Serious Series Addiction

ShadowfeverI’m a romance reader who loves series books.  Give me books for all the brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, pack mates, or even coven members and blood brothers an author can come up with; I’m good with’em all if they’re well done of course. Luckily for me, my three most favorite series books will all soon to be released installments and while I’m looking forward to the releases, each one will be somewhat bittersweet.  My love for them, tied to my angst and worry over seeing them end, makes me wonder if I’ll find other books to take their place and who else out there feels the same way about these books and others.

I’ve written about Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series before and I’m still just as addicted to it today as I was when I read Faefever for the first time.  I’m sad to see it end.  I began with the third in the series and it didn’t take me long to get sucked into MacKayla Lane’s world of Seelie and Unseelie Fae.  The first person narration, suspense plot, and unique setting work for me in almost every way.  With four books already released in the series, the final installment, Shadowfever, will be released on January 18, 2011.  Hopefully, as many questions as possible will be answered and Mac will finally be with Barrons, but if not, I won’t be completely surprised because I have visions of the Lost finale with it’s lack of answers and have a feeling this will be similar since there are so many questions that need answers.  Plus, I read on Moning’s site that she’s signed with Random House for three more books set in the Fever World, so while Mac’s story arc may conclude the problems may continue.  Regardless, I’ll miss Mac and Barrons and hate to say goodbye.

I’m also quite addicted to Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and just can’t get enough of her heroes regardless of what they are – vampire, werewolf, demon, or vemon.  In mid-February, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, Reagan and Aidan’s story will be released and I’m buzzing with excitement.  I love Reagan and have wanted her story for so long and can’t wait to see how Cole brings them together.  However, as this one’s released, the series draws even closer to an ending, which I dread.  According to Cole’s Web site, she has a dozen books plotted out in the IAD series and from what I’ve read, I think they’ll be two more after Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

A series that I came late to is Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters and I’m seriously, hopelessly obsessed.  I’m eagerly looking forward to the next release on March 22, 2011 and while it isn’t ending, she’s announced on her site that Izzy’s book, Breaking the Rules, is her longest Troubleshooters book because she plans to take a break from the series and wanted to tie up loose story arcs.  When I read her statement, I wanted to cry.  Seriously.  A “break” isn’t an end – I get that, but it still feels like the writing is on the wall and for me no other series has the depth and scope of Brockmann’s Troubleshooters.  I will literally be depressed when it ends.

Not all series books hold my interest for the entire run.  I abandoned both J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series. I never had much interest in Xhex, though I did like John Matthew, but obviously not enough to actually read Lover Mine and continue with the series.  With the Hathaway books, I think my lack of interest in continuing had more to do with my changing tastes than the stories themselves.

As my three series obsessions gradually come to an end, I can only hope that others will rise up to fill the void. How do you feel about romances series?  Which ones do you follow and why?  Or, which ones do you avoid and why?

- Heather AAR

24 thoughts on “Serious Series Addiction

  1. Hmm, I love the Singh Psy Changeling series as well as the guild hunter series, and the cole series. those are probably my most serious ones I look forward to. I have held off on moning until this final book is out – I did enjoy her straight romance highlander series that kind of ties into the fever books.

    Ward is ok, but losing steam and a library read now. I kept up with the Feehan Dark series for a long time but got annoyed w/no answers forthcoming.

    I’ve started some other paranormal or fantasy series lately that I hope to continue – Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld, and Patricia Brigg’s Alpha and Omega.

    The Robb series kind of lost it’s umph for me over the years so no longer an auto buy…

    I prefer it when an author knows when to end a plot arc in a series so there are some answers/conclusions, but then perhaps does a spin off or has a second plot arc.

    Used to also enjoy the Kenyon series but it’s really fizzled out, which is disappointing b/c some of the books were pretty interesting!

  2. I’ve discovered that I like series where the romance is sustained and developed over several books as well as those with a self-contained HEA. For instance the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn. One thing about series which could be good or bad is that you sometimes have to slog through the books that aren’t so good (or are just not to your liking) to keep up.
    Speaking of formats, it makes me a little bit twitchy when a book in a series is issued under a different cover than the last one (mass-market vs trade paperback vs hardcover). Reading most of my books on the Kindle solves this. I understand the publishers’ reasons for doing this but it still makes me twitchy :)

  3. The most I’ve been obsessed with a series was JR Ward Brotherhood. It was like I was on Meth – seriously. Second place was the addiction to the Outlander series. Up there is Nalini Singh psy-changling, I’ve read them all. Oh, Kresley Cole, read all her para’s too. Ate them up like Sees Candy. Liked the Bridgertons and the Hathaways too, but seem to be more obsessed with time travel, para, urban. Or maybe Steampunk. After reading The Iron Duke I also foresee a future obsession there too. Its fun to be obsessed with a series, but so sad when it ends and your friends are gone….

