I just finished the latest book in Eileen Wilks’ Lupi series. As usual, it left me wanting to re-read the entire series from the beginning. That’s the beauty…and the trouble with series.
There are a lot of series available in many genres. One of my favorites, THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN, has been around since the 1960’s. Anne McCaffrey is the primary author and, now, her son Todd has taken over. While his voice is a little different, it’s close enough to his mother’s that his contributions are welcomed.
But occasionally, when I read a new book in the series, I have to go back to where it all started. Back to the characters I fell in love with and the magic they made. If the series is “young”, that’s not so bad. But the Pern series has over 30 titles. When I bought the Kindle editions of J.D. Robb’s IN DEATH series, I re-read all 16 of them. When I do that, it takes reading time away from the new titles I’ve bought.
But there are times when a series lets you down. I sure it’s not the author’s fault; I’m sure their editors keep them to the “pattern” that’s always worked. When this happens, the later stories can get stale. Then what’s a reader to do? If you don’t buy the later books, you won’t have the entire story. But if you DO buy them, you may not enjoy the stories and that can aggravate the reader.
Luckily, most good series authors find a way to keep the series fresh. Most concentrate on secondary characters, making them the hero or heroine in the another book. Sometimes, it’s a matter of setting the story in a different time period or part of the world as the McCaffreys did with Pern.
Whichever, series books can be a matter of love ’em or leave ’em. And it’s often this worry about adding more books to my TBR stack than I need that can keep me from picking up a new author who’s already in the midst of a series. I even found myself liking a short story by an author, but when I checked out her website for other books, I found the short story was part of a series that’s already 12 books down the road. And I turned away because I just can’t take on another series.
Hopefully, I stick to that policy…or the books will want a bigger room than they have now!