in which a light bulb goes off

This year shall be known forever as the year that Kris killed a gazillion series.

Well, ok, I’m exaggerating a little. It’s only been about five or six that I’ve given the arse to, but… it still seems a lot, don’t you reckon??

Anyway, when LesleyW posed the question ‘When Do You Give Up on a Series?’, I made the offhand remark that I knew it was time to give up on a series when I kept wishing the main character would just friggin’ stay dead already. *Paranormal romance. God, Love it.*

Since then, I’ve thought about it more and have come to the realisation it actually has to do with me being a characterisation whore. That is, if the main character shows no signs of growth or development and it’s same old, same old from book to book, I get bored shitless and give the series the old heave-ho.

So, now I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not just me being a bitch, I feel much better… especially about the extra bookshelf space. 🙂

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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16 Responses to in which a light bulb goes off

  1. nichem says:

    It must be really disappointing to have a series you started out loving turn into teh suck.

    Due to my short attention span and impatience at having to wait for the next book to see what happens, I've only recently begun to read series books. Two of my current favorites, The Adrien English Mysteries and the PsyCop books, both have sequels coming out which I hope are as good as the rest in the series. *crosses fingers, knocks on wood, and all that*

    BTW, I much prefer to start a series after all the books have come out. That way I can read them straight through with no wait. Anyone else do that, or am I just weird?

    Hope you're feeling better today. 🙂

  2. my ADD usually kicks in around book 3, but occasionally I'll hang around longer. Read all of the Heaven Sent, Adrien English, and Wheel of Time series.

    was done reading Jarheads about 5 books back. Rock gets pissy, Dick tears up, and Rig sucks them both off. the end.

  3. Kris says:

    Richelle: You are weird.

    It's a poo is what it is. *sigh* On the upside there's more shelf space to fill. Gives me a reason to buy more books so that my bookcase don't look so sad. LOL.

    I do feel better today, thanks. The antibiotics appear to have kicked in. 🙂

  4. Kris, who is too despite the fact that Jake is an arse says:

    Emmy: I can hold out for quite a while. It's when I start thinking to myself 'wait, wasn't this story in book 45 million' that I get annoyed and bored.

    I stopped reading the Jarheads series ages ago too. Got bored. Nice summary, btw. Sums it up exactly.

  5. orannia says:

    …I knew it was time to give up on a series when I kept wishing the main character would just friggin' stay dead already.

    LOL! I think if you can start predicting the plot, it's time to give up, because there is going to be nothing to hold your interest. And I agree with you about characterization Kris. And add (if I may) that characters need to be able to grow from somewhere…if they are already perfect to begin with then isn't going to be much growth 🙂

  6. Kris says:

    “And add (if I may) that characters need to be able to grow from somewhere…if they are already perfect to begin with then isn't going to be much growth :)”

    You may. I shall allow it. 😉

    That is a very good point and I absolutely agree with you. What's the point in having a series focused on one character if nothing ever changes with them. Even if a series looks at the impact that this one character has on others there is always opportunity to explore motivations and interactions, etc.

  7. Jenre says:

    I have a fondness for series books and will often keep going even when they are getting a bit stale. Part of the trouble arises when you start reading a series and then it moves into hardback. I'm not prepared to pay hardback prices so I then have to wait longer for the paperback to come out. The JR Ward books are a case in point. I'm thinking of giving up on that series because I'm annoyed that all the new books are going to come out in HB first.

    I don't read too many m/m series. I have the first Jarheads one in my tbr pile but probably won't buy all the books in the series. I also like to know when a series is coming to an end – as with the AE books. I may not like it, but at least I know that the overall story arc will be concluded to my satisfaction and I won't be left reading books that drag on with no more character development or recycled plots.

  8. Jenre says:

    and I expect that Jake will be less of an arse in the last book. You never know, Kris, you may even come to love him ;).

  9. Tam says:

    Jen, that is my daughter's biggest complaint. She reads a series and then whammo, suddenly it's $30 for a hardcover for the next installment.

