Possible Spoilers Follow - If I Accidentally Get Carried Away
So last Mondays post was about first lines - the beginning - and today it's about endings. (I read a wonderful blog post about endings and whether they can change your perspective of the preceding story a few weeks ago. Apologies but for the life of me I cannot remember where. If it comes back to me I'll add the link here later).
Some of my favourite endings are those which HAVE changed my perspective of the overall story. My least favourite endings EVER! also changed my perspective, usually in a 'book meet wall' kind of way.
So favourites first.
I like books that make me think. I sometimes like to get to the end of the story and realise it was about something completely different to what I assumed. Or that what I thought was happening was actually something else altogether. Mainly because these are books with high re-readability.
Third book in the Sundered Quadrology (Lady of Mercy) by Michelle Sagara West is an excellent example of this. All the way through I thought there was something going on, something made me uneasy, but I put it down to my naturally suspicious nature. Then at the end, all is revealed and everything that had gone before was given a different context. It made me want to sit down and read the book again with my newfound knowledge at the forefront of my mind.
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire is another (more recent) example, though the reveal here was not quite as unexpected. It still coloured a certain characters actions in a different light.
I think this is tricky writing. Characters and plot have to be believable on the first read through but if anything they have to make more sense on the second when you're fully aware of everyone's motives.
I make this point before going onto HATED ENDINGS because I feel that the endings I dislike are usually caused by a sense that the author has cheated the reader in some way. Usually by going for a cheap shock.
My extreme example is a series where at the end of book 5 (I think), the male protagonist is killed in an almost pornographically violent way on the penultimate page of the novel. Book meet wall.
Another book I read (marketed as romance) also involved the male protagonist (who'd basically been touted as the romantic interest) being killed off in book 3 of a trilogy.
Now I am not against the death of main characters. Some of the books that have most moved me involved the death of main characters. But usually there is some sign at the beginning of the book - either through the genre or the blurb - of what you're getting into. For it to come out of the blue at the end of the story seems to me to be a cheap way to get people to talk about your book. And yes, I might talk about your book, I might blog about it. But I won't be buying any more of your books.
So - favourite endings? Hated endings? Endings which changed your perception of the story. Do you like to have your perception changed?
I have a copy of The Falconer by Elaine Clark McCarthy (be warned it's a weepy), to give away to one poster who comments on this thread. Winner to be chosen by random number on Friday (or as you know by now, possibly Saturday :) )