  4. AARPat: What I learned through all of these and other series was I have little tolerance for being strung along. I want the story to END, like with an ending, with a “that’s all, people, go home!”

    Unless, I’m still happy with it and then I want it to continue, but I am ready to have a resolution to the Fever series. It’s about time.

    RobinB: Finally, I’ve noticed that publishers are at last noting on book covers that a particular item is part of a series! HOORAY!

    About time! I hope more and more publishers do this.

    Victoria S: Oh, and I forgot to mention. Along with a severe case of seriesitis, I’ve now developed Kindle/or/paper-itis. If I start a series book by a favorite author I already have in hardcover/paper, do I continue in paper?

    I do it both ways and almost every series I have is divided between both paper and ebook. I guess it depends on what the UBS has and what’s available in ebook format.

    gumbybird: I loved the Sebastian St. Cyr books

    I’m gonna have to try this series. I’ve heard so many good things about it, but I keep putting it off. Maybe it’ll be a New Year’s resolution.

  5. I loved the Sebastian St. Cyr books, but I just spent the last couple weeks devouring Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series straight through for the first time, and I think I like them even better! I have about 20 pages of Dark Road to Darjeeling left – so what am I doing spending time on AAR right now? Gotta go see how it turns out… love that Nicholas Brisbane! (And Julia is pretty great herself.)

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention Heather blogs about her series addiction. -- Topsy.com

  7. Oh, and I forgot to mention. Along with a severe case of seriesitis, I’ve now developed Kindle/or/paper-itis. If I start a series book by a favorite author I already have in hardcover/paper, do I continue in paper? (I LOVE holding books.) Or do I begin to start loading up my Kindle, which is mondo convenient, cool looking and uber planet friendly? Not to mention the nice people you meet out and about while reading your Kindle who will get into great conversations with you about books you may want to read in the future. :-)

    Jebe: I got Sebastian St. Cyr-itis also; those I have in paper

    I have also been hooked on Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series. I tried Anne Perry, but she didn’t do it for me. My sister got me hooked on Stuart Woods Stone Barrington; those are all on my Kindle. I am up to number 11. He has written 20 so I’ve got a few more to go before I’m caught up.
    so now, not only do I have series-itis, but its sister affliction…format-itis.

    • Jebe: I got Sebastian St. Cyr-itis also; those I have in paper

      That’s the series I’m most anticipating, Victoria! I have the ladies here on the boards to thank for turning me on to that series…I think Tinabelle and Susan/DC were the ones that were talking that series up a few years ago.

  8. Okay, that got stuck coming out! But I was going to say that I’m counting on a full reporting from you, Heather, b/c you’re the one that actually got me hooked on this series in the first place! If I get an online “thumbs up,” then I’m onboard for the last one!

  9. Leigh AAR: Sometimes the anticipation for a certain book, ultimately causes me to be slightly disappointed.

    This sums up my feelings for ShadowFever right now. I’m looking forward to it so much that I fear I’ll be really disappointed, especially if the heroine doesn’t end up with the hero of “my” choice.

    bungluna: I’ve come to appreciate the character development that is posible with a series that follows the same people over a long stretch of time.

    This is why I enjoy Brockmann’s Troubleshooters so much. Because she returns to the same characters for numerous books, there is so much depth to her characterizations and world-building.

    Jebe: I’m very ambivalent about the Fever finale. It’s funny you should mention Lost, b/c I have the same feeling that things won’t be clearly resolved in this book. Rather, Mac’s storyline will be pretty much cleared up, but the series will end on a cliffhanger so that Dani’s storyline can continue.

    I’m not a fan of Dani’s storyline, so this ShadowFever may be it for me.

    • Heather AAR: This sums up my feelings for ShadowFever right now. I’m looking forward to it so much that I fear I’ll be really disappointed, especially if the heroine doesn’t end up with the hero of “my” choice. This is why I enjoy Brockmann’s Troubleshooters so much. Because she returns to the same characters for numerous books, there is so much depth to her characterizations and world-building. I’m not a fan of Dani’s storyline, so this ShadowFever may be it for me.

