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Comments on: The Dilemma of Reviewing Books in a Series http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:45:27 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Leigh http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69890 Sun, 15 Jul 2012 03:41:43 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69890

PatW: Just wanted to make a comment about the Psy-Changling series – I have read them in order but because I’ve waited for each to be published. That said, I have favorites that I think could work as standalones for the main romances. I just recently re-read the entire series in order and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover a lot of little tidbits about the secondary characters and see “hooks” set in earlier books that came to fruition in later ones. I was very favorably impressed with how the author was tying the series world building together! These are not things I noticed when I first read the books, nor do I think they are necessary if one comes in the middle or skips, but they do add something to the experience when the books are read in order.

Pat, I don’t think you can notice these things – the little hints, unless you read them back to back, or re-read them before the new release.

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By: PatW http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69663 Wed, 11 Jul 2012 21:48:40 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69663 Just wanted to make a comment about the Psy-Changling series – I have read them in order but because I’ve waited for each to be published. That said, I have favorites that I think could work as standalones for the main romances.

I just recently re-read the entire series in order and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover a lot of little tidbits about the secondary characters and see “hooks” set in earlier books that came to fruition in later ones. I was very favorably impressed with how the author was tying the series world building together! These are not things I noticed when I first read the books, nor do I think they are necessary if one comes in the middle or skips, but they do add something to the experience when the books are read in order.

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By: Brenda http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69659 Wed, 11 Jul 2012 20:39:12 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69659 Years ago my mom gave me a bag of books as a care package. In that bag were Suzanne Brockmann’s “The Reluctant Hero” (book 2 in the Troubleshooters series) and J.D. Robb’s “Conspiracy in Death” (book 8 in the In Death series). I had no idea either were part of a series and I decided what to read based on the back blurb. I opted to read “The Reluctant Hero” and loved it. I put “Conspiracy in Death” on a TBR pile and forgot about it.

Years later I started the In Death series and when I got to “Conspiracy” I recognized the cover as something I already had in my pile. When I finished the book I was glad I had waited to read it. That book has a powerful impact that is only fully realized if you’ve come to know Eve over the course of the previous seven books.

The obvious difference between the two is their placement in the series, but moreso I see the difference as being plot driven vs. character driven. The In Death series is best when it centers on Eve’s growth as a human being rather than solving a mystery. If they were just “Mystery of the Week” books then I don’t think the order would matter.

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By: Tracie http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69605 Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:48:23 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69605 I’m extremely anal and cannot read a series out of order. It really ticks me off when I pick up a book only to find out it is book x in a series.

I’m finding that I’m growing tired of series. I’ll read a blurb about a book that sounds interesting, but I won’t read it because it is book 6 in the series. For me that means that I have to read 5 books just to get to that one book. I also find that if I read too many books by the same author in a row I get burnt out.

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By: Cindy http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69572 Wed, 11 Jul 2012 01:15:11 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69572 I’m absolutely nutty about reading books in their series-order. If I start a book and “smell a series” I generally will go back and find and read all previous books – even if I didn’t really like the book. Which is ridiculous! I just can’t help myself.

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By: Leigh http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69557 Tue, 10 Jul 2012 21:26:57 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69557 Lori and Robin,

Decades ago, when authors first referenced previous characters I was ecstatic. Now it seems like every character must continue to show up all the books. Now I can keep three or four stories straight in mind even if they are not memorable but after that I think why are these people cluttering up this book with pages dedicated to recapping their past difficulties and now how happy they are now. If I have read the story, then I know that information, and if I haven’t then their role in the current one should be significant- not just a “bro, you going to lose this girl if you don’t straighten out your act.”
I want more from female friendships too then oh, tell me about the great sex, or let go shopping for shoes or go to a spa.

And for many series books, that is the role that the secondary characters play. More or less a placeholder until their book. And once their books is finished then they go back to the placeholder role.

Lynne, count me in as really liking your definitions too.

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By: Lori http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69553 Tue, 10 Jul 2012 20:35:50 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69553 I’m a little ambivalent. I started the Psy/Changeling series with Kiss of Snow and loved it. I was inspired to go to read the first book in the series and was not as thrilled. (But I loved Play of Passion and Caressed by Ice.) So Kiss of Snow worked okay as a stand-alone for me, even though it references past events. In fact, it worked better at drawing me into the series than the first book would have.

Likewise, I started the Guild Hunter series with Archangel’s Blade and loved it. It gave me the incentive to read the rest of the GH series. I realize that there is stuff in Archangel’s Blade that I did not appreciate, not having read the previous books first. However, again, it still worked well as a stand-alone.

On the other hand, once I got to the third GH book (Archangel’s Consort), I was sick of reading recaps of Elena’s childhood, haunted past, whatever. Someone new to the series at that point would have welcomed the rehashing, but I was tired of it.

I guess what I’m really saying is that I appreciate when a writer can make a series book work well as a stand-alone, while still giving just enough background to entice the reader to read the earlier books in the series, yet not giving so much that faithful followers’ eyes are glazing over…

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By: farmwifetwo http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69536 Tue, 10 Jul 2012 16:48:00 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69536

Tee:
Thanks, again. Not sure whether you made my day or not with the #30+, and I think it’ll probably take me 3 years to go through them, so the timeline just may catch up.

Think of it this way, you’ll always know there is something to read when you don’t know what to pick up next. Being Nora, you know how she writes, so there’s no surprises when you do pick up the next. Like most series the “grittier” books are at the start, the quicker reading books are later. But I find that is the difference btwn books written in the 90′s and books written after about 2005. IMO books have been “dumbed down” and in a lot of series – like SJ Rozan’s first books, and the one’s written after her hiatus – it’s really obvious to the reader.

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By: Tee http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69535 Tue, 10 Jul 2012 16:39:41 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69535

farmwifetwo: If you aren’t one of those people… there’s 30+ books to read and 3yrs or so of book timeline.

Thanks, again. Not sure whether you made my day or not with the #30+, and I think it’ll probably take me 3 years to go through them, so the timeline just may catch up. :)

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By: Robin http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493&cpage=1#comment-69533 Tue, 10 Jul 2012 16:11:26 +0000 http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8493#comment-69533 Some book series get excessively cumbersome which makes starting from the beginning a hardship. In Death, Argeneau vampires and Anita Blake spring to mind–just for a start. In general I like to read books in order–usually because the early books spend time on setting the stage and introducing characters. However, with long running series, I don’t want the author to waste pages recapping previous events for the sake of new readers–that’s my selfish side. So I don’t care if the books can stand alone, from the perspective. Right now I’m stymied because I want to read the newest Julie Garwood, “An Ideal Man” but it has been so long since I read the last book in the ‘series’, I can’t remember all the various couples and characters. They are supposed to stand alone, I guess, but when they are interrelated it does make the book better if you can remember back story. Same goes with Susan Elizabeth Phillips “Simply Irresistible”. I want to go back and re-read but I just don’t have time. This might be my particular quirky problem though…

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