Opinions on Sequel Series

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:54 pm

We've all read at least one Sequel Series - Harry Potter. (Well, maybe you haven't read all the Harry Potter books but if you haven't read most of them, why are you here at HOL Hogwarts?)

Things is, do they work? Or are they just an idea on the author's part to cash in on a good thing and keep a series going past the time it is DONE?

What are some series which continue on and are good and the story has a valid continuation and it's over and you wish it would continue?

Which series really needed to stop at book 3 (of a 4-10 part series)?

Why? Why not?
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Leonie Munslow
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Leonie Munslow » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:17 am

The first series that jumped to mind when I saw this was the Ranger's Apprentice series. I absolutely adore the books, but I really do wish that it had stopped after the tenth or eleventh one. The tenth book was my favourite, and so I wouldn't have minded it being ended there on a good note, but I did appreciate the eleventh book (which was a collection of short stories about the character's lives after the tenth book) all the same. On the other hand, the twelfth book was a bit too far for me, it felt really disconnected to the rest of the series and I just didn't enjoy it as much as the other books. Plus, ending with the cute collection of stories would have been perfectly fine!

Although it's not exactly a typical series, I quite liked the way Dan Brown wrote the Robert Langdon series (Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno). I didn't read the books in order, but that didn't matter because the books all have independent plots, with the only real links between the books being a few small references by the central main character - Robert Langdon. This series could go on for many more books and I probably wouldn't be disappointed at all. Regardless of the books having stand alone plots, I still want to find out what happens next in Robert Langdon's life - I live for the codes and symbolism that he spends his time decrypting in order to solve his latest mystery.

All in all, I think that most sequels are great, and keep me interested in the storyline, but there are times when the author needs to realise that enough is enough and it's just not going to be as exciting for the reader to keep reading. I also think J.K.Rowling handled this really well :)
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Leonie Hauri
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Leonie Hauri » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:09 pm

I had to check this out when I saw that someone named Leonie posted here. I don't usually see someone else with that name.

I partially agree with Leonie (it is rather fun to say that and not talk about myself) about the Ranger's Apprentice series. I read that series quite a while ago, so I don't remember it that well, but I do recall that the last book was completely unnecessary and I think the series would have done well without it.

I actually generally like long series because I enjoy seeing my favorite characters go through more adventures. However, sometimes it is overdone. I never really saw much sense in the Sword of Shinara being a series. Each book has a completely new set of characters. The only same thing about the books in the series was that it was set in the same world. There are tons of books about that world, but I think it's sort of pointless. I could have done with reading just the first, main book and been happy with that.

Some series really make it work, though. I mean, the Wheel of Time series just plain wouldn't work if you cut out one of the books. The Harry Potter series also wouldn't work if you left a book out or cut it off early. Both of those series don't just add on to the first book in the series, but rather take you through an entire complicated plot.
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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:41 am

I just read a book, The Paladin Prophecy, by Mark Frost and it is obviously the first of a series, being as while it stopped at an appropriate place for that story, obviously there is more to come. I have since found out that there are two more books in the series, Alliance and Rogue. I am hoping that they are as good as The Paladin Prophecy, because it was totally wonderful.

Has anyone read these books? Is this one of the series in which the books continue to be wonderful or does it go flat?

I'm really hoping it continues wonderful ...

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Arianna Stonewater
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Arianna Stonewater » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:41 pm

Series are my favorites, i often feel one book is just not enough to tell the best stories, to really get into the characters. Some of my favorites that i thought worked:

-Dresden Files (Jim Butcher)
-The Black Jewels (Ann Bishop)
-The Dark Tower (Stephen King)
-The Saga of Shadows (Kevin J. Anderson)
-Piercing the Veil (C.A. Gray)
-The Black Company (Glen Cook)
-Instrumentalities of the Night (Glen Cook)

The thing about series like The Dark Tower, Dresden Files, and even Harry Potter is that not every book is great. However, I think every book is still important. Its likely the author was just pumping out a book until they could finish the next book that they really wanted to write, but often these "filler" books provide us with a little insight into side characters which I think enhances the books that actually contribute to the story-line.

