The Magic Number

bookstack In the past, I’ve talked about the plethora of series books out there and how I sometimes wish for standalones, and Leigh blogged about her own series ambivalence. However, instead of answering questions or completely relieving a pet peeve, thinking about interrelated series books begs one big question. What is the magic number for a series? How many books does one need in order to fully develop a series, get closure on the various plotlines and yet not start annoying readers?

Obviously, if it’s not a good, well-written series, one book is probably one too many. Even the good series can go on too long, though. I really enjoyed Colleen Gleason’s Gardella books and Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, but I consider them an exception. There are too many series worlds that could hold me for 5 or 8 books. I would wager also that there probably aren’t too many series worlds that could equal J.D. Robb’s feat of holding readers for 30+ books, but Eve and Roarke are still going strong. Again, I think this one is a major exception to the rule.

The magic number for most fictional worlds is going to be something smaller because I suspect most readers can think of more series that went on for too long than series that really need to be as long as the examples I just mentioned. For instance, I know there are those who will disagree with me, but I’ll confess that I got sick of Cynsters a while ago. Stephanie Laurens can really tell a story; I just wish she’d spread her wings and start telling some new ones. My other big confession: I also haven’t been able to read every single last one of Mary Balogh’s longer series books such as the “Slightly” books or the Huxtables. I enjoy her writing, but I prefer her work when it stands alone or is simply carried across 2, maybe 3 books.

Perhaps that’s why we see so many trilogies. Three seems to be the magic number for a lot of book series. I can think of umpteen Regency historical or romantic suspense trilogies off the top of my head, and I can see why that would be a workable number. It gives an author time to introduce characters and several plotlines, to develop them, and to wind everything up in a satisfactory fashion. The reader can sink into the author’s world just long enough to enjoy it, but not so long that it starts to feel like a caricature of itself. In addition, the prospect of catching up on a trilogy is not so daunting as want to read an author and learning that you can’t just glom a backlist in any old order, but must follow a series of eleventy gazillion books in order to read the backlist.

Because of this, series that run for more than a few books not only risk becoming stale, but they become something of an “all or nothing” prospect for authors. Let’s say that Author X wrote several fantastic historicals set in a variety of time periods and you loved them all. Now let’s say that Author X decides to write a series. You pick up the first book of that series and it’s set in a time period that isn’t your favorite or perhaps features characters that annoy you. In many cases, the reader at this point will stop reading Author X at least until that series is done. If it’s just a trilogy, Author X might move on to better ideas fairly soon. If the series is a longer one that keeps creeping on book by interminable book, it can be more polarizing as fans of that particular series rejoice but other readers who either don’t like that series or simply don’t want to commit to that many books stay away.

For myself, I have to say that it’s very rare for a world to so enthrall me that I want to hold onto it for more than three or four books. More commonly, I’ll start a single title series or series romance continuity, enjoy the first couple of books, read the third or fourth and then let the others languish as I seek out other things, realizing that I don’t absolutely have to know what happens next for this group of characters. How about you? For how many books can a series generally hold your interest?

– Lynn Spencer

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39 Responses to The Magic Number

  1. jml says:

    Maybe there are many who will disagree with me but I don’t put the In Death books in the Romance Genre. When I started Robb’s books I wasn’t sure I liked Eve and I didn’t trust the Rhoarke character (to stick around) one teensy bit. It was the mystery that hooked me. One of the best I’d read and I looked forward to more.

    Now 30 odd books later it’s still the mysteries that keep me coming back for more. As much as we all joke about wanting our own castle in NYC or our own personal billionaire, if the mysteries weren’t top-notch then I would have stopped reading the series long ago.

    My point is that I think a mystery series can remain strong much, much longer than a romance series. I can almost always tell when an author has a 4 book commitment because by the third book he or she may start flailing around for something new to say about the characters. Or worse: start repeating conversations and scenes from previous books. It’s disappointing.

    When the price of books started to soar then my willingness to contiune buying after reading a weak entry in a series started to drop. If one book fails me then I’m done. It’s the economics of it all that come into play when a series starts to weaken.

    Re: Stephanie Laurens. She had one book set in the Cynster world with a detective that I thought she was going to follow through with. I had to wonder – after no other books with that character appeared – why she didn’t follow through with that ‘something new’.

