Friday, June 20, 2008

The Endless Series


I love series books. Probably better than single titles. Don't ask me why but normally every really great book has secondary characters that just jump out and grab you. I'll always finish one of these stories and sigh and wonder if she'll do one about so and so. Many times that never happens and it's always disappointing so yeah, I love picking up a book knowing it'll be the first of something MORE.A number of authors do the three books series deal on a regular basis.

Oh, I love the ones Nora does and I recently bought the second in the scary stories she's doing about The Hollow. Haven't read it yet but, well, we pretty much already know what to expect, right? I'll say right off the bat that I love the trilogies she does. There's a beginning, a middle, and an end. I mean, I know it's coming and I'm mentally and emotionally prepared for it to end and bless Nora's heart, she always delivers the juicy happy ending and doesn't do weird, funky crap with her characters. I loved her Jewel series (set in Ireland) and the Three Sisters Island series.

Well, that's one type of series, but what about the ENDLESS SERIES? You know what I'm talking about. The ones that begin as a kind of open ended thing. The author will continue to write book after book bringing in new characters along the way. I love these. Don't get me wrong. Don't think I'll ever get my fill of Carpathians and Dark Hunters and Black Dagger Brothers but, okay, I might catch some flack here, but I can be honest with my friends...RIGHT???

I'm getting tired of some of these.

One of my favorite authors/series (not mentioned above) really got me hooked. She began a horror/erotica/romantic/paranormal kind of thing that was different from anything I'd ever read. She mixes vamps with shifters and other paranormal beasties. At first I didn't think I'd like this at all because I usually don't like "first" person stuff. After the first book though, I was hooked on the series and bought up everything she'd written to date. Devoured them. Well, I don't know how many books she has in this now but the stories are beginning to be downright dumb. Most of the characters are recurring and now, well, the heroine pretty much screws them all. I'm not talking about "in love sex", I'm talking about sex for sex's sake or sex for power.

She has completely ripped the heart from her recurring heroine and I'm really wondering why she even bothers to dress her in anything as she's naked through most of the books.I didn't buy her last two books (which always come out in hardcover..btw).

So. In my view, sometimes these open ended series can go on too long. The stories begin to sound the same and the plots can be interchangeable.I'd like to know what YOU think? Does anyone out there agree with me?

Anne's winner for yesterday's contest is Robynl. YAY!!!! You've won a $15 Amazon gift certificate. To collect your prize write Anne at anne@annerainey.com

Today's Contest: In honor of the Series topic I'm giving away the first book of my three book series One Dependable Man. This hot cowboy story is available in print or as a download...just name your poison. Leave a comment and I'll draw a name at midnight. Kelley will announce the winner for me in the morning.

30 comments:

Anne Rainey said...

Hmm, I think I know who you're talking about, though I've never read that series, I've heard these same complaints from quite a few readers.

Okay, onto the question. Yep,I agree with you. I like a good series the same as the next gal, but after so many it's time to switch gears and write something new. Like a good movie, the first few are usually good, but then they start to turn lame.

Kim said...

Have to say I agree with you and Anne.
I have read a lot of 3 series books and I love them.
The ones that go past 3 I like too but after so long I feel like I just read this story about 5 books back.

Terri said...

Want a REALLY good series, currently into the sixth book and with a seventh in Progress? Try Diana Gabaldon's series featuring Jamie and Clare. Time-travel/historical. I CARE about these characters, want to know what happens to them. Well worth a read if you haven't tried them. Also S.M. Stirlings 'Change' series. He's just starting on the second book of the second trilogy.

flchen1 said...

Ditto what you and Anne said, Regina--I really love a good series, but I prefer them with an end in sight, and I like the ones where the author has planned it out and things actually wrap up. I guess I'm not much for open-endedness, so I really prefer for stuff to be resolved, and then you can move on to the next series :) Usually a trilogy is about right, but Julia Quinn did a really nice job with her Bridgerton series, which is eight.

Laura J. said...

series there are books I like and don't like, but she is consistent with the characters and I think somewhere she said there will be an end. I also love Mary Janice Davidson's Queen Betsy books. Her books have me laughing so hard sometimes I hurt. I love Betsy and her smarta$$ attitude.

But for the most part I would rather have a book that ends after 2 or three books.

lainey bancroft said...

OMG, woman. You're everywhere. You're a bloggin' machine. =)

'K, on topic. Yep. Agree completely, I have yet to read a series where I'm not getting a little sick of the characters by book 5-6. Kinda like a house guest that overstays their welcome.

