25 March 2015

Trilogies /series /authors I stopped reading

Imagine the following scenario: You read the first book in a series or trilogy, you absolutely loved the book and are convinced that the following books will be just as amazing and that this series / trilogy is going to be one of the best ever. But then you read books #2 and maybe #3 in the series and the greatness of book #1 is no longer there, the series/trilogy as a whole is not one you like.

Or imagine the following: For years you loved reading books by an specific author, some of the books belong to your all time favourites, but then suddenly the newest book and from there on all new books don't work for you any longer, you might even strongly dislike some of them.

Both scenarios happened to me several times over the last years and I'm sure they will continue to happen to me. In this post I want to talk a bit about these series / trilogies / books by specific authors that at first amazed me, but then led to disappointment. 

First let me start with stating that this is not a post to make fun of authors or to diss them, I love books way too much to ever do something like that. This post is my way of trying to come to terms with the afore mentioned bookish disappointments, to discuss why it's normal that they happen and why they are part of being a reader. I also know that some of the series that didn't work for me might belong to your favourites, that's the joy of reading, we all have different tastes in books, it's something we should appreciate and celebrate. 

In general I think that some authors are amazing at writing stand alone novels, others are amazing at writing series, a select few can do both. With some series/trilogies I wonder if stand alone novels or maybe duologies would have been a better fit for the authors, maybe that's the book format in which they could show all of their amazing writing, character and world building skills that seem to get lost with a series. For example I personally would love to read big fat stand alone novel by Tamora Pierce, that isn't connected to any of her other stories even though her series didn't work for me. 

Next I also think that some authors of series/trilogies put everything they have into the first book to make it stand out, to make it a huge hit and then there is nothing left for books 2, 3 and so on, an example for this is IMO Divergent. 

And of course sometimes an authors idea of great world building and stories in general are completely different to what I want from books, this is something that is hard to accept at first but it's just part of being a reader. Sometimes the chemistry between authors and you as a reader is amazing, sometime's it isn't, you have to accept that and move on to other authors. 

And sometimes a series goes on and on, the moment to give it a good, somewhat logical ending is long gone and thinks are getting plain weird and are no longer entertaining (see: Stephanie Plum). 

Btw, even though the other books in the following series/trilogies didn't work for me, I still love the books I decided to keep on my shelves and even reread them, I just have to make sure to forget about the other books and what happened in them. 

Some series/trilogies that overall didn't work for me even though I loved the first book are

  • Divergent - Veronica Roth
  • Beka Cooper, Alanna - Tamora Pierce
  • Night school - C.J. Daugherty 
  • Shadow Falls - C.C. Hunter
  • Motor Mouth and Stephanie Plum - Janet Evanovich
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor
  • Dustlands - Moira Young
  • Birthmarked - Caragh M. O'Brien
  • Paranormalcy - Kiersten White
  • Across the Universe - Beth Revis
  • Alpha & Omega - Patricia Briggs
  • Kate Daniels - Ilona Andrews

I want to talk a bit more about some of the series from my list. The Selection trilogy is one I don't dislike, however books #2 and #3 were IMO not as good as #1 and that's why I decided to only keep book #1, it's similar with series like Paranormalcy, Across the Universe and Shadow Falls. 

I absolutely adored the first book in both the Beka Cooper and Alanna series by Tamora Pierce, especially "Terrier" is a book that left me speechless and excited for so much more. But then books #2 and #3 in the Beka Cooper trilogy were such a huge disappointment for me. Fascinating characters from book #1 disappeared, all of the new developments felt forced, the heroine changed into a woman that I didn't recognize any longer and the story lines were just weird. I think I read "Terrier" two years ago and it still pains me that the potential of the book was IMO not used, this series could have been one of the best.

When I look at the Alpha & Omega and Kate Daniels series, the reasons for stopping to read both series are similar. Some of the darker things that happened in the books seemed to be just there to make things more dramatic and cruel, but in the end they didn't add anything valuable to the story, with the Kate Daniels books I also wasn't happy with how the main characters seemed to change over time, some of the things felt too constructed.
In the last years I had these issues with nearly all of the Urban Fantasy books I read, the genre just isn't perfect for me and I pretty much have stopped reading it with some exceptions. 

Stopping to read books by an author whose books you loved for years is also a very hard and sad decision. In the last years I said goodbye to books by formerly favorite authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Linda Howard and Sarra Manning to name a few.
Some books by these authors like Unsticky, Natura Born Charmer, See Jane Score and To die for belong to my all time favourites, I have reread these books and others by the authors countless times and will continue to do so in the future. But sometimes an authors way to create characters and stories changes, and of course my taste in books might have also changed a bit in the last years. Sometimes these changes go in the same direction, but sometimes they don't and then it's time to stop reading books by an author. 

Which series/trilogies did you love at first but then were disappointed by? Which authors did you stop reading even though you loved their books in the past?


  1. I am a very loyal reader, but lately I have fallen out of love with Catherine Coulter's FBI series. The characters are all the same, there is no adrenaline rush anymore, they are all laid back. And Maya Banks KGI series, the heroes are going way over the line for me. They see a woman, she is the one, and they do whatever stalker thing necessary to protect her and be with her, and won't take no for an answer.
    I don't agree with you on the UF series you name, as I do love them a lot, but then it is my favourite genre. Some series are too long, and others are with 40 books still going strong (JD ROBB!)

    1. Maya Banks is another author I could have added to the list, I loved her books about 3-4 years ago, but since then something has changed for me and I don't enjoy reading her books any longer. :(

      I'm not surprised that you think about the mentioned UF series completely different, if UF works for you, then these two series are pretty much a must read. It took me quiet some time to realize that the whole UF genre is just not what I'm looking for in my books. I like my stories to be a but lighter.

      Happy Reading!




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