Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I think book series and trilogies suck.
1. The first book is perfected.
Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut.
2. The waiting is torture.
Part of the reason why the books in a series get rushed to publication is that the readers get antsy, including me. It's a double-edged sword. I want the author to spend enough time on the book so that I enjoy the finished product, but I don’t want to wait years and years to see what happens next. By that point, I either forgot what happened, or I just don’t care anymore. That’s the main reason why I got so frustrated with the Never Never series.
3. The characters stop growing.
Part of what makes fiction so great is that characters develop and change over the course of the novel. In series, it seems like the characters have major growth and transformation in the first novel, but then they are stagnant throughout the rest of the series—such as in The Nightmare Affair series.
4. The cliffhangers are killer.
When there are three books in a series—or more—the middle book seems to just be the preparation and build up to the grand finale. It almost feels like a waste of a book; it's just filler until the next one comes out. The books usually end with a cliffhanger that makes you have to read the next book to feel any kind of resolution. That took the Fixer series from 5 to 4 stars for me.
5. The big idea has already been used up.
The first book in a series offers a new and unique idea that makes it stand out from the millions of other books out there. By the end of the first book, that idea is now used up. The rest of the books in the series then are just recycling the same idea, such as in The Wolves of Mercy Falls, or just get too weird, like Divergent.
Obviously, trilogies are doing very well, especially in the young adult genre and are making some authors very wealthy. But I think that is all thanks to the first book getting enough fans who feel dedicated to finishing the whole series.