Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bookish Talk Time: Long Series


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)
The Vampire Kisses series (7 books and counting)
The Morganville Vampires series (9 books and counting)
The Faerie Path series (6 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 us, the readers, 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.

Then it also depends on if the series is any good. You can have a terrible series *cough*HouseofNight*cough* (did I just say that outloud? Oops) that just doesn’t seem to end and the plot is just dragging on and on for several books when it totally could have ended at, um, the first freaking page of the first freaking book! But then of course there are series like Harry Potter that you don’t want to end. You just want it to go on forever (I know I do.)

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

8 comments:

  1. I tend to prefer stand-alone novels because they are more concise. Series can waffle on a bit too much, although that's not always the case. Sometimes I get the sense that a story is being stretched out longer than it really ought, because trilogies or longer series are the in thing, and of course make more money. But of course I could be being cynical here.

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  2. I agree with you, there are pluses and minues. I never wanted VA to end :)
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  3. I prefer books with a sequel. If a book is stand-alone, that is normally the reason I wont bother reading it. However, I've been reading series books for most of my life and that is likely why I prefer them. That being said, the average series is about 4 books and I'm seeing them extending to 7 or 10 and up in some adult series. Some books I'm less likely to read, if I know I have to get through 10 just to catch up. Then the whole series just seems too daunting. I agree with what you said about authors dragging out their stories unnecessarily, but that is the nature of the beast isn't it? Some books are great and others, not so much.

    But, personally, I'm addicted to the epic saga. Waiting for a sequel can be painful, but joyous like Christmas day as well. Just as much, I love the feeling of finishing the final book. Oh, how I cried as I closed the last Harry Potter book. I had just watched "old friends" grow, live, and die. I stood with them through the worst of it, laughed through the best, and at it's end I felt completed. I think all of that is worth the occasional bad and drawn out series.

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  4. Old follower, hopping by...stop by and say hi if you get a chance! Great post!

    Kristin
    MyBookishWays

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  5. Like you said, it all depends on the series for me. The author needs to know when the right time to wrap things up is. One series could be great for the first three books then slowly (or quickly) work its way downhill and end on a bad note 2 more books later... meanwhile another series, like Harry Potter, had 7 books and it never got old!

    generally I prefer series over stand-alone novels

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  6. I tend to read more stand-alone novels or novels with sequels than anything else. Though there are some longer series that I like, such as the Faerie Path and Cirque Du Freak. (Don't judge! It's great when the brain needs a break.)

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