On the other hand, some series should have just stopped. I think this is more true for television/movie series (HIMYM, Heroes, Scrubs, ROCKY, The Land Before Time...) but there are a few book series that just dragged on or turned silly:

-The Belgariad (David Eddings) was fantastic. The Mallorean didn't need to be written at all
-The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare)
-Charlie Bones/Children of the Red King (Jenny Nimmo)
-Eragon/Inheritance Cycle (Christopher Paolini)
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Nora Nightingale » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:33 pm

As long as they're done right, I personally love series books. Some of my faves:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, second book (which I think is even better) is A Court of Mist and Fury. Still waiting on the third.
2. Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Sorry guys, I thought they were all solid.
3. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Second book: Rebel Angels and third book: The Sweet Far Thing. These books are sooo so good.

I didn't list Harry Potter because I'm assuming it's obvious that's my #1. ;)

I just started the Outlander series. Pretty excited!

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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Sky Alton » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:53 pm

I agree with a lot that has been said here. I adore sequels as I often get incredibly invested and a stand alone book sometimes leaves me feeling unfulfilled. At the same time, I also often resent them as I will keep reading even when a series has plunged off a cliff. I don't like it but I feel like I should see it through, even if I keep wanting to scream at the author just to stop and let me leave.

Often I think it's a case of an author making a hard choice. Is continuing the world really in the best interest of what's been created? Or should you allow what you've done just to stand on its own two feet, representing something bigger?

Sometimes, a sequel is wonderful as it really expands the world and furthers a plot.
I think my best example here is Garth Nix's Old Kingdom Series. His first, Sabriel, can easily be read as a stand alone: it introduces you fully to the world and has a self-contained (and satisfying) plot. However, I absolutely adore the sequels (which focus on other characters but with appearances from Sabriel and other previous characters) and really have their own stakes. He's releasing another in October which he's called 'a sequel of sorts' so I'm really looking forward to seing the world a few years down the line. I think why it works so well is that Nix doesn't bog you (or himself) down with unnecessary world building in any of his books so he can create something new and fresh for each outing. At the same time, his world has common landmarks and certain entrenched things that keep you grounded and prevent things from becoming irrelevant or detached. Tamora Pierce is another reasonable example .

On the other hand, there are those who just don't know where to stop. Casandra Clare is a prime demonstration. I think she's just so comfortable in that world that she doesn't realise that her sequels are becoming derivative (I'd like to think that's the reason). And I can sort of understand why. As a writer, I have my 'soul series', the one I'll always return too. I've written 4 main books for it and I'm seriously considering whether that might be it. I have so much more to say about the characters and others I could focus on but I have to decide whether writing a book just for that reason is in the best interests of the series. I'm never going to limit myself to a specific number of books but neither am I going to stretch for another sequel unless I find an idea that truly warrents one. (Doesn't stop me creating lots of little spin-offs, prequels and midquels that I'll keep to myself).
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Maralyn Bradford » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:27 pm

I am really big on series!!

Some of my favorites are:
- Maximum Ride
- The Twilight Saga (Don't laugh, they were really good! *cough cough* Breaking Dawn could've been better, though...)
- Magic Tree House ( For kids, yeah. Still good.)
- The Giver Quartet
- Pendragon
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Harry Potter of course
- Etc.

Even though Maximum Ride is extremely high up on my list it's also on my list of series I despise. I really enjoyed the first few books but the last few books just weren't resonating with me. I am glad they were published, as I would not have as much information and closure if they weren't, but I feel like the last few books were forced and it makes me very sad that one of my favorite series ended up boring me so much..

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Opinions on Sequel Series

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:41 pm

I read The Raven Boys a little bit ago, and continued on with the other 3 books of the series as fast as I could get my hands on them.

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Maggie Stiefvater has created something of wonder and magic. This series is one that I wish she would continue on with more stories from that universe ... place ... people.
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