Love/hate series

indexSeries. I have a love/hate relationship with series. On the one hand I love to be totally immersed in a world and I am convinced that there is much higher level of detail (on average) in series than there is in standalone. Of course, this is not to say that there standalone are lacking in world building but does are often more plot driven. Series are perfect for when you want that total escape from life. Especially my favorite series, Harry Potter, does this in an amazing way. After you have been so long with certain characters, in a certain place it almost begins to feel like home. I was truly and immensely sad after I finished the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because I said goodbye to friends that day. I tent to gravitate towards series anyway because I like to revisit friends!

I feel however that there is a strong tendency these days to create a series out of every book. Especially trilogy are a widespread phenomenon. More and more trilogies go to the same trend. First book is good, second book is often very weak and usually only used to set up the third book, often better than book 2, but worse than book 1. Just a few trilogies that come to mind: The Hunger Games, Matched, Legend & Divergent. That really sucks. Authors should not write trilogies to make more money. They should write trilogies because they can genuinely create enough well developed content for three books. If your writings good, if your characters are well developed books are going to sell anyway! I will buy another book by an author as long as what I read first was good. Nothing is more dissuading from continuing a series than filler novels. I am now a lot more careful in buying book 2 before reading book 1. The risk is just a little too big.

I feel that series work best if every book could stand on its own as well. Each Harry Potter book for example, have a distinct beginning and ending. Yes, Harry Potter makes so much more sense when read in order and when you read all of them. But, the plot of each one would still make sense, and would still be good enough if you read it on its own. It should be just as good as a standalone. Don’t get me wrong, I love series, but put in some work. That works best :).

What is your opinion on series? Or in particular on trilogies?

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9 thoughts on “Love/hate series

  1. Oh, this is a great post!
    I totally agree that trilogies are all too common and I feel like they’re a way of stretching the story out too much. I sometimes think that the story would be much better if it was 200 or so pages shorter. But I don’t think the authors are the only ones responsible – I’m guessing editors and publishers are also guilty in this case.

  2. Yeah, the second book syndrome is very annoying! And really, why is a whole book needed – out of only three – in order to set up the last book, anyway? I love series that are character-driven with good world-building. Those are the ones where I completely lose myself, and wish the series would just never end.
    Then, there are those where I just roll my eyes and wonder why it was made into a series in the first place.
    Great post, Jirrine πŸ™‚

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