Weekly Geeks: Book Series

May 3, 2010 at 12:10 am 6 comments

What series do you read where you have had an issue with one of the books in the line-up? Do you cut the author loose after one miss, or do you have a limit of failed books in a series before you toss in the towel?

I cannot say I’ve had this problem very often, so I may need to throw this open to our readers! While I used to read series after series when I was younger (The Immortals by Tamora Pierce, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, and of course The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin), the only major series I’ve read recently is Harry Potter.

Admittedly, I had a bit of a problem with Order of the Phoenix. I don’t even remember why, now, but I can imagine that it was the same problem I had with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — it was just too dark, and I am much more a fan of the books that feature Voldemort as little as possible. Thankfully, after I viewed the movie, I found it much easier to reread the book, and so I haven’t had that problem again.

A movie viewing also cured me of the only other “series” problem I have had — The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien, which took me forever to read even after watching Peter Jackson’s interpretation. Middle books, I think, are tough. Lacking the novelty of the first book and the excitement and conclusion of the last, middle books are a bit like middle children — often overlooked and under-appreciated.

What do you think, readers? Have you had this problem, too? Tell us all about it! How do you get through a rough book in a series?

– KT

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A poll, a poll! Discussion Questions: The Old Curiosity Shop

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Britney  |  May 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

    For new-to-me series I read one book (not always the first one) to see how I like it before I continue with the second. I stop reading series when I lose interest, when nothing happens in one of the books, when the narrator starts to drive me up the wall. The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast is one that fits all three of the time to stop categories. The whole series was poorly crafted, but it took me five books to realize that I couldn’t even enjoy the mindless stupidity of the series with the complete inadequacy of the writers.

    I finally quit reading A Lion Among Men last night because I finally realized that I just don’t care about Maguire’s Oz. If he writes another Wicked Years book, I am definitely not reading it.

    Reply
    • 2. KT  |  May 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Oooh, yeah, I only read Wicked from Maguire’s Oz series. I wasn’t that invested, but maybe that’s more of an author problem, as I didn’t enjoy his Snow White retelling. Hmm.

      That’s usually what I do with a new-to-me series as well. Just recently I started the Mistress of the Art of Death series and had to drop it because I couldn’t get into the writing style — thankfully, I didn’t have to struggle through five books! You must be a very patient person :D

      Reply
  • 3. Shannon  |  May 3, 2010 at 10:06 am

    For me it’s the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I believe it was the 6th book in the series that was just completely out of control in terms of “too much detail,” and not enough advancement of the plot. These books are quite lengthy (800+ pages each), so I’d have packed it in if the 7th book hadn’t been a vast improvement. If I ever re-read the series, I’ll likely skip that book. It was actually terrible.

    Reply
    • 4. KT  |  May 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

      Yeah, I’m all about skipping books on a second read of the series! Struggling through once is okay if the series is excellent, but why put yourself through that when you already know what you need to in order to understand the rest of the books?

      Reply
  • 5. Erotic Horizon  |  May 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for taking part – as much as you are not much of a series reader…

    Never read the Potter series myself , but I got the same complaint from my kids – too dark, too icky, and just too much after a while…

    (sentence construct by my twelve yr old son)

    however I can agree with you on the Tolkien trilogy – middle book almost killed me – took me an entire year to read through..

    Lacking the novelty of the first book and the excitement and conclusion of the last, middle books are a bit like middle children — often overlooked and under-appreciated.

    Beautifully said..

    I read a ton of series and am not afraid to step back from an authors work or even cut an autohr loose, I am too much of a mood reader to waste my time thinking and wishing that an author should have or could have done that better…

    Happy reading week my dear..

    E.H>

    Reply
    • 6. KT  |  May 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

      I loved Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince, but I think J. K. Rowling had soooo much she needed to address in Order of the Phoenix that it turned into a bit of a clunker. Might reread it, though — one of my friends swears OotP is underrated and I need to give it another chance.

      And thanks! Happy reading to you as well :D

      Reply

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