Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Discussion Point: Series – When Do You Say Enough is Enough

 

Last year, last month,  last week even up to a few hours ago I along with thousands of other readers were or are still countingimage down to the next release in a series that we have been following.

It might be the second book or it just might be the 15th book in the series – What I want to look at today is when do you think enough is just enough, or more specifically where do you drawn the line.

I have listed below two authors that I have been following their work and have had book releases in the last few weeks.. One author I have never read, who also had a book out this month and another author that lost me a few books back who have a whole lot of ladies going mental with an upcoming release..

Rachel LeeTHE MAN FROM NOWHERE was release on the 2nd of Feb. and this is the 21st book in the Conrad County series -  I have been following this series for the past 18years, yup you heard me right – This series has been going since 1992.

Joan JohnstonSHATTERED the 8th book in the Bitter Creek series also came out within the last few week as well…. I have also been following that since the first book.

Laurell K. HamiltonFLIRT the 18th book in the Anita Blake series – never read.

J.R. Ward -  LOVER UNBOUND – The Black Dagger Brotherhood series – The 5th in the series (The series is now approaching it’s 8th books)

 

I mentioned these four authors and series specifically because they exemplify where I am going with this topic today. When I follow a series I am invested in everything that makes up the book..

I lose myself in the plot,the world, the characters, the style of writing – even towns and the much loved vehicles take on a life of there own and makes up apart of why I love a series. …. but guest what, there comes a time when enough is just enough. image

Where do I draw this line or when do I realise that I am  disappointed and this series is not going well on any level…

I was a big fan of instant gratification long before even ebooks came along – In my reading this is played out in the fact that I rarely follow series where there is not a HEA/conclusion at the end of that book or at least the second book – three is my absolute  limit, but there must be some closure to something in that book and not have an overlong storyline dragging on..

So the CONARD COUNTY SERIES works for me – every book comes to a natural conclusion – but as with all good authors there is always a major storyline that makes you keep going back for more… so although 21 books and counting, I am still hanging in there.

Despite a HEA at the end not every series have that effect - I just read SHATTERED and despite the fact that I had not heard alot of complimentary things about it – I was invested in the series – Ms. Johnston has a style, and her protags are easy to like but SHATTERED should never have been… personally this series should have died at least two or three books back.

Hamilton – I will be honest and say I have read only one book by her but not the Anita Blake series – Mandi from Smexy book – Said

This was a great love triangle at first – master vampire Jean Claude who is devious and self absorbed, powerful yet deep down cares for Anita. Then Richard, head werewolf, who deep down hates who he is and just wants a “normal” life with Anita and to forget all the paranormal stuff. Now we are up to book eighteen, or nineteen and they are both still vying for Anita. It is time to choose – or for one of them to back down. The tension has turned to annoyance, and it only makes sense for Anita to move on with her life.

Mandi – Smexy Books © All Things Print: Romance Week – Love Love Love 

 

imageI know I am not diligent enough to follow a series for 18 books and expect to follow only on anticipation – that’s not me. That said Ms. Hamilton is clearly doing something right because as frustrated as some readers are – they are still there waiting on this trio to sort the combo out.

And now for the series that I instantly fell in love with and out of love with all within a couple of weeks. I came to the brotherhood world late (Just before Vishous book was released)  and I raced through them….

I fell in lust and in love – I wanted one of those men for me, me, me…. I loved the world Ward immersed me in and the attention to detail that she gave to this series was wonderful, but I think it is this attention to detail and a whole lot of anticipation that was the eventual cause of me falling off the brotherhood bandwagon...

For fans of this series – you will understand when I say, I was invested in the character Vishous – he was EVERYTHING you could have asked for in a hero, and Ward gave him every advantage to just go right to the edge and make me as a reader love him.

His book was a total disaster for me – I wont go into the details of the book itself – but let me just say Ward did not do right by Vishous… As disappointed as I was by that book – I rush out and got the next book in the series – because after all she had four previous strong body of work to carry the series -

It was worst that I even imagined it could get – And that was the end of the relationship between Ms. Ward’s brotherhood and myself. I have never read another one.

Those are obviously my examples of journeys with series – you might have had the same sort of experience or not. I could say I might haveimage hang too long with some of the series – Like with the Bitter Creeks books which should not have gone pass book 5 in my opinion.. and then I might have given up on a series too quickly like Ward’s brotherhood – because from all the buzz the 7th book seems to have all the hallmarks of what made the brotherhood a force to be reckoned with in the first place…

Then as much as I love the CONARD COUNTY series – I will admit there is a level of familiarity to the series for me  and as long as the author produces quality work – I am good for the long haul…

This Discussion today can’t be as straight forward as I would like to think it is – because there are so many reasons and factors that might affect you following a series. Although I have touch on books that veer towards the romance genre – fantasy and sci-fi and other genre are there to choose from, they all operate on basically the same format.. plot, style, availability, characters or even familiarity…  

Let me know:

What is it about a series that makes you keep holding on?