  2. lauren says:

    I really like series…I have read good and bad ones and every now and then I read a stand alone and wish that it would be a series…one because secondary characters are interesting and I want to know more…and because I want to know more about the main characters. I will say that if a series is well written and the author has the ability to keep it fresh I would read series well beyond a trilogy, putting a specific number on it would be difficult.
    I find series to be a journey…like life and it isn’t cut and dry to me after three…so many things can happen…I guess that is why my favorite series of all time is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander…she has been able to weave this story of Jamie and Claire to more than just 8 books (I understand the 8th will be sometime in 2012) I look forward to the short stories and novellas…the auxiliary books of main characters (Lord John) and anything she writes that tells the story of this “family”.

  3. Tee says:

    I’ve been following several series and enjoying them a lot. Some of the authors of them are: Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, JoAnn Ross and a few more who don’t immediately come to mind.

    But there are several authors who do trilogies (or even more) and are not successful, in my eyes, anyway. I’m tired of the trilogies of Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Jayne Ann Krentz (Arcane, go away) and a few others. Usually, these authors have one good story among the three and then they fizzle out.

    So, to me, it depends on the author and how they’re able to keep a reader interested. Some do it better than others, obviously, and dependent on each reader’s personal reactions.

  4. maggie b. says:

    This is one of those it depends on the author things. The JD Robb books still work for me because they have a law and order aspect – the case is always fresh, even if the cops working it are the same. That keeps the books from going stale for me.

    Robyn Carr is starting to fizzle. I am still reading her but can’t say for how much longer.

    Sookie needs closure. I am not sure how many more books I can go with her.

    I quit MJD’s Betsy books – she went too long for me.

    So it depends. I think if books aren’t strictly romances they can keep it going a long, long time.

  5. Sabrina H says:

    This might sound strange but three is perfect for historical romance. For example, Elizabeth Hoyt’s prince series was perfect at three, but the soldiers series, hated the fourth book. The exception is the fallen angels series (by Mary Jo PUtney), I loved them all! Even Loretta Chase’s Carsington series could have done without Not quite a Lady (although I did really enjoy Last Night’s Scandel). But with that exception, I’m pretty much done at three with historical romances.
    But paranormal. If its a great series, there is no such thing as to many books. I love Nalini Singh’s psy-changeling series and I think we’re up to ten books there, her archangel series is going strong at four books, I love the Kresley Cole Immortals series and I am still buying Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark hunter books. I have a feeling that Meljean Brooks Iron series will another series that there just can’t be enough books. There’s something about the world building in those series, and I can’t wait to go back to that world. I can go to Almack’s anytime :)

  6. farmwifetwo says:

    The majority fizzle at about 5. Then authors start “slapping them together” to get their contracts filled.

    Exceptions that have headed into library in the last year… JAK, JoAnn Ross, Nalini Singh (I thought 10 closed the arc, but we’re still in the wolf den?? – I don’t like the Angel’s), Laurie R King and JD Robb get’s one more try before she joins them.

    I’ve found myself buying very little, mostly from the UBS or library. Little I think of “keepers” is out there lately.

  7. Victoria S says:

    I am a series addict! I like the idea of a series, even if some of the books are less than stellar reads. And I really don’t know what it is that keeps me going back. I know I like reading lots and lots about my favorite characters. And I gotta admit,I really don’t like it when the authors change the characters too much. After all, what the characters were like is what hooked me in the first place. I don’t mind change in the characters circumstances, but not too much change in the characters themselves. I have never understood some readers disdain of characters that stay the same, or only change a little book after book. Isn’t that why you started reading the series in the first place?

    I get enough change in MY life I want Eve Dallas to be still as grouchy and fanatically dedicated as ever; I want Stephanie Plum to find new and inventive ways to kill Ranger’s cars; I want Stone Barrington and his pal Dino to continue to be slightly to the left in what the will do t hget the job done and the bad guy punished;I want Nero Wolfe to continue to indulge himself with the orchids, and the food and the phobia of being outdoors; I want Miss Marple to always be the smartest one in the room, even though she is often overlooked because of her age; I want Sebastian St. Cyr to be dogged in his solving of crime and slighlty uncertain in his relationships .

    With that said, I still don’t know why I never really liked Kinsey Malone and stopped reading the “alphabet” books. kinsey just never did it for me. I liked Anita Blake at first, but once again, an author radically changed the main character, and I bailed on that series.

    With rare exceptions, 4 seems to be the magic number an author can really sustain a series

  8. Leigh says:

    With a few exceptions three or four books are my limit and even then I want the books to be about the secondary characters, not a continuation of one couple’s story.

    I think this is one reason that I never actually invested much time in the science fiction or mystery genre. Their series seem to go on and on forever.

