Friday, October 29, 2010

Bookish Talk Time #2


Today, I decided to talk about something that both bothers me and delights me: extremely long book series.

When I say “long series”, I mean series that are 4 books and up.

There seems to be an emerging pattern in the industry of book series getting longer and longer, as well as including spin-offs and novellas. I remember years ago, publishers really didn’t like publishing long series, preferring trilogies at the most. I guess Harry Potter broke that mold, because now, especially in the YA section, there are tons of series that go well over 3 and 4 books.

Some of these include:
The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan (15 books)
The House of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast (7 books and counting)
The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz (7 books and counting)
The Vampire Academy series (6 books and counting)
The Vampire Kisses series (7 books and counting)
The Morganville Vampires series (9 books and counting)
The Faerie Path series (5 books and counting)

On one hand, longer series are a good thing because, if you loved the first book, then the story doesn’t have to end so quickly. You still have quite a few books to go before you’re finished. The drawback to this is it’s much more expensive to buy these longer series (which is only a drawback for you, the reader, seeing as the publisher is the one getting the money), and there’s also the impatience of waiting for the books to come out if the series is not complete when you begin reading it.

So tell me, do you prefer stand-alone novels, novels with sequels, trilogies, or long series? Why?

7 comments:

  1. I don't like long series. Especially ones that never answer anything, forcing you to go and buy the next book (the Immortals series by Alyson Noel fits into this category). I'm not even a huge fan of trilogies... but I will read them.

    It seems that stand-alone books are not the norm these days, and that's too bad. Sometimes a great stand-alone novel is all you really want. Even if I like the first book in a series, I'll sigh inwardly at the thought of having to read the rest of the books just to get some closure.

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  2. I normally try to stay away from a long series just because once I get hooked I'll have to read them all and that takes up a lot of time. But if the series is REALLY good then I'll read all of them. Although this normally isn't a problem with a new series because normally a new book will come out once year and thats not hard to keep up with. But if all the books are already out? I normally won't pick it up.

    I am a fan of trilogies though. The fact that there are only 3 books makes it seem more managable. The thing that bugs me the most is when an author says they're writing a trilogy but then turns it into like 5 books. Thats the worst.

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  5. I love long series because I am a very fast reader, so if there's only a book or three, it seems like as soon as you've gotten to know the characters a bit, the book is over!

    What I do not love is long series where... nothing really happens. Either in a soap operaish kind of way, where lots of intrigue is constantly occurring, but characters keep on going and going and going like the energizer bunny, remembering everything that's happened, but not really seeming to care, OR in a sitcomish kind of way where plenty happens but it all gets reset to how it was by the end of the episode.

    There is a real art to writing a series where each book ends satisfactorily, answering enough questions to make you feel like progress is being made, but leaving enough items open-ended to make you curious enough to return to read the next one.

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  6. Sweep is the first long series I've read. And even with that I stopped at book 10 to take a break. I don't know how I feel about stand alone books, because I always want to know what happens next... I think overall I prefer trilogies or 4 book series.

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  7. I think I'm all for the longer series. If I read just stand alones books I'm like that's it that's all that happens. I want to know more about the characters and their world. Then again 10 or 11 books is alot so it better be a very very good series to keep me reading that many. to be honest Vampire Academy is actually my fave series out right now, and it's only 6 books well come dec it will be and that's the last of them. Although she is making a spin-off of it with characters not used as much in the VA series. I'm just babbling now sorry. :)

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