Thoughts and Opinions

On series – holding on, pushing through, and letting go.

Series

I have something of a love-hate relationship when it comes to series. I can be obsessive and compulsive But it is an odd relationship that is difficult to explain. I don’t like picking up books in mid series, I almost always start at the beginning. I prefer whenever possible to wait until a series is complete before even starting them. And here is the thing, I will continue to read books I don’t necessarily even like just to see what is next. It is almost pathological.

Sometimes that is great and I love the books first to last, like Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax and Dread Chronicles, JD Robb’s In Death series, or Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Just to name a few.

Other times it is almost miserable. For example, I am still reading Christine Feehan’s Dark, Leopard, and Ghost Walker series even though I am almost sure to be enraged and disappointed. Same with Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series (still holding out hope for Bricker’s story). I am not sure why, or what I am expecting, But there are just some series that I can’t seem to let go, no matter how much I sometimes think I want to.

Other series sometimes I just had to push through to really get into it, and I think this is where my stubbornness pays off. Some of my absolute favorite series had first or second books that I really didn’t care for. Like Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunters, Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Series, Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series, Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, and most recently Lisa Kessler’s Moon series. And If I hadn’t pushed through I would have missed so much. So maybe that is what pushes me to keep dipping back into a series I might feel meh toward or even just flat not like at the start.

What I think I have more trouble with than the pushing through aspect, is really the letting go of series. Not every series can be like Robb’s 40+ monstrosity that is still keeping me entertained. Every now and again a series just fades away for me, like Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. But that is pretty rare for me. Mostly I just keep slogging along forever and ever until the series is completed or the author stops writing them.

What got me thinking about it is the fact that Maryjanice Davidson’s Undead series has a new one coming out. I was just this side of maybe letting go (OK that is probably a lie) until I found out that there is only one more book after this one, and then the series will be completed. This is one of those series that I absolutely adored at the start and the first few I read and re-read compulsively. But the last few have been a bit disappointing and consequently I wasn’t thrilled or excited. Until, as I said, I found out the end is near. It gave me my second wind and I have actually started a complete series re-read. So posting may be a bit sluggish until I get that done. A couple of things strike me though. Marketing wise, finishing the series was probably the best move she could make. Reading reviews I am not the only one to be in this position of lagging, or worse, quitting altogether, so announcing the end may have prompted a few more people to pick the series back up and/or gave them the energy to finish. And two, re-reading this particular series is giving me a whole different perspective. Some of the things that seemed poorly planned or mentioned now make sense in hindsight, and also there are some continuity issues that are starting to bug me, not the time travel stuff, but things like how many years the Book of the Dead said she would rule, stuff like that.

I guess that last isn’t so important in the general theme of series, unless you are a big re-reader. More importantly, how do you handle series? And what are your favorite series? Bonus points for completed/ended series.

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16 thoughts on “On series – holding on, pushing through, and letting go.

  1. I just have to say that I love Julia Quinn. I love her to pieces. I want to fold her up like an origami swan and put her in my pocket. Having said that, she wrote the Bridgerton series and I have purchased and read all of those bastards and swooned in my closet. I’ve reread them countless times.

    They are funny, witty, smutty, and just the best. I can’t say enough great things about them. She has since moved on, and I knew she would have to. I mean, a woman can’t make kids with a deceased husband. *sigh* I love her new books, but her Bridgerton series has a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kitkat9000 says:

    You made no mention of either Laurel K Hamilton or Charlaine Harris. Have you read them? I’ve read both with mixed feelings.

    Initially, LKH’s Anita Blake series was excellent and I loved it but have long since given up on it. My last purchase was Cerulean Sins though I continued to read them until book 16. It literally took me years to drop her. I read reviews of her newest works and am repeatedly reminded of why I stopped. More grateful than I can say that I never purchased the Merry Gentry series.
    As to Ms Harris, words fail me. I’ve read everything she’s written until book 11 of her Southern Vampire series. Her Aurora Teagarden was ok, but I loved her Lily Bard and Harper Connelly books. Also, her stand-alones are quite good as well. I hated the direction she took with Sookie and, well, frankly haven’t forgiven her. I’ll be getting anything else she writes from my library but not until the series is finished. Never again will I blindly trust her vision.

    Favorites include anything by Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh (GH is my favorite), Seanan McGuire’s October Daye, and Mary Balogh’s Survivor series. There are others but at the moment I can’t think of anything else.

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    • Hamilton I let go of so many years ago that she simply isn’t even on my radar anymore unless someone brings it up. I think I quit after book 3 because I moved and no longer had library access.

      Charlaine Harris, I only felt meh about the last couple of Sookie books, and then it was over. And I only ever expected it to be Sam, even from the first book. I never read the Aurora books, but the Shakespeare and Harper Connelly books were like crack to me, hence my throwing myself into the Midnight series. I suppose I should count the Midnight series as pushing through after that last book, but since it’s only a trilogy, I guess it just doesn’t feel like such a burden.