  10. To me, literary series are like the little girl with the curl right in the middle of her forehead. When they’re good, there is nothing better, but when they’re bad–oy vey!

    In the category of “series that are DIK’s”, I put the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett, the first four books in the Outlander series, and three by Mary Jo Putney: the Bride series, the Silk series, and of course, the Fallen Angels series. In each of these series, the individual books have their own special qualities, while mainaining a strong story line and memorable characters that are NOT essentially clones of characters who appear in other books in the series!

    Then there are series where either I’ve stopped after one or two books because of the sameness of the plots and characters from one book to the next, or I plowed through to the last book, and afterward wondered why I had wasted my time! Two examples of these (and if you like these series, well, to each her own!) are an American historical series by Heather Graham set in Florida before and during the Civil War, and the “Crazy” series by Tara Janzen. In both cases, the first book was pretty good (in the Graham series, it was the first two books that I liked), but in later novels, a sameness in plot and character really became evident, and I actually stopped reading the second book in the “Crazy” series, because I felt as though I was re-reading the first book!

    I mentioned that I liked the first four books in the Outlander series–it took me at least two years to finish “The Fiery Cross”, the fifth book! I love the Jamie/Claire story line, but Gabaldon has introduced so many other characters and plot lines that it’s very difficult to maintain the same level of interest in the series that I had with the earlier books. Maybe it’s a combination of changing interests as time and life go by and the length of both the novels and the length of time between books!

    Finally, I’ve noticed that publishers are at last noting on book covers that a particular item is part of a series! HOORAY! As someone else mentioned, there is nothing more annoying than browsing in a bookstore, picking up and purchasing a book with an interesting blurb, only to find out that it’s volume 3 or 4 in a series!!

  11. fictfact is a great tool to herp manage anybody reading several (something like17) series!

    I’ve come to appreciate the character development that is posible with a series that follows the same people over a long stretch of time. I’m not kidding when I say that I follow an enormous amount of series, all across genres:

    Vorkosigan series by Loid MacMaster Bujold sci-fi
    Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller sci-fi
    Vintage Magic by Annette Blair mystery
    Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie mystery
    …in Death by JD Robb police procedural
    Dresden File by Jim Butcher Urban Fantasy
    Pride/Pack by Shelley Laurenston Urban Fantasy

    These are just my favorite, there’s so many more that are very good.

  12. I’m hooked on a few series: C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr books and I just finished Book 6 of the Southern Vampire books. There’s a few other series books that I like, but they mostly deal with the same characters over several books as opposed to a group of friends or relatives and their mates, etc. I stopped reading the related friends-and-relatives-type of series b/c, like Heather said, if it’s not done well then it just comes off as a rehash of the same story.

    I’m very ambivalent about the Fever finale. It’s funny you should mention Lost, b/c I have the same feeling that things won’t be clearly resolved in this book. Rather, Mac’s storyline will be pretty much cleared up, but the series will end on a cliffhanger so that Dani’s storyline can continue. Those cliffhanger endings were not for me, I thought the storyline could’ve continued across several books without those. I’m not even planning on buying Shadowfever until I get some online feedback!

  13. I think I started reading series with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, but abandoned it when it became more about group sex than plot. So I next went to her Meredith Gentry series, which lasted all of three books before I bailed. I then turned to Laurens and Balogh, finding Slightly Dangerous, one of my favorite books in the process. I even started Davidson’s Betsy Queen of the Dead until all the marriage talk began.

    What I learned through all of these and other series was I have little tolerance for being strung along. I want the story to END, like with an ending, with a “that’s all, people, go home!”

    So after having read Iron Duke and loving it, I’m leery about reading the next one in the series. But like the first paragraph above proves, I’m a sucker for series, so I’ll probably buy it, read it, and with a lot of hope and knocking on wood, love it.

  14. It’s hard for me to get hooked on historical series books maybe because of series-itis (to use Sandy’s term) though I have followed many in the past, just not so much recently. Sometimes with series books it seems like there’s so much effort going into setting up the next book, the current book suffers. Just my two cents.
    One historical series I have followed to the point of becoming a website stalker and actually knowing the release date of the next book is Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon’s Rangers series. Conner’s story has finally been given a release date of February 2012 and it’s going to be hard to wait, but I will gladly. Thank you Ms. Clare, Penguin/Berkley Sensation!

