I love to read books in a series.
I read a lot more books from series than stand-alones. And there’s a few reasons why.
Having a story cross more than book gives more room for world building, character development and general awesomeness. Plus it gives me more time with the characters than just one single novel.
But is there such thing as too much of a good thing?
I’ve been going back the past few weeks and trying to finish off some series which I’d read the first book but not competed the entire series and it has made me wonder – are there times when one book would have been enough? Can expanding a story across multiple volumes be to its detriment?
I was reading a trilogy (or what I thought was a trilogy) and when I finished the third book I was surprised to find out that there was another book coming. The second and third instalments felt like filler and I have to admit – I was a little annoyed that everything was being strung out for yet another book. It turns out I’m not alone in my frustration – many reviews for the series in question were commenting about how the plot seemed to be stretched for no other reason except to sell more books.
With this particular book – it makes sense. It was one of the fastest selling romance series in the past ten years. But it doesn’t make it right.
This trend of stretching plot out is crossing over to films with more than ever movies based on a book being broken up into multiple volumes. (And yes – I know this has happened in the past for example Mario Puzo’s The Godfather but lets face it… the Godfather was just epic).
And then there’s companion novels – the kinds where they tell the exact same story yet are told from different points of view. Do they add an extra element and value to the plot or is it just an excuse to buy the same book with a tiny twist? To be honest – I don’t love these types of books but I do appreciate getting to see another side to the same story. I would rather read one book which switches points of view back and forth than two books with the same story and just a different narrator.
I still love reading series and so many authors do it perfectly – from the first page to the very last, everything feels planned and right for whatever universe they exist in. Richelle Mead writes the most amazing six book series where no book is just spanning time for the next big thing to happen. Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series is well and truly in the double digits and from what I’ve read (I’m not quite up to date) does so wonderfully with each book having it’s own value to the series and not just a filler.
Not being a writer maybe I’m missing something more than just an attempt to write more books in preexisting series to make fans buy more copies but there are some series which feel like a blatant disregard to plot. I don’t think this is most series – but more the exception rather than the rule.
What do you think? Am I out of line with my rant regarding never ending series? Have there been series which you feel are more filler than substance? Feel free to let me know what you think 🙂