I agree with Terri on the Gabaldon series. Loved the first three books and could read them over and over, but by the 4-5 I found they were getting a bit repetetive and in some cases even outlandish. But if you haven't read 'em, I gurantee you'll love Jamie Frasier!

Deb said...

Oh I just finished reveiewing Jodi Lynn Copelands book "Handyman" OMG I love all three main stories but I so Need to read Tia's story which is not writen yet.

One of my fav on going series is my JD Robb books never get enough of Roarke,Eve and their extended family. Bob loves Mavis!

It would depend on the stoy line as I read them, I have read books that I thought 3 books were enough.

Huggers

Ivette said...

I agree with you Regina on that series your talking about because I'm starting to feel the same way. I also love series because you get to see the main characters develop along with important secondary characters. The one series that I really could never get enough of no matter what is the IN DEATH series by J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts.

That series has been going on since Naked in Death came out in 1995 and it is going on 26 books. I love each and every book in that series and each one is special and different. I never get tired of reading about tough and bitchy Lieutenant Eve Dallas and sexy Irish billionaire Roarke.

Deb said...

ivette, I so agree on JD Robb's books, as you can see in my post.
DH and I race to see who gets to read the next book first. Luckt for me Nora just sent me the next book for a review..Woot!!

tetewa said...

I love reading series and my favorite is The Dark-Hunter books, I'm looking forward to Ash's book in August. I'm reading the Twilight series now and I'm enjoying it. It doesn't matter to me how many books there are as long as they each have their own stories and can hold my attention.

Lynnsplanet said...

I totally agree. I would rather be left wanting more than have the characters and love for the series destroyed.

I've been following a never-ending series and a few times the writing has been so not like the author, the characters took on contradictory characteristics that I was put off. I thought it was time to put the series to bed.

But, then I pick up the next book and she's back to her familiar style, the character is back. Go figure!

At this point of this never-ending series, I'm wondering just how much more new stuff she can come up with to twist what she's already done to make it fresh. So, much is so similar to the beginning books that I go, huh? and scratch my head because I feel like I've read it already. But, over all, she is my fav author and I have nearly every things she's ever put out.

Bekki

Regina Carlysle said...

WooHOO Deb on getting an advanced PEEK at Nora's book. Sooo frickin' cool.

I love the Dark Hunters too but I'm really ticked that we're not seeing more of the Were Hunters. I LOVED Night Play with Vane and Bride and then Wren's story. Hey! Where did they GO???? Now she's started with the Dream Hunters and I'm just not getting into those that much. Yep. I can't wait for Acheron!!!! I'll be standing in LINE for that one. Lordy, he's hot. Daughter and I are wondering if she'll start writing about the "ALL POWERFUL" surfer dude. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

Hi LAINEY!!!! Yep. I'm a blogging machine these days. LOL

Regina Carlysle said...

Hey Lynn's Planet! I know EXACTLY what you mean. It's like the same lines get regurgitated over and over. Drives me crazy.

As a writer, I wonder how they can manage to keep the series fresh and lots of times, they don't manage it. Anne, Kelley and I had a long talk one morning about a series we love and how the author was "messing" with the characters. Pairing our favorites with black leather wearing kick ass toughies who seemed to not possess a single increment of feminity. Okay. I'm ranting. SORRY.

I just HATE it when a favorite character doesn't get the book he/she deserves and that the reader is craving. It sucks ROCKS!!!

dcreager said...

I think most people know who you are talking about because I loved her work and I am still buying them in hopes they will get better and some of them did but her last one is only so-so. In answer to your question though I really am tired of books that don't give you anything but the sex. I need my favorite heroine or hero to have more of a life.
Debby

J.K. Coi said...

Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about, too. And I would agree.

I think it's smart when an author decides to end a series when the story is obviously done-even if the fans are still clamouring for more. Because when you start manufacuring extras just for the sake of bringing in dollars, it shows in the writing. I think you can lose your passion that way, and instead it's good to move on and bring all those fans something wonderfully new to rave about.

J.K. Coi said...

Terri, I LOVE Gabaldon's Outlander series. My absolute favourite. And I think this series works so wonderfully because it simply continues the story of their lives, but in a natural, fluid progression that doesn't feel as if the author is trying to force more and more books down your throat.

Tonya said...

Since I'm pretty new to the whole romance scene I haven't read any series that has bored me or lost my interest. Probably because the Dark Hunter series is the only long series I'm reading, I've been sticking to a 3 book or so series. They seem to be a great length...and then I move on to something else. When there is a stand alone book I find myself yearning for many of the side characters to share their stories too.