Where do you draw the line and say enough already – get to it or cut us loose or are you good with the status quo?

 

P.S. – Please also mention what series you are following as well…..

 

19 Speak To Me:

pattepoilue on 10 February 2010 at 19:49 said...

Ohh this is a great topic.
First. Eeeek I had finally convinced myself to give Lover Enshrined a chance...LOL I can't skip a book it would make me crazy,and i really want to read the following books lol. I was very disappointed in V's book, just as you said it could have been the best book in the series, V was my favorite.

So this is a first answer to your question. Sometimes i read books in a series even though i know i won't like them...so that i can get to the good stuff.(Just like with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon...I have to get through book 2 arghh) Of course that's only possible with series I'm trying to catch up on.
I'm just like you I need closure. I need my HEA, even if i have to wait for book 3 to get it. I'm always hopeful that it'll get better, even when i'm disappointed with a series. I need closure, which is why i love knowing there will be an end to the series. (That's also why I've recently developed a love for historical romance...HEA! HEA!)
I tend to wait for at least 2 books to be out to get involved in a series. And when i know things aren't going well i wait...for exemple i know Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris, disappointed the fans...so i'm waiting for the next book to be out to read them in a row. Lol see? I'm hopeful it'll turn out better)

I just hate it when i see authors blogging/tweeting about how sad and depressing their next book will be...NO guys that's not helping!

*sigh* It's hard for me to break up with a series, because it feels like i'm missing something...I'll keep reading until i get my closure!

I guess i draw the line at too depressing books. If the authors make the heroine/Hero suffer all the time i can't bare it, i LIVE my books and it's killing me. I've stopped reading a few series for now...until the next book comes out and I'm sure It's not again a depressing book. Lol, see that's when reviews are very helpful ;)

Lol wow i got carried away it seems. ;)

Sayuri on 10 February 2010 at 21:06 said...

Hi Erotic,

I am bad. I get series fatigue really easily. After about book 6 or 7 I just lose interest.

Lily on 10 February 2010 at 21:22 said...

I was disappointed as well with V's story. It was a total let down and although I bought the next book I still haven't read it. I'll probably wait for the next couple of books to come out and then challenge myself to read the series again.

As far as Anita Blake, I read five or so books from the middle part of the series before losing interest. The same thing happened with the Meredith Gentry books. I read the first three before losing interest.

I've not read any from the other two you mentioned.

I personally love series. If I fall in love with the characters I'm happy to keep reading about them. As long as the author keeps it interesting.

Dana on 10 February 2010 at 21:32 said...

I've read a lot of different series over the years and for the most part I feel like authors do better with more time. Even when some books are not quite my favorite, more often than not, when the author comes out with another down the road I'm hooked all over again.

Take for example Christine Feehan's Carpathian Series; they've been going on for ever with no end in sight. Yes, some of them just seemed like repeats of previous great characters, but when she came out with Dark Slayer it reinvigorated me to her work because it did such an incredible job of show casing what made her world a great one.

And I have to say that I feel like Mandi's opinion of LKH Anita Blake series is limiting where that series has gone. In the beginning yes, the series focused on the Anita-Jean Claude-Richard triangle, but at this point it's moved far beyond that. Hamilton has evolved with her books, to the point that now they focus on all the different relationships in Anita's life and the powers that are both making things easier and harder. Every book she releases might not be my favorite, but I don't think she's gotten to the point where the story is completely without merit, which is what Mandi seems to be implying.

I think what it comes down to is that an author always has her own thoughts about where a book or series is going. J.R. Ward obviously has something in mind for her BDB Books and while it might not be my vision, it's her world to write about - not mine. Even when I don't like a particular release, with time I usually come to understand its place in a series, and what makes that book unique.

Probably my only real complaint about reading series is that I'm impatient and I hate having to wait for the next one!

Erotic Horizon on 10 February 2010 at 21:53 said...

@Pattepoilue

I can't skip a book it would make me crazy,and i really want to read the following books lol. I was very disappointed in V's book, just as you said it could have been the best book n the series, V was my favorite


As you said you have to read all the books to get the full picture of what will happen are you jsut might end up missing that vital bit of info...
So As much buzz as there is about the new book coming up - there are still three books you have to read before...