    Urban Fantasy seems to be going the same way. Everytime I look at a new release, it is book three or four in a series. And while I have picked up a book in the middle before, I prefer to start with book one.

    I am still reading Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. I suspect that it more because I like her style of writing – I was a fan long before Virgin River. Plus on most story arcs she has closure within three books.
    Although like you said, I think she needs to release at least a couple of books not about Virgin River. She did do one last year.

  9. Wendy says:

    I don’t mind how long a series gets, as long as it remains fresh. I was over Feehan around book 4, but Kresley Cole has what? 10? And I hope she keeps them coming forever. (eek, no pun intended)

    What I wish is that publishers would keep collectors in mind. For instance, I was able to obtain all of CL Wilson’s series in BCE or LP HBs except for the last, so I have a little paperback orphan hanging on to the end of a collection I want to keep and re-read forever. Cole I have in BCE edition HC from the first, but now they’re publishing in full size HB and not offering BCE editions as far as I have been able to ascertain. Color coordinating so they look good on the shelf wouldn’t hurt either ;)

  10. bungluna says:

    For me, there are three typse of series:
    1. Characters stay the same and the story changes, i.e. Hercule Poirot.
    2. Same characters follow the case of the day while solving a longer arc, i.e…most UF.
    3. Same world, different focus characters, i.e. most of paranormal romance.

    If the case of the day is interesting, I’ll follow a series forever. I think this is the reason why mystery series seem to be able to hold my attention for so long.

    The eeeevil villain and the end-of-the-world scenario of a lot of UF just exhausts me. By book 5 enough is enough; I want resolution or I’m out of there. The only exception is in a series that knows where it’s going and is not just filling time, like the Dresden Files.

    As for the paranormals, I like them if the world is interesting. What pushes me away from some is the ‘cast of thousand’ syndrome. If more of the book is spent on visiting with old characters than with the current protagonists I’m out of there.

    Regardless, in the hands of a gifted story-teller any premise can become a keeper.

  11. Jo-Ann W. says:

    I’ve had it with series. On a recent count at FictFact, I tallied over 50 series I was following. Some, thank goodness, have ended. I am too invested in the current series I read so I’ll stick with them for the time being, but I have to confess, when I open up a reveiw here to read, the first thing I look at is the top where it will say “part of a series”. If it says that, I immediately close the review – I don’t want to know. And I have to say, it’s been a very long time since I’ve actually read a review here.

    • Wendy says:

      Jo-Ann W.: I’ve had it with series.On a recent count at FictFact, I tallied over 50 series I was following.Some, thank goodness, have ended.I am too invested in the current series I read so I’ll stick with them for the time being, but I have to confess, when I open up a reveiw here to read, the first thing I look at is the top where it will say “part of a series”.If it says that, I immediately close the review – I don’t want to know.And I have to say, it’s been a very long time since I’ve actually read a review here.

      Isn’t it the truth? How many times in the past 5 years or so have you picked up a book because it looked interesting, only to find that it’s book 3 or 5 or whatever in a series and you just have to put it down again. Book shopping at Walmart has become an adventure in finding a book that is NOT part of a series.

  12. Ell says:

    Now see, I want a story arc. To quote Lewis Carroll, “start at the beginning, and when you get to the end: stop.” After that, I don’t care how many books it takes to tell the story. Exceptions to this are the mysteries mentioned above (love Nero Wolfe, and Sherlock Holmes too)

    At the same time, I really dislike the way some authors just keep rewriting the same story w/o ever resolving anything, or getting anywhere….Janet Evanovich, for instance. The Stephanie Plum series went from being automatic buy, to get from the library, to don’t bother. Too many series have gone that way.

    I have really enjoyed Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files though, a wacky, mystery series with a funny, quirky romance, and had resigned myself to its end with the fourth book. I wasn’t done, and was sorry that the author was. Turns out there will be at least one more book; can’t wait for that!!!

  13. jml says:

    @bungluna “end-of-the-world scenario of a lot of UF just exhausts me.”

    LOL! Ain’t that the truth.

  14. BevQB says:

    I am a reformed series reader, aka book hoarder. Over the past couple of years I realized that I was buying several series out of habit. Even worse, I’d buy the next book in a series and it would simply sit in my TBR mountain because I was never feeling a need to read it, yet STILL I bought the next book anyway.

    So I’ve become ruthless. If a book doesn’t make me want to set everything aside to read it RIGHT NOW, I don’t buy it.

