51:57 AM »
Dune:  I found the first book interesting, but each subsequent one got more and more dull -- too much politics and such.

Thomas Covenant:  I liked the first two trilogies -- there were enough positive people to counter balance TC, I thought.  I've read the first book of the third trilogy -- features Linden Avery -- but it's all so different because of the time dilation between the two worlds.  It wasn't that enthralling.  I actually have the second book, but haven't read it yet -- got it in paper in late 2007 -- and switched to kindle in 2008 so it's just not been on my radar. :(
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Offline Daniel Harvell

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #88 on: August 23, 2013, 06:40:55 AM »
The trouble with an ongoing series (like Stephanie Plum novels, among many others) is that the writer has to walk a very fine line - they have to keep the characters, situations, etc. similar enough to the early stories so they don't scare away their audience with drastic changes (character deaths, long-term romantic changes, etc.) but keep things new and fresh so the same audience doesn't get bored. Perhaps these writers (and their readers) would be better served if they made their series finite with an end game in mind (Harry Potter series is the greatest example of this).


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Online Ann in Arlington

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #89 on: August 23, 2013, 06:55:44 AM »
If you're talking a 'romantic' series, I'd agree.  There's only so long the 'will they or won't they' vibe can stay interesting.  So you either have to just let them get together or split them up.  Which will annoy half the readership either way.

What can work indefinitely, I think, are mystery series.  If you make the MC someone who it is not surprising to continually find dealing with murders (a detective, lawyer, other law enforcement officer, etc.) you can build a good cast around them and make each new MYSTERY fresh while keeping the characters mostly familiar. The key is to keep the peripheral story arcs extremely peripheral!  I think Linda Fairstein does this well with her Alex Cooper series.

A lot of TV shows have problems with this nowadays.  Used to be you'd watch Magnum PI, Matlock, Columbo or Murder She Wrote (though trouble certainly followed that ol' gal and Cabot Cove must have the highest per capita murder rate in the country. ::) ) and you'd know you'd see the same cast of characters each week with a new baddie or group to take down.  You could actually watch them in any order -- so if you miss this week, you'd see it in re-runs in the summer and not miss a thing. 

But now, most of them have these over-riding story arcs that, if you miss one episode you can be partially lost.  And some are absolutely serials to where you shouldn't even expect any sort of resolution to ANYTHING until the very end -- and missing one episode means you're totally lost! :o That's fine, if that's what you signed up for, but annoying if you just want to sit down and, say, watch an episode of something that happens to be showing in syndication.  I'm guessing it's because so many people have digital recorders nowadays, so the assumption is that people will record and watch in order.  But I find I really lose interest when the 'mystery of the week' becomes so obviously secondary to whatever bigger story they think they're trying to tell.  Especially if the characters are not particularly endearing.  I've pretty much given up on both Suits and Covert Affairs for that reason, and if it wasn't the last season of Burn Notice I'd have given up on it as well.
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Offline emeralda

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #90 on: August 23, 2013, 07:17:30 AM »
If it's a great series like Harry Potter, then when the last book in the series is out. If it's not such a great series then I stop at the book I'm at in the series. ;)

Offline Mark Young

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Re: When do you stop following a book series?
« Reply #91 on: August 23, 2013, 12:21:57 PM »
When I start seeing the same kind of plot with just a slightly different twist. I assume the writer is running out of new ideas.