The Book End Babes met this past Saturday for another book club meeting. We discussed Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. We enjoyed the book. If you like cozy mysteries set in England in the 1950’s with a precocious 11-year-old protagonist who puts poison ivy in her older sister’s lipstick to get even, you will find this book enjoyable.
But I don’t want to prattle on about the book. I want to get you to prattle on about a topic that came up during our discussion. All of us are sucked into at least one book series (i.e, Janet Evanovich & Stephanie Plum, Sookie Stackhouse & True Blood, etc.). Each time we meet we talk about the latest book in the series. This time the conversation started the same as always: what we liked or loved about the series. Then it took an interesting turn onto a road marked with frustration. Why? We all believe publishers get too excited (greedy) when a series does well and they milk the cow dry. And all of us held the opinion that a series has overstayed its welcome when we do the following:
- No longer rush to get the new release in the series the moment it hits stores.
- Find ourselves frustrated with the protagonist who never seems to learn or grow.
- Find ourselves guessing the ending of the book because it resembles a plot already used in the series.
- Find ourselves wishing the author would take more time between book releases. Close release dates left us feeling suspicious about the quality of the story.
- Search the internet for the date or number of the FINAL book in the series. If it is too far out we decide to sever the relationship.
- We roll our eyes when we learn another book is being released.
- I think the publisher has his or her hand in my pocket.
- I suspect the author is bored because I feel bored reading the story.
So now it is your turn. Feel free to answer one or all of the following:
Have you ever gotten tired of a series? If yes, what made you tired of it?
How long is long enough for a series?
What do you think of series that have companion books? Do those get more time?
I’ll go first:
I am tired of Stephanie Plum and I am frustrated with Evermore (The Immortals). Both series have recycled plot lines, books that don’t advance the story or the character, and a slow to evolve or nonevolving character.
I prefer trilogies. But I am willing to go six or seven books if there is enough story and room for character development (of multiple characters).
I appreciate companion books because they give me a different perspective of a world. However, I don’t want scraps. I want a REAL story from a perspective that matters. I still tire out around the seventh book.