    The trick is that I have two Amazon Wish Lists- one is for Insatiable Book Lusts. These are the must-haves, most of which are pre-ordered.

    The other is my Constant Cravings Wish List. This is the one where I pop all those books that, in the past, I would have bought automatically and then plopped onto my TBR mountain. The wish list lets me get rid of the “Buy it so I don’t forget about it” anxiety.

    I also have similar wish lists for audio books because I had become an audio book hoarder too.

  15. DabneyAAR says:

    Doesn’t it ultimately depend on the author. I think Julie Anne Long is doing a great job of with the Pennyroyal Green series–what is the deal with the parents and the slavery is a question she has drawn out in ways that are interesting–in part because each individual book is about a unique couple that is compelling. Poor series are often those that are framed around siblings or clubs in part because the scope of their plot has to be limited to people in that narrow group.

  16. Diane says:

    I love series but some of them get stale after a while and I don’t know if the author realizes it and keeps plugging at the series anyway or just hasn’t got a clue.

  17. PatH says:

    I remember sitting in a Mystery Writers of America regional meeting right after Sue Grafton announced she was doing an alphabet series and before A Is for Alibi came out. One of my tablemates groaned and said, “Not another series!” That was in 1983, and she’s just gotten to V this year. That’s about the right interval for series books, I think. The books aren’t rushed and don’t feel as if a publisher is on the author’s back to get out a new one now.

    Series assure publishers that if the first book sells well then the second and third one should do well without a lot of publicity because readers will be primed for the next one. Profit margins go up as opposed to having to sell each book individually. Books, to most publishers, are interchangeable with any product. You liked X unit (and most publishers call books “units”), then you’ll really like X part 2!

  18. dick says:

    Unless books are more closely related than similarities in titles or the heroes/heroines are all members of the same groups, I don’t look upon them as series. But those I do like series thus related, such as the Laurens’ Cynster series, because they allow one to return to a little world and recognize it’s inhabitants and their activities readily. Each installment, as a previous poster has stated, may not be stellar, but the very familiarity of it appeals.

  19. Virginia DeMarce says:

    Just as a comment on the first post, there is more than one Laurens book featuring the detective Barnabas Adair — if that is what the poster had in mind.

    Otherwise, all “series” are not created equal. A lot of trilogies and even tetraologies are really just one long book, which the space limits of modern publishing require to appear in thirds, so the author has to think of a couple of intermediate stopping points before getting to the final stopping point. This has really, really, been the case with some of the category romance mini-series (Silhouette Desire, for example).

    Other “series” are really sequences of independent books tied together by a few familiar characters. This is more common in mystery series (think of Nero Wolfe, or Christie’s Hercule Poirot books).

    The “family” series are easily overdone. Probably the example exaggerated to the point of absurdity by now is Marie Ferrarella’s series on the Cavanaughs. I’ve gotten to the point of giggling while I wait for the last scene in which the door will open to reveal three more heretofore unknown half-siblings or third cousins.

    They do, however, lead into what I would consider actual “series” books, in which there is both (a) an independent novel with a completed plot arc in each book; and (b) an overall story arc tying the independent novels together. This is is really exemplified by the “In Death” sequence mentioned.

  20. Christine says:

    It depends entirely on the author and what is considered a “series.” Elizabeth Hoyt’s latest books “The Maiden Lane” series really paid off for me in the latest (third) book where we saw the culmination of the rocky relationship between Silence and “Charming Mickey”. Because they were minor players in the first two books that took place over the span of a couple of years we got to see development without any awkward prologues or flashbacks. By the time their book came around I was fully invested without being overloaded.

    I had to give up on the Outlanders series after a few books because my nerves wouldn’t take it (not because of any deficiencies in the writing). Claire and Jamie have been through every torture known to man so I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel before I can jump in again.

    Joanna Bourne’s series has characters that appear or are alluded to in different books. While not strictly a series with the same hero and heroine it has a wonderful sense of continuity and the historical world building is phenomenal.

  21. MaryC says:

    As stated in previous comments, I don’t think there is a magic number for ending a series.

    As I follow many series in various genres, I am reluctant to begin a new one. If I do decide to start reading a series due to book reviews and buzz, I prefer to read them in order. If I can’t get the earlier books, I won’t bother with the series.

  22. AAR Lynn says:

    Interesting how many people hit the 3 or 4 number, too. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that while that’s my “magic number” for many romance series, I can go much longer on a mystery series. I think it’s because, as bungluna mentions, you often follow a character (or even a story arc) across books. My current mystery gloms, Jo Nesbo and Julia Spencer-Fleming, can hold me for waaaayy more than 3-4 books.