    I can give or take series. I don't really have many in paper books, I don't have many paper books period. But like Richelle I love it when I can find a series that is complete or almost like Psycop where I can read all of them in one fell swoop and only have to wait for the next one. I'm not very patient.

    As for Jarheads, well, I'd read a few shorts and finally bought one of the books (not the first apparently but tells how they got together) and I'm stuck on page 100. Seriously, how many possible other variations on threesome sex could there be? It's all been done and I haven't learned enough about any of them to actually CARE about them. Sure it's hot and in general I like Sean Michael but in this case I just don't care enough about them to continue, even for the smexin'. I need SOME characterization beyond an amazing talent to deep throat.

  10. Kris says:

    Jen: I love series too. I think it's because I grew up reading fantasies, which needs no further explanation I'm sure. 🙂

    I HATE it when a series suddenly turns into hard cover. I've been known to throw tantrums in book stores over it.

    Your point about an author knowing when to end a series is one that I see frequently come up on reading blogs, and also one with which I'm in total agreement. There's nothing as bad as a series dragging on and on with little happening and even worse when that series suddenly turns into a hard cover in the midst of this. Being cynical, I thinks it's got more to do with making money – more for the publishers than the authors, I'd say – then putting a quality piece of work out for readers.

    “You never know, Kris, you may even come to love him ;).”

    Yeah, yeah. Whatever.

  11. Kris says:

    Tam: So you're weird too. 😉

    Tell K that she should feel lucky. You can pay anything up to $45 for a hard cover here in Oz now. It's ridiculous!

  12. orannia says:

    Thank you Kris 🙂

    Jenre – I'm so with you on JR Ward's books going to hardback. I was buying the books (in mass market paperback), but I like my books to be the same size (what can I say, size does matter 🙂 so I borrwed the latest from the library…and good thing too because I spent the whole time while rading it ranting!

    And yes…there is nothing worth that an author not admitting that they need to stop writing a series…because there is nothing left to write about!

  13. H says:

    Seldom comment, but read you lot … I mean “I follow the blog attentively”, I adore series and find them difficult to give up (in that I continue to buy the next book even when I have stopped actually them. Mmm.)

    Enmmy: That's awesome, when WOT began to be released, I was knee deep in my TBR (and working in a bookshop, so it was growing monthly) and as I was about to start reading them (I think there were three or four out by then), one of the customers, an enthusiastic Jordan fan, made a comment which has prevented me from ever picking them up after I wondered how these books (was set to go to 10 at that point) could be so long, “It is the same set of things happening again – the title is WOT, so it is a circle!”. Bleah – it may have been a poorly thought out comment, but it put me off. OTOH, I know many people have thoroughly enjoyed the series – I suspect it is just too big a “thing” for me to tackle, with so many as a “backlist”, I'm utterly daunted.

    I stopped with D Gabaldon after book 2 (although I bought them until book 4) – the minutiae of no-one's life is that interesting.
    I'm still buying Robb's … In Death series, although I no longer read m/f at all.

    Some books in a series will be stronger than others, but I accept that as part of the price for getting the Whole Story.
    Cheers 🙂

  14. Kris says:

    Thanks for coming out of lurkdom, H. 🙂

    “I adore series and find them difficult to give up (in that I continue to buy the next book even when I have stopped actually them. Mmm.)”

    LOL, H! It's usually after I buy the latest release in the series that I realise I don't actually want to read them anymore. I've also been known to purchase new releases thinking 'I read this series' only to come home and find that I actually stopped reading them because they're no longer on my shelves. 🙂

    I agree with your point about some books in a series being stronger than others. That is one of the reasons that I always – regardless of how much I enjoyed it – read the second book of a series which interests me. I find that often the first deals with the worldbuilding or introduction to the characters as opposed to getting into the nitty gritty of the story. The second usually gives the reader a 'better' impression of the story and whether they have become intrigued enough to continue with it.

  15. LesleyW says:

    I have got to get back on the internets.

    Vows to self will post soon.

  16. Kris says:

    Your brain melted down from all your studies, Lesley. I'm pretty sure we'll allow you a break for that. 😉

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