Sequels?

I’ve never been crazy about reading sequels or series, with some exceptions, of course. I loved the Harry Potter books, the Lord of the Rings, and the Outlander series. The advantage in reading Lord of the Rings was that all the volumes were available when I read the series. As soon as I finished one, I picked up and read the next. Not so with Outlander or Harry Potter, where I had to wait, in some cases for years, before I could read the next installment.

If the wait for a next volume is a lengthy one, I forget the storyline. A few years ago I read Justin Cronin’s The Passage, a sort of vampire sci-fi tale. It is an action-filled, big book. To my surprise, when I came to the end, it didn’t end! I literally tossed the book aside in frustration when I realized it is the first of a series. More than a year later, at least, if not longer, I saw the sequel on the new book shelf at the library and snatched it up. I read about ten pages before abandoning it. I’d forgotten too much of the original story, and the second book was making no sense to me. Another book I read, again unaware it was the first in a series, was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I liked the book up until midway when, in my opinion, it became a silly, supernatural, time-traveling romance. Regardless, I checked out the second book in the series, Shadow of Night, when it came out, but disliked it even more than the first and abandoned it less than fifty pages in.

I always feel some frustration if I abandon a series, though I know I shouldn’t. I won’t continue reading a book if after fifty pages into it I’m not enjoying it. Life is too short to waste on a book I don’t like. Maybe I feel frustrated when I give up on a series because I already invested time on the first volume and, maybe, eagerly anticipated the next, only to realize it doesn’t live up to my expectations.

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