Monday, 21 March 2011

Reading Series

The highs and lows of reading series is that cliffhanger at the end of the book. Yeah, it's what keeps us hanging for the next book, but that's only out usually a year down the road, so it's also what usually blows my frustration levels right into the stratosphere. Connected books tend to end all nicely wrapped up, but series do (lately, this wasn't always the case) tend to end in the middle of a world-changing life-altering scene.

The reason I love reading series is simple: If I'm enjoying the world the author created, if I'm loving the people she filled it with, I never want it to end. Series allows us to connect and explore far beyond the depth of a single book.

The dilemna for me each time a new series catches my eye: start reading at once or wait until at least a couple of books have already been released or, worst case, waiting until the last book has been written before starting the series. I'm not going to miss what I don't know, so this is the easiest option. As a writer, however, I'm well aware that if no one buys the first books in a series, the publisher may well drop the series and that's that. So, with each new series, I twist and turn, pitting the anxiety of reading book #1 immediately against waiting and failing the author who needs that reader support - may the best anxiety win (or lose)

So, it's always nice for to come across a series that's well under way, that didn't spark my interest initially or that I perhaps didn't even know about. This weekend, the Chaos Walking trilogy was that series. I'd looked at a couple of years ago, but, while the storyline grabbed me, I was wary of the writing style. It flows mostly in a mad rush of thoughts going through people's head (I love the characterisation of the each animal talking!) and the way things are spelled differently eg direkshum (for direction) - this is all part of the worldbuilding, and obviously worked well because these books were a hit. But I hesitated, something put me off, and I put it out of my mind and ignored the series.

Until this weekend. I read the first book yesterday and, yes, it ends practically mid-sentence, lol, on the highest freaking cliff ever, but that's okay, the next two are already written and downloaded to my Kindle.


  1. I'm not a fan of series that end with a cliffhanger. I love series (eg JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, or Karen Marie Moning's druid series) but each book must be complete in and of itself. As much as I'm a fan of KMM I haven't read her Fever series yet, because I like the sense of completeness yet interconnectedness that separate books within the same series bring.
    Judy (South Africa)

  2. I totally agree with you, Judy - although I love the series, I get over anxious when the books seems to just stop mid-chapter, lol. KMM's series did this, especially with book #1 of the Fever series, and it was quite a shock to my system as I really didn't expect that. However, lol, all 5 books of the Fever series have now been released and I'd definitely recommend you try the first to see if you like - Barron's is alpha in the best kind of way. Also, a lot of the paranormal aspects feed back to those in her highlander series.