Regina Carlysle said...

I know just what you mean, Tonya. I've been reading romances for soooo many years. I won't say how long or it'll seriously DATE ME. SNORT. I've loved many single title stories and I'll think...hm wonder if she'll write about this guy? Or that woman? BUT..you know a writer has done her job to leave a reader feeling that way!

Anny Cook said...

So perhaps the series depends on whether or not the author had a plan to begin with. I suspect that the things you're complaining about have to do with whether or not there was a plan in the beginning--an over all goal that the characters were striving to reach.

If it's just another book for the sake of another book, then of course it's going to run out of steam. If each book is based on the fact that the characters have a story that cries out to be shared, then there won't be a problem.

Kelly Kirch said...

I may be coming over to the darkside of series appreciation. I hadn't thought so until recently when I considered all the books I enjoy reading. And the fact that I write series too. Hmm. Something to that, I suppose.

So I'll throw my hat in tentatively as a series appreciator until I change opinions again.

Regina Carlysle said...

Anny, you've hit the nail on the head. SOme of these series just ramble on and on with no end in site. And every book feels the same. Tend to think it's a money issue on the writer's part. Not saying making money is a BAD thing..just saying.

Regina Carlysle said...

Hey Kelly! I'm getting ready to do a series too. Paranormal this time but I'm still thinking this won't be a series without end. THink it'll be four or five, with an end in sight.

Toni V.S. said...

I agree with your sentiments, also. If you're referring to the writer I think you are, I fully agree there. I thoroughly enjoyed the first five books but after that, they seemed to become swamped with so many supernatural it was beginning to get ridiculous--and then there's the sexual aspect! That, specifically, was what turned me away--just too much. Don't get me wrong. I expected some sex in the stories. When dealing with vampires, especially, you know there will be. My own vampire series, The Second Species, has lots of it (since it's about four male vampires, there's bound to be plenty! But it moves the story along and doesn't fill page after page after page!) Guess my complaint was that this other writer's stories had just TOO MUCH until (for me at least) it started to get distasteful. So, I stopped buying those and went on to other stories. I really like the Black Dagger Brotherhood although I haven't been able to purchase a copy since Butch's story came out, and thoroughly enjoy reading about Eve Dallas and Roarke (wish they'd make that into a TV series, providing they wouldn't ruin it by dramatizing it) and Betsy the Vampire Queen is hilarious. I guess the answer to having a series is to either to keep it fresh or kow when to stop.

Regina Carlysle said...

Toni, I loved that series for about six or seven books. Just like you. I constantly complained about the tacky way she dressed her heroine...weird I KNOW. It just bugged me. I mean...read a fashion mag please. LOL. BUt after awhile it just didn't matter because she was NEKKID all the time. I like lots and lots of sex in a story but this was so weird because it was like...BLAM, time to have sex. Multiple partners most of whom I can't stand? OKAAAY. Bring it.

lrwirum said...

I like series books but I agree some can get old and stale and that is never fun. You have no end and really don't want to read what is being released. Makes things difficult.

Larena

Regina Carlysle said...

I know there have been several series I've gotten really IN TO and then a few will come out that are disappointing.I'll think...uh uh, that's IT for me but then I'll try the next one hoping it gets better. It's frustrating.

Judith Rochelle said...

Cal me nuts but I crave series. I love the St. Kilda series by Elizabeth Lowell, the Bullet Catchers by Roxanne St. Clair, the Bitter Creek series by Joa Johnston. A few more authors I follow? Karen Rose, Christine Feehan, Joey Hill, and on and on. And now you can really call me nuts, but I have all 40 books in Diana Palmer's Jacobsville, TX series, and yes, they are all interchangeable butI am a DP junkie-so addicted not even intervention can help. I tbhink that's why I started writing series myself. And lok at every novel I write as a possible series introduction. Help! I'm drowning in series!!!!

Regina Carlysle said...

Hey Judith my darlin'...tell Desiree hi for me. Guess she's pounding those computer keys. Of course, I KNOW you're a DP junkie. Wonder if there's a 12-step program for that??? snicker.

OMG...I loooove Elizabeth Lowell. Did you read the historical western ONLY series??? I have all of them.

Dakota Rebel said...

The series you mention...well I love her. LOVE her. I do agree that she has gotten away from where A.B. started, but I think my love for her overshadows the many, many flaws that have come into the light in the later books. I do get angry occasionally, but it never makes me put the book down, and I still have to read the new ones as soon as they come out.

Love her. Can't help it.

XoXoXo
Dakota Rebel