Booking Through Thursday — Jump the Shark

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Suggested by Jennifer:

If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?

And, do you keep reading anyway?

Honestly, it depends on the series and how much of an investment I have with it.  For example, the last DiscWorld novel wasn’t up to the usual standards for Terry Pratchett, but that doesn’t mean I plan to give up on the novels.  In fact, it makes me look forward to the next one a bit more to see how Pratchett will get things back on track.  Of course, part of that is the DiscWorld novels are a bit more standalone than other series.   You can jump in and out at most points and while reading them in order will reward you by getting some jokes, you won’t feel left out if you start in the middle.

As I said, part of it is how much time I have invested in the series and my interest level.   If it’s the second book and I’m already feeling a bit bored or unhappy with things, I’ll give up.   Or seek out a summary on Wikipedia to at least satisfy my curiosity on how things come out for certain characters.

Or if a series starts to do what I engage in unnecessary sequelitis, I’ll give up.  Yes, I’m look at your “Dune” books.  The original trilogy is fantastic, but the follow-ups written years later by Frank Herbert and then those by his son and Kevin J. Anderson are just unnecessary.    (This also applies to some of the later books by Issac Asimov, where he worked waaaaaaaaaaay too hard to tie together all his universes).    Sometimes it’s just better to let fans clamor for a sequel and wish it could be as amazing as the originals rather than to give them one that tarnishes the original.  And don’t get me started on the trend in sci-fi and fantasy novels today that everything that comes out has to be a series.  I think a stand-alone novel is a perfectly acceptable thing and we could use more of them.

Another thing that will make me stop is when a series loses sight of what made it originally so good.   I’m looking at you Laurel K. Hamilton.  When the Anita Blake books started, they were a fun, urban fantasy series with an interesting heroine and universe.   Now all they are is vampire porn.


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