  23. marilyn s. says:

    I love series, but some have gone on too long. Diana Palmer (Long Tall Texans), Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum), Christine Feehan (Carpathian, Ghostwalkers). These were just to name a few. I love them all but I wish they would come up with something fresh. I enjoy trilogies because you get the connected stories but it finishes up in the third book. In mysteries long series are not a problem because the mystery itself is solved in one book. Right now I’m reading more mystery than romance.

  24. Renee says:

    I think the rules are different for mystery series. I love the JD Robb and Julia Spencer-Fleming series. They continue to hold my interest because I love the characters and am drawn into the mystery component of the plot.

  25. Mark says:

    Some years ago I tried to find appropriate series words for various numbers and did a little dictionary checking. Trilogy and tetralogy both trace back to the ancient Greek religious theatrical competitions. The three tragedies were a trilogy and the three tragedies plus one comedy that made up a playwright’s complete entry were a tetralogy. The words were later generalized to describe three or four works of any kind. Since the cultural and linguistic origin is Greek, I checked for other words using the Greek number roots. For two works, duo can be used, though it isn’t specific to writings, or one can just talk about a book and its prequel or sequel. I was able to find OED mentions for pentalogy (five books) and hexalogy (six books). I didn’t find any mention of heptalogy, octalogy or ennealogy, but heptad, octad and ennead are words for groups of seven, eight and nine items. The word Decalogue (or decalog) is reserved for the Ten Commandments, and I didn’t find decalogy. I did not try to find terms for groups beyond ten books.
    In terms of what I like, I’ve enjoyed everything from duos to a series with over 50 books (the 1632 universe). Series books, just like single titles, depend on the skill of the author(s). My earlier reading included the Tom Swift Jr. series of 33 books. I’m sure many readers started with children’s or YA series with many books (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, more recently unfortunate events, Harry Potter, etc.).

  26. cead says:

    In principle, I love series, because I love complexity and spreading a story over multiple books allows for that. In practice, most of the romance series I read don’t really provide that. Often either there’s no overarching arc or there is an arc but it’s secondary and not very interesting, and serves mainly to confuse readers who haven’t read the rest of the books. I have much better luck with series in the fantasy genre; I think it must be harder to do well in romance because the genre demands each book tell the story of a single couple.

    Some authors do it quite well, though. Someone mentioned Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series, which I second. Eloisa James is a master of the series, in my opinion; Claudia Dain’s Courtesan series was great too, and I’m really sad it was cancelled. I also liked Candace Camp’s Matchmaker quartet simply because I was enjoying the meta-plot that became the plot of the fourth book. And I do enjoy some of the family-type series, like Jo Beverley’s Mallorens.

  27. RobinB says:

    The subject of series fiction is a particularly fascinating one for me, because there are series that I was sorry to see end because I enjoyed all the stories so much. And then there are series where I think that the author went to the well too often.

    In the former category I would put Mary Jo Putney’s historical series: the “Silk” series, the “Bride” series, and my personal favorite, the “Fallen Angels” series. Each story was so very well-written with wonderful characters (OK, the villains were slightly over the top! :)) and great story lines. And although these were series, with characters from one story appearing in others (in fact, characters from the Fallen Angels series appear in the Bride series!) for the most part, each story can stand alone. (Exception: in the Fallen Angels series, it’s very helpful to read “Thunder and Roses” before reading “Shattered Rainbows”!)

    In the latter category, and I don’t get any pleasure out of doing this, but I have to put Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series. The first four books in the series were absolute magic; some of the best fiction I’ve ever read. And then came “The Fiery Cross” which has got to be one of the most excruciatingly tedious books I’ve read that wasn’t something I HAD to read for school! Too many peripheral characters, too many story tangents, and too much Briana and Roger and not enough Jamie and Claire! At some point, I suppose I’ll resume reading the series (I’m two books behind!), but I think I’ll skip anything that doesn’t directly relate to Jamie and Claire!

    Finally, unless I’ve already (and enjoyed!) other books in a series, I’m trying to avoid buying books that are in a series–my TBR of both print books and e-books is alarmingly enormous!!

