Tuesday, 25 August 2009

When Do You Give Up On a Series?

Ever since I realized how far behind I was getting on the series I follow, it's crossed my mind that maybe I should drop a few, even though I'm reluctant to do so. Some of these stories I've been following for years. Reading KMont's blog When Your Favorite Fails You made the question pop back into my mind.

Truth be told I've only given up completely on one series - Anita Blake Vampire Hunter - I'm more of a straight urban fantasy fan and I love the PI twist. But when the style of the stories changed I stopped following the series.

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series I've kind of fallen into an apathy with. I've got To The Nines and Ten Big Ones on my TBR pile but I don't feel any kind of desire to put them on the top. And currently I have no intention of buying any more books in the series. Maybe it's because the storyline seems to be ongoing with no destination.

Anyone who read my TBR post knows I love my series books but at some point do you just give up?

If a series changes drastically from book 1 to book 7, how long do you give the author the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. I know of readers who have got rid of all but the first three of their Black Dagger Brotherhood books. I'm hanging in there at the moment, but I have gone from inhaling the latest book as soon as I've got it, to abandoning it on my TBR pile. I still haven't read Lover Avenged.

When Lynn Viehl announced that Stay the Night would be the last of the Darkyn series, part of me was disappointed. It was a ride that I didn't want to end. But having finished the series (which I think will carry on in some form in the new Kyndred series) I can't help thinking that in some ways she had the right idea. Having a strong over-riding story arc kept the story fresh and vital.

I don't think that's a method that would work for every writer, and nobody wants to read books that are cookie cutter. But I think staying on target, staying on plot, staying on mission (call it what you will) is important not only to readers but also to the coherent development of characters within a story or series.

Another good example of this is Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. Her books standalone (or in pairs) but are filled with characters whose lives overlap with each other and plots which continue from book to book. The style of writing stays fresh and so does the story.

Are there any series that you've just lost the will to follow? Or are there any new series that I shouldn't miss out on? Yes, I am always looking for more. lol

Series I have no intention of giving up on - Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs, The Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, Jaz Parks by Jennifer Rardin, Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews.


Tracy said...

I gave up on Feehan's Carpathians after about 5 books because they all started sounding the same to me.

I gave up on Jean Johnson's Sons of Destiny after 5 books - I just couldn't read them any longer. When you're fighting yourself to keep reading the series, what's the point?

I think there's one other that I'm forgetting but I just can't think of it! Darn! lol

Other than that...I'm sticking with the ones I've got. :)

LesleyW said...

Tracy - I completely forgot about the Carpathian series! I did give up on that one too. So I've definitely given up on two. Thinking about it there may be a couple more I've abandoned and blanked from my memory. But the title is proving elusive.

Sarai said...

I'll think about it but so far I've given up on Anita and the dark series. I think I gave up on a couple others but its b/c I didn't like book 1 and I don't think that counts LOL

Christine said...

Sadly, Feehan's Carpathians fall into this category for me, too. Although, if my library had them, I may be tempted to read them. But I'm not forking over money for them anymore.

Also, I'm looking for the right spot to stop reading Kenyon's Dark Hunters and Dream Hunters. I thought it would be after Acheron, but I'm having a hard time walking away.

I'll still read JR Ward's BDB, but refuse to buy hardcover.

Kristie (J) said...

I give up on most series after four. There are exceptions though - JD Robb's In Death series, Nalini Singh's Pys/Changeling series. I'm taking a wait and see approach to the Laura Adrian series.

Kris said...

I've given up on Anita Blake, on Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dream Hunters spin off, and Kim Harrison's Hollow series. I'm now half-heartedly interested in Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series and vaguely beginning to feel the same way about Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series.

For me, 'giving up' has to do with my sense of tiredness in the never ending storyline. With paranormal series, I always know it's time to give up when I keep on wishing that the main character would just friggin stay dead!

Marg said...

I find it hard to give up on a series, especially if I had previously enjoyed it because there's a chance (however small) that one of the later books may go back to being as good as the earlier ones.

I may though change where I get them from. For example I bough all the Stephanie Plum books I think up to about number 10. These days I just get them from the library.

LesleyW said...

Sarai - lol, no in this case that doesn't count.

Christine - I'm torn about the Darkhunters and the BDB. I've kind of stopped buying the DH books until I've caught up on the ones in my TBR pile. Still undecided about the BDB, I really want to read JM's story but don't like what happened to his character in the last book.

LesleyW said...

Kristie - that's another one I'd forgotten about. Yep I gave up on J.D.Robbs In Death series too. Obviously once I've given up on a series I scrub it from my memory.

Kris - lol I've also given up on MJD's Undead series. Geez I don't think I needed to post about how hard it is to give up on a series as I obviously have no problem doing it. Kim Harrison's series is currently on hiatus for me, I'm kind of hoping I can get back into it. That's one of those I stopped following once it switched to the UK and had horrible covers.

LesleyW said...

Marg - that's my main worry when giving up a series. That the next book will be the one that's a return to form and I'll miss out on it.

Tracy said...

Oh yeah, the Dream Hunters by SK. I only read a couple...does that count as giving up on a series? lol

LesleyW said...

Tracy - I think it depends on if you were into it or not. Maybe it counts more if you give up after two books if it's a trilogy. :)