I'm always hopeful that it'll get better, even when i'm disappointed with a series

This I agree with - This is the reasoning behind me and the Bitter Creek series - But I think i have just had it now..

I tend to wait for at least 2 books to be out to get involved in a series.


The last few sets of series that I have gotten involve with - I actually waited until the series was done before I took it onboard... I am probably edging my bets here - but sometimes it just too much headache to wait...


It's hard for me to break up with a series, because it feels like i'm missing something...I'll keep reading until i get my closure

I know the feeling - G.A. Aiken - Love actually - I knew this series before she changed her name and it took me almost a year to find the new book - so I know what it feels like to be hooked on a series... ineeded that closure..


E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 10 February 2010 at 21:55 said...

@Sayuri..

I know what you mean - I think my limit now is about 5-6...

I dont have the patience anymore to wait around on these series...

And more over there are enough around to sink my teeth into...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 10 February 2010 at 22:03 said...

@Lily..

I'll probably wait for the next couple of books to come out and then challenge myself to read the series again.

I did this last year with the Twilight books - I am looking ot something like that with the Josh lanyon books as well now that the series is done...


I personally love series. If I fall in love with the characters I'm happy to keep reading about them. As long as the author keeps it interesting.

I do get the impression about Hamilton work - that the camps are quite clear, love them and meh...

Yes while one or two strong characters can carry a book even more than two - I find sometimes the long term plan was not thought out in detail...

Karin Slaughter - Grant County series was so built around the sheriff that when he died - a good portion of the fans where up in arms and some like me stopped reading further...

It just fet like the clout behind the brand was gone...

E.H>

Shawn Lane on 10 February 2010 at 22:18 said...

Years ago I used to read a series of mysteries called the Richard Jury mysteries by Martha Grimes. I loved the first several but then she moved to having more of the focus on Jury's best friend Melrose and to me, anyway, he wasn't a compelling and I lost interest. But I'd probably read 7-10 of them before I gave up.

Amy J - Book Addict on 10 February 2010 at 22:27 said...

I love series books, but authors need to realize that readers will eventually get bored if they don't listen to their fans.

I for one lost interest in the BDB series after V as well. Phury was just hopeless. I am awaiting JM's story but I miss the other characters interactions.

I also follow the Morganville Series by Rachel Caine. I love the series and I am still enjoying it.

I must say though, that the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands is my favorite. She tries to integrate alot of the previous characters into her books.

My problem is this, and I mentioned it in a review today at my site, some fans like to actually read about previous characters in a series. I like to know that the writer hasn't forgotten who they have written about before. All of them are major characters for the success of the series. Imagine reading about chracter from book one and never reading about them again until book 8? You would be like huh? Who was that again? It drives me nuts!

Okay enough rambling! Great post today!

Erotic Horizon on 10 February 2010 at 22:43 said...

@Dana..

more often than not, when the author comes out with another down the road I'm hooked all over again.

I agree - Time and new product will get me as well... Thats the case with Lauren Dane for me...

I have read every book she writes expect her interplanatery books - but I like her protags so I know I will eventually...

Yes, some of them just seemed like repeats of previous great characters,

Hats off to you for sticking with the series until Dark Slayer came out - I dont have the patience...

Maggie Shayne (Vamp) series - I went up to book 7 I think and I could go not go any further - it was the same material... over and over..

And I have to say that I feel like Mandi's opinion of LKH Anita Blake series is limiting where that series has gone

That statement was made in relation to the Trio and how love triangles work - and as I understand from people I asked - Hamilton has evolved this series a bit - but those three need to sort there act out...

J.R. Ward obviously has something in mind for her BDB Books and while it might not be my vision, it's her world to write about

I agree it is an authors perrogative about where he/she wants their series to go - However as the reader I have the option of jumping of the bandwagon when it is not holding my interest anymore...

I did like John Matthews alot - So I might picked up the two books I missed and reinvest - but then again as a reader that is still my choice...


Probably my only real complaint about reading series is that I'm impatient and I hate having to wait for the next one!

That's one of the reason - I am trying to follow only series that have been done and dusted - After the wait for Patience - Lisa Valdez (4.5years)... I dont think I could go through that for for any other book...


Thanks for the discussion....

E.H>

ErotRomReader (Janna) on 10 February 2010 at 23:43 said...