  15. I have a love hate relationship with series books. I do like the extended world building that series books allow. I love the fact that the author has more time for characterization. But. . . .it is a big BUT I hate being strung along. I hate waiting years for the conclusion to a story. And I hate feeling that an author is just adding relatives and recycling the same story over and over.

    I am a firm believer that series books should have a ending.

    Sometimes the anticipation for a certain book, ultimately causes me to be slightly disappointed.

    I do feel with series books, that there is a greater chance of surprise. I suspect that authors get a little bored, and want to shake thing up.

    I will continue to read series, but I tend to chose more wisely the authors that I follow.

  16. Cindy’s post just reminded me of a few of my other series addictions: Troubleshooter and Outlander. As for Balogh, I’ve enjoyed some series and some I haven’t. I thought the Simply series was simply forgettable, but I did enjoy Slightly.

  17. When I buy a book (and I buy lots of older books at thrift stores and used bookstores) the first thing I do is get online and research whether book is part of a series. (FictionDB is the site I use most for this.) If it is, I CANNOT read the book until I buy and read the books ahead of it in the series. It’s kind of crazy, I know. I very seldom read AR, vampire, etc., but I love several historical series – like those by Balogh, Quinn, and Gracie. Some of the series I’ve given up on are Troubleshooters, Janet Evanovich’s Plum series, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, and (I’m sorry to say) Outlander. I definitely prefer a romance series where each book is a seperate couple’s story rather than a continuation of one story. I also am a big fan of several mystery series.

  18. I read a lot of books in series. In the part of my reading log where I include an indication for series, 1275 of 2458 entries (slightly over half) are in series.
    I need to keep careful lists to track tbr ebook titles since they aren’t visible on shelves. When I counted a couple months ago, my highest priority tbr list had first books in 42 romance series & 31 F&SF series to try and next books in 24 romance series & 13 F&SF series that I’m already reading. I suspect that other tbr titles I don’t have marked as in series will turn out to be so.

  19. I am so glad it’s not just me!! I am a series lover also. I started with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot etc, and it grew into an obsession to own all her books. I’ve got John D. MacDonald Travis McGee seriesitis. Rex Stout Nero Wolfe seriesitis. Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb (all of ‘em) seriesitis. I’ve got Amanda Quick Arcane seriesitis. I’ve got Julia Quinn Bridgerton seresitis. I’ve got Stephanie Laurens Cynsters seriesitis. Loretta Chase Carssington Brothers seriesitis. Mary Balogh Slightly seriesitis, and the list goes embarrassingly on and on. If an author I like writes a series…I’ve got it.

    I even joined FictFact, just so I could keep track of the series books I have, make sure I have all of them, and get alerts when authors are starting new series. I love knowing that another book about characters I am intereseted in is coming out soon. I don’t even mind that all books within a series are not created equal, knowing that there will be a stinker in the pile just makes my favorites all the more precious to me.

  20. I read and love Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels and I consume the J.R. Ward books like candy. I also follow a number of historical romance series – though I think that series-itis is out of hand in that world. I frankly don’t need another trio of husband-hunting spinsters and, since I start with that prejudice, an author has a extra challenge to hook me in. Loved the Bridgertons and enjoyed Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaways series, but I’m less hooked on historical series than I seem to be on paranormal.

  21. Maybe it’s because I’m not all that interested in ‘world building’ that I’m a great fan of books in a series.

    The time and place and characters are already in place and the books can get right to the characters and their story. Of course a smart author is always adding and improving and introducing new characters and curves but I know ‘where’ I am when I start a new book and don’t have to spend time learning about the background setting.

    Robb’s In Death books, Meljean Brook’s series, Nalini Singh, Julia Quinn (both series), Ward (both series), Shelly Laurenston & her other series writing as A G Aiken, and series by Nora Roberts (although I generally wait for them all to be out before starting those three and four book arcs) and a host of others.

    I do avoid any additional books in a series by an author who has, IMO, trampled my trust. Kill off a main character or change the direction of the love story arc because your muse is taking you somewhere else? Fine, but I’m done with the series. It’s the author’s choice to do what they want with their characters but mine to give the series up and move to another.

    Yup, love a book series!

Comments are closed.