  28. Lee says:

    I have always been a nut for series, ever since I discovered there were more books after “Little Women”! I read the Little House books over and over and over….When I discovered the Jalna series in high school I was in hog heaven. I will read (and mostly enjoy) almost all books in a series. The Outlander series has been a delight, even when the writing gets a bit bogged down, Gabaldon outwrites just about anyone out there, for me. I have found several of my favorite series are so long and involved, it requires a family tree at the front of the books! (I wish the In Death series had some sort of “family tree” showing the convoluted intersections of people and plots sometimes).

    However, I do think 3-4 has been the best number for most authors. Once a series gets strained by too much effort to maintain and/or too thin (or repetitive) plots, time to give it up and move on.

  29. Carrie says:

    Some types of series are easy to “dip” into anywhere, allowing the reader to read only the ones with the best reviews. I pick-and-choose with most of the historical series because they deal with different couples for each book and can stand-alone. (Huxtable, Mallory, Simply, etc). I don’t intend to read this kind of series from start to finish because life is to short to short through the “good” books in order to get to the “great” ones.

    As many have already said, mystery and urban fantasy (true UF, not UF that’s actually a romance book hiding out in the SF/Fantasy aisle) are different. You can follow the books for longer because the emphasis is on the story (action, mystery, etc). I’ve happily read all of Dorothy Sayer’s mysteries, as well as most of P.D. James, Elizabeth George, and Martha Grimes. I dropped Evanovich after 7 or 8 books. I find that happens frequently with humorous series. I think the humor gets stale and predictable after a while.

    Overall I prefer trilogies or short series (6-8 books). It’s especially nice to come across a well-reviewed trilogy or short series after the last book is written. ;-) It feels manageable. Series like the In Death books are daunting to say the least! Usually, unless I can pick and choose the best of a series, I don’t start any long ones. I have too much I want to read to rope myself into a never-ending series by one author.

    I have no problems dropping a series when it starts to go downhill. I’m blessed to have no “must finish” tendencies!

  30. Lee says:

    I forgot to mention that my all-time favorite (as in I broke my “no buying and keeping scads of paperbacks” rule) so far is Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. So there’s another exception to the rule- 16 books isn’t enough for this series!

  31. pop tart says:

    For me the difference especially with romances, comes in whether a series follows one protagonist or if it is a series of related books where the protagonists are related to each other or in the same club/group.

    If it’s a series that is following a protagonist and their partner then I think it can go on a bit longer. As long as their is progression in the relationships or in the lives of the characters, I’m interested. But if it’s a series of romances that is connected by the relationships of the characters then the magic number for me is 3. Part of this comes from the fact that after 3 the heroes/heroines can start to be repetitive. And part of this comes from my own skepticism. That there are 3 people who know each other, who are handsome/beautiful, and who find their one true love – that seems at least marginally believable. But when you get into 4, 5, 6, 7, of these pairings – all of whom are handsome/beautiful/smart/successful, etc. – then my ability to go with the flow lessens. And when the author starts stretching to include the 1st hero’s cousin’s sister’s son as her 8th protagonist? I’m gone.

    For mystery series what I find is that if the series is cozy/lighter then 3 or 4 books is about my limit. I made it to book 4 of the Evanovich books and haven’t gone back. But if a series is one that carries darker tones then I stick with it for far longer. Dealing with darker issues usually gives an author and their protagonist more scope and character development. Dark and twisty can go on for longer then cute and cozy.

  32. Gayathri says:

    I have always liked series – the fact that I know people from another book in my current book feels good. I can go on for longer series in Regency or historicals (like Eloisa James). Somehow I have the belief that all of them moved around in the same society and were in one way or other knew each other. In contemp. I prefer books like JD Robb or trilogies.

  33. Cris says:

    Give me a nice, long series! I absolutely love it when I find out there are more books in a series I’m enjoying. It helps to lessen the sadness of coming to the end of a book–knowing that I have another book to look forward to and may even get to see those characters again (briefly). I like it when each book revolves around different main characters, though.

    Some of my favorite series are by Julia Quinn (Bridgertons), Stephanie Laurens (Black Cobra and Cynsters!), and Jude Deveraux (Montgomerys).

  34. Kyahgirl says:

    I think 3-5 books in a series is usually good for me. Exceptions would be a series like the ‘in-death’ books or the Vorkosigan saga or even the Liaden Universe books because each book is pretty much self contained and doesn’t leave you hanging.

    The Cynsters, Rogues, Sookie, and even the Psy/changeling series are all ones that have gotten to a point where its painful. Just end it please!

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  36. astma says:

    Od dawna szukałem artykułu na temat The Magic Number All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog . Dzięki

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