I'm not following that many series. I don't mind reading them, but I prefer them not to have more than 5-6 books. Especially when they have to be read in a specific order.
Series that have the same main characters in all the books, I try to avoid, because I like to get the HEA at the end of a book. Exceptions can be made when a series has ended, like now I'm reading The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Landon. Only because I'm assured that bk 5 was def the last one in the series and had the HEA.
A series that has more than 5-6 books but that I still love is The Rough Riders series by Lorelei James. Those books can be read as a stand alone although you will miss the tidbits of information about previous main characters, but that's not a big deal. Each book has it's own main characters and HEA. And Ms. James hasn't written the same love story twice in this series.
Great topic :)

Erotic Horizon on 11 February 2010 at 00:06 said...

@Shawn..

I just check out that Series - it sounds like Millenium... Where the entire series started taking a totally new direction after a while...



But I'd probably read 7-10 of them before I gave up.


And that a lot to invest in a series - 7 - 10 books... A whole lot..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 11 February 2010 at 00:13 said...

@Amy

My problem is this, and I mentioned it in a review today at my site, some fans like to actually read about previous characters in a series.

I agree with you to a point - I like revisiting a character just as much as the next person - but at some point an author have to cut them loose...

And on the other hand another fan can also say - too much past characters are being filtered into new books - so authors are caught in the middle in some cases...


Imagine reading about chracter from book one and never reading about them again until book 8? You would be like huh? Who was that again? It drives me nuts!


This I agree with - why revisit a character if readers have moved on after 6-7 books...

Seems silly...

I am glad you have a solid series that you are still happy with..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 11 February 2010 at 00:16 said...

@Janna

Exceptions can be made when a series has ended,


I am at that point now - Done and over with series that I know I dont have to tear my hair out over... sounds just about right for me as well...

A series that has more than 5-6 books but that I still love is The Rough Riders series by Lorelei James.

I have read at least three of those books and in no particular order - and I didn't miss anything of great interest...

And the smut was really good - very inventive...

E.H>

Ava March on 11 February 2010 at 04:35 said...

I like series books a lot. If I fall in love with one book in a series, I'll keep following the series until it runs it course with me or until the author ends the series (which ever comes first).

For example, I loved the McNally mystery series by Lawerence Sanders. They were lighter mysteries and Archy McNally was so likeable. But then Sanders passed away and some other Vincent dude took over writing the series and Archy McNally just wasn't the same character with someone other than Sanders writing him.

I read Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series and loved it. I thought the last two books in the series were good but not as fabulous as the others. Maybe because the main characters in each were the youngest siblings, kids in most of the other books. I'm glad Quinn started new characters after that series, and didn't just keep going on and on with books featuring grown up kids of previous heroes and heroines or cousins or other misc relatives or friends. Stephanie Laurens did that, and I only read a couple books after she branched off into relatives of the h/h in the core books in the series. The books started all sounding the same at that point.

Kris on 11 February 2010 at 06:08 said...

I've give up a number of series in the last couple of years mainly because the main characters have stagnated completely or have turned into someone that I just can't relate too. My examples would be the Stephanie Plum series for the former and the Anita Blake series for the latter.

The only long time series that I stick to because I feel like the author continues to offer fresh ideas to readers as well as character develop is J D Robb's In Death series.

Erotic Horizon on 13 February 2010 at 12:25 said...

@Ava

I like series books a lot. If I fall in love with one book in a series, I'll keep following the series until it runs it course with me or until the author ends the series (which ever comes first).

I do have some series like that... I think that will happen with me and Diana Palmer - I can't see me not reading everything she writes...

I read Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series and loved it.

I have read a few of her books - years ago though.. I can see the attraction...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 13 February 2010 at 12:27 said...

@Kris

The only long time series that I stick to because I feel like the author continues to offer fresh ideas to readers as well as character develop is J D Robb's In Death series.

My hats off to you - 37 books is along time, but it's good that Robb keeps the series fresh and alive for the readers...

E.H>

Dani in NC on 18 February 2010 at 21:05 said...

I don't read the same genre that you do, but I do get what you are saying about series. I tend to read series that have a definite end (like Harry Potter). Also, because my local library can be slow at times in getting new books, I usually don't start reading a series until it is almost completed. I seem to be born with an "orderly and complete" gene because I have to read the books in order, I can't skip any, and I have to read the series to the end. (I wish this tendency extended to my housework!) This is painful when the last two or three books of the series seem to be there just to milk the franchise. I enjoyed the Yada Yada Prayer Group series, but I skimmed the last book with one eye on the TV because there wasn't much of a plot.

I'm currently reading the Sookie Stackhouse books, and I am surprised that I am still interested after 9 books. Most of the series I've read in the past ended after 6 or 7 books. The only exception was Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series. That was the only series I abandoned. The mysteries were OK, but I wasn't interested in Kinsey Millhone enough to go back for more.