I love a good standalone book, but there is something about series that suits me better as a reader. I love getting to know the same characters over the course of a series or trilogy. I love seeing how they grow and develop in each book, and how their relationships and friendships evolve over time. That kind of really detailed development rarely happens in a standalone, and it’s why series and trilogies appeal to me so much.
No matter how we wish to love every book in a series, it doesn’t always happen. After waiting for months and months to read the next installment, there is nothing more soul destroying that not enjoying that book. There mightn’t even be anything technically wrong with it... maybe the vibe isn’t the same, or the spark that made you LOVED in the first book disappears.
It’s even harder when it’s the LAST book in a series! I completely get and respect that it’s the authors’ vision and ultimate decision about what happens, and 9.99 times out of 10 I completely agree with it. But, as a reader that loves the characters the author created, I have lots of hopes about what I’d love to happen. I can’t help it! I want what’s best for those little darlings I care about! It’s unrealistic to expect every little hope and whim to be met, but I usually have one main hope that consistently stays the same: I hope each character gets the ending that makes sense to their personality and that stays fairly consistent with the storyline that’s been established in the previous book(s). If that happens, I’ll be happy. (Ok, it might take a lot of time for me to get to that state… I usually go through denial, crying, ranting, hating the universe and rejecting the outcome first... but after all that, I’ll be fine!)
And please note, these are just my opinions, and it’s not my intention to offend anyone with this list.
Divergent - Insurgent
I loved the pure adrenaline vibe I got when I read Divergent. It was awesome and so much fun to read, and I completely glossed over my feelings that very little of the overall world-building made sense to me. Then I read Insurgent, and I had the complete opposite reaction to Divergent. It was boring! I was gutted! Where’s the action, the adrenaline, the DANGER?! And this may be extreme unpopular opinion time… but I began to severely dislike both Tris and Tobias. They didn’t communicate, and I didn’t believe any of the feelings they're meant to have have for each other. I had planned to read Allegiant eventually, but when an author I was following on Twitter at the time spoiled a certain twist that happens in that book, I chose not to read it.
Nevermore - Enshadowed
I read Nevermore at the beginning of 2014, and I instantly fell in love. I loved the atmosphere, the world building, the characters, the writing, the plot… everything. I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, but I knew the final book in the trilogy was delayed by a year, so I decided to keep Enshadowed until closer to Oblivion’s release date. Since it’s scheduled to be released this summer, I read Enshadowed a couple of months ago, and I felt so… deflated. Honestly, at times it felt like Nevermore-Lite. The atmosphere I loved so much didn’t appear until the end of the book, and I was so disappointed. If only what happened in the last 80-100 pages occurred for the entire book, then it would have been epic! I hate saying it, but it’s made me a little wary about the last book… my expectations won’t be so high! I love Varen and Isobel so much, and I really hope the middle book was a little blip and the conclusion will be fabulous. *Fingers crossed!!*
The Iron King - The Iron Daughter
I’m a character focused reader, and sometimes it’s very obvious what the endgame will be really early in a series. When a love-triangle is handled well, they can be so entertaining to read, but when they’re added just for drama and conflict… they’re not much fun at all! I feel this is exactly happened when I read The Iron Daughter. I love a certain character beginning with the letter P, and to see how he was treated… Yeah, I wasn’t impressed. At freaking ALL! With the decisions that Meghan made, I lost all respect for her and I honestly would love to ask her what the heck was she thinking?!
The Lux Series
It pains me to include this series in my list, but, I was SO DISAPPOINTED with how mild the ending was. I loved all four of the previous books, and I was gutted that Opposition felt rushed and anti-climactic. Daemon and Katy are two of my favourite characters, and they felt like shells of their former selves. Unfortunately, the last book has tainted my overall love for the Lux series. Honestly, I wish I could go back in time and skip reading Opposition, and hold onto the love I had when I finished reading Origin.
The Consequences Trilogy
This series was one of the biggest mind-fucks I’ve ever read. It’s not explicit, but you can fill in all the fade to black scenes, and holy crap, it’s not pretty. The first two books left me reeling with some of the things that happened. It’s shocking, creepy and just plain INSANE at times! Conviced was following down the same awesomely crazy route… until the ending happened. For how messed up this series was, things sort of felt a little too… happy. It’s not a bad ending; it sort of… fizzled out.
The Breathing Trilogy
The first two books in this trilogy are fabulous! I liked Reason to Breathe, but I loved Barely Breathing, and I was hoping for an epic conclusion to the trilogy. I don’t read a lot of contemporary, and to LOVE a book… this is a rare thing for me! I was so happy! I could find a favourite contemp series! Then, I read Out of Breath, and everything fell apart. The characters were completely unrecognisable, the vibe of the previous books didn’t exist anymore, and in honesty, it felt like it was written by a different person. It was such a horrible chalk and cheese feeling, and I ended up hating every character by the time I finished the book – and that’s definitely NOT the way I hope to end a series!
The Southern Vampire Series
I may have ranted about the ending of this series a few times… and ok, twist my arm, I’ll rant again. I’ve never been so disappointed with how a series ends before or since reading the conclusion to the Sookie Stackhouse series. It’s a thirteen book series, and I still really like the first nine or ten books – basically, when Eric was Eric – but the final few were, quite honestly, terrible. It hurts when you’ve invested so much time into reading and waiting for the next book in the series and then all of a sudden, everything that happened in an earlier book is rewritten within the space of a paragraph! It felt like the conclusion was being twisted, changed and forced into the final two books, and it didn’t sit well with me at all. I could eventually get over the ending… particularly if it was hinted at consistently through the entire series, but it’s very difficult to accept considering the manner in which it was done. I don’t like feeling cheated, and that’s exactly how I feel with this series. (I mean, why on Earth would the series be called the Southern VAMPIRE series when a VAMPIRE doesn't WIN?!?! Uughh!!)
I’m really curious: Have you been disappointed with a sequel to a book you love, and why did it disappoint? Are you character driven (like me!) or more plot-focused? And how do you feel about endings that don’t quite live up to your hopes?
Thanks for stopping by!