Tuesday 27 April 2010

Prequels - Post 2

I wasn't actually going to post about prequels again. But I was quite surprised by the number of posters last week who said they don't like prequels. My main problem with the e-book prequels was not the fact that they are a being marketed as a prequel but the fact that they are in a different format to the rest of the series.

So I've been trying to think of prequels that I like.

I know Alpha and Omega was mentioned last week. And this is one of my favourite prequels. I think I like it more than the first book of the Anna and Charles series - Cry Wolf - to the point where I have bought the illustrated, autographed version from Subterranean Press.

I also love Cordelia's Honor which is the prequel to the Miles Vorkosigan series. The main series follows Miles from child to adulthood. The prequel follows the relationship of Miles's parents from their first meeting, their courtship and marriage, the attack on them that resulted in Miles's birth defects and his birth. I read this before reading the main series and maybe this is why I've liked all the prequels I've read because I've actually read them before reading the rest of the books.

The only prequel I can think of that I read after reading the first book in the series was the prequel to Kelley Armstrong's Bitten - the short story Beginnings, which details the first meeting and developing relationship between Clay and Elena, leading up to the moment she is bitten. I also enjoyed Savage and Ascension the two prequels dealing with Clay's conversion to werewolf and Jeremy's ascension to pack alpha. Maybe this is because Kelley Armstrong has such a good handle on her characters, that you feel you are learning something new and not just retreading ground that you already know about.

If you don't like prequels do you think it's because in general you've read them after reading the main story and have no real interest in seeing where it began when you already know where it's ending? Do you think if you read the prequel first it would be more like reading a continuation of the series rather than a separate part? Do you think too many prequels don't bring anything new, that if they are part of a popular series it feels like they're written just because the publisher knows the fans will buy them? Are there any prequels that haven't been written that you'd like to read?

I have a copy of Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler to give away to one poster to this thread. Winner to be chosen by random number at randomnumber.org on Saturday because I'm one day late posting this week. :)


Sarai said...

I think my problem with Prequels is simply that if it was that important to tell us then maybe that should've been the first book. Most prequels I read are after the fact and it frustrates me b/c I'm a HUGE OCD person who has to read in order I feel as if I missed something. The only exception so far has been Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop but then again I read it after a book it was tied into and that annoyed me.

I think you might be right if I read it before then I think I am ok so maybe that's the point... maybe if I read them first it wouldn't annoy me so much but if you read them first is it a prequel or is it a first book?

Jenre said...

I read an m/m prequel recently - Love Means...Courage by Andrew Grey. I was a little hesitant to read at first because it follows the romance of Len and Cliff and yet in the first book in the series, Cliff has died. I was worried that my knowledge that they only get a 20 HEA would prevent me with becoming connected to the characters. It didn't, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

I may actually have been more upset if I'd read the prequel first and then gone on to read the first book of the series only to find Cliff had died.

I often find that I come to a series late so I usually read the prequel first anyway.

I hadn't realised there were three prequels to Bitten! Are these shorts on the author's website? If so, I must read them!

Sullivan McPig said...

I like prequels I must confess. Especially when I really love the characters in a certain book or series it's so much fun to be given even more time with them and learn things from their past.

LesleyW said...

Sarai - that's a good point about the important info already being included. I think if the prequel is written after the main series, it's still a prequel even if you read it first. :)

Jenre - I have the Love Means... books on my TBR pile. The prequels to Bitten were originally on Kelley Armstrong's website but now they are available in the antholgies - Men of the Otherworld (Ascension and Savage) and Tales of the Otherworld (Beginnings)

LesleyW said...

Sullivan - I think my favourite thing about prequels is the opportunity to see characters from a fresh perspective.

Nastassia said...

I only like and read prequels at the beginning of series. If I already started the series without reading the prequel, I'm not going to bother reading the prequel.Mostly I don't really care for prequels though.

LesleyW said...

Nastassia - I think this is why most of the time I haven't had a problem because I've mostly read the prequel before I started the main series.

However, I do recommend the Otherworld prequels if you're a fan of the series as I do think they add a lot to the main stories.