      I’m enjoying Balogh’s Survivor series immensely, and Andrews and Singh are at the top of the heap for me, but I haven’t started up with October Day, she keeps popping up here of late though. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Have you checked out Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken? They’re pretty awesome as well.

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  3. kitkat9000 says:

    Granted, Sam was her intended all along but I had problems with the way she went about it.

    Anyway, yes I have read Laurenston/Aiken as she’s an auto-buy author for me. Love her crazy characters and their dialoguea, most especially because she doesn’t write weak women.

    Have you read RL Mathewson? I discovered her on Amazon (Kindle app) and have to say I really enjoy her Neighbor From Hell series. They’re about a family named Bradford where essentially all the males are like Aiken’s Gwenvael. I love these books though ymmv.

    Then there’s Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series about a CIA assassin who’s been outed and is hiding in Sinful, LA. Interesting cast of characters, lots of humor though for me not much mystery, just a lot of fun. Word of caution, however. Ms DeLeon participates in the Amazon program that has other authors writing stories in her universe. Not having read these, I cannot speak to their quality but her original books are great.

    Found through the KU program is Amanda M. Lee. She has a number of series but I prefer her Wicked Witches of the Midwest and the Aisling Grimlock story lines best. More colorful characters and humor. Sensing a theme yet?

    I also read Elizabeth Hoyt, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Courtney Milan, Grace Burrowes, Kathleen Baldwin (another KU find), Sarah Morgan, Julie Anne Long, Tessa Dare, Cara McKenna and Grace Draven among others.

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  4. Ahh that is so a series I bailed on. I was so very mad at the last one I read and just couldn’t pick up the next. It’s hard with some series but I’m okay with letting them go sometimes. Usually I’ll give 2 books that I don’t enjoy (unless I’m livid) then I’m out. I have too many others to try and have to move on. Not always easy though. Hope the reread goes well and you enjoy the last two of the series!

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    • I’m not sure which series you’re saying you gave up on, but if it’s MJD’s Undead, you might want to take another look after the last one comes out next year. The reread was great, and Unfinished was wonderfully, everything I’d ever dreamed our snarky queen could grow up to be. Review is scheduled for tomorrow.

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  5. Pingback: Review – Undead and Unforgiven by Maryjanice Davidson | ...Burns Through Her Bookshelf

  6. Pingback: Review – Dark Ghost by Christine Feehan | ...Burns Through Her Bookshelf

  7. I too have a hard time deciding whether to push through or let go. I also find that once I let go I still angst over whether or not to read the new books as they come out (Evanovich Stephanie Plum which I love but thought were hit or miss after 14). It has been a while since I read straight romance as I find myself getting annoyed with too many gratuitous sex scenes. My all time favorite is Jayne Ann Krentz’s “Absolutely Positively”. (In fact I need to go find it and re-read today.) I love her old stuff and I love her older Amanda Quick Regency books. I don’t read any of Nora Roberts new stuff for that reason but I still love R.D. Robb. I let her get a few ahead of me then binge read.

    I came to you through Ilona Andrews, who I love, and was taken with your review of “Manners and Mutiny” as I have been looking for more steampunk. Just read first in a series by Devon Monk “Dead Iron” that is promising. I think there are 3 more out which I will read. Brings me to my favorites series of all time, to me this means I can re-read over and over:

    Sci/Fi: Louise McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series (10 books and maybe one coming), Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire(14), David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, John Ringo’s Vorpol Blade (3 books). Anne McCaffrey- Pretty much everything but especially the Rowan series.

    Fantasy: Michelle West Sagara’s Elantra series (10 and one coming out this month. I did have to push through 2 but love the series so much hoping next one pulls things together.) Wen Spencer’s Tinker series (4 and waiting on the last). Bujold’s Sharing Knife series (3)

    Mystery: Dana Stabinow’s Kate Shugak series (20 and did not get bored or stop caring about characters) Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott series (18 though I thought 15 was a good number)

    I do like Seanan McGuire, Eileen Wilks, Patricia Briggs, Faith Hunter, Kay Hooper, Laure Anne Gilman, Marjorie Liu – Gini Koch is my “crack”.

    Glad I found you and look forward to future reviews.

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    • Gosh, I haven’t thought about Absolutely Positively in a while, that is a good one. I’ll have to see if it’s available on openlibrary, for a good “excuse” to go back and reread and review. I’m glad you enjoyed my review of Manners and Mutiny and decided to stick around, and I hope you continue to enjoy my reviews even though I like a lot of romance 🙂

      I’ve had my eye on Dead Iron for a while but I heard it’s an abandoned series and I’m not sure uI can take that kind of agony no matter how good the current books are. It’s such a risk isn’t it?

      And oh Bujold, my first exposure to her was Cordelia’s Honor and I was in love, but then what happened to Aral? I couldn’t even with that series anymore. Miles never captured my heart and imagination like the Butcher did. And yep Anne McCaffrey just rocks, and her Thorns of Barevi was quite the awakening for my teenaged mind. But some of those others, particularly in sci-fi are some new ones for me, I’ll have to check them out.

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