I really REALLY hate quitting series; I’m not sure whether it’s my type A personality, and the fact that I hate leaving anything unfinished or just the possibility that I might be missing out on future kickass installments. Either way, I can probably count on one hand the series’ that I have given up on, and off the top of my head, they are: Black Wings by Christina Henry, Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton, and I’ve been strongly considering kissing Keri Arthur’s Dark Angels goodbye as well until I recently found out that there’s only one book left. I’d hate to have come this far only to not find out how it ends!
All of these series share a common trait and that is their over-the-top ridiculousness; most of them didn’t start out that way but eventually I just got to the point where I couldn’t contain my eye-rolls any longer. I’m all for a corny joke here and there but I can’t do 100% cheese. Madeline Black, the main heroine in Henry’s books is one of the most unrealistic protagonists that I’ve ever encountered. Every new foe that she faces is more unstoppable than the last and yet, she continues to defeat them like they are lemmings. I usually love a lot of action but the fight scenes can’t even manage hold my interest because they are over far too quickly. It’s almost like she “looks” at the bad guys and they fall over dead. I just can’t take her seriously.
I’m sure that most of you are familiar with Anita Blake and the fact that this series went from being about a vampire hunter to just one massive orgy. I like sex in my novels just as much as the next girl but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. As for Arthur’s Dark Angels, the author seems to have lost the main story arc somewhere around book 2; it’s become a jumbled mess and the main character makes the same mistakes over-and-over-and-over again. There’s nothing I dislike more than a heroine who never grows. I absolutely LOVED her Riley Jenson series which makes it doubly-hard for me to say this about one of my favourite authors but every new Dark Angel installment feels like a money grab. She’s using her name to sell sub-par novels because she knows that her fans will buy them regardless of whether they are any good. I’m living proof of that.
In short, there has to be balance in a series, it has to be realistic, the characters need to demonstrate growth, and the story line needs to progress. I’ll usually give a series 2 or 3 books to change my opinion but if the above criteria isn’t met by the third book it’s time to say good riddance, and move on.
Good question! I quit the Anita Blake series as well, because the things I originally loved about it (Anita’s kick assedness, the job she did) morphed into an orgy. Which some people love, but not what I was looking for. I also quit the House of Night series. I started reading that series before I became a blogger, and while I never really loved it, I tend to be pretty loyal. Plus the authors are a mother/daughter duo from Oklahoma, which was where I lived at the time. But much like Anita, the main character was suddenly the love interest of a billion men/boys- and this is YA. And I literally just didn’t care. I had spent enough money and time on the series and I was done.
Those are the only two I’ve quit for good- others I just take extended breaks from. 🙂
It’s so hard to quit a series when you feel loyalty towards the author when the books no longer hold your interest.
Well I was planning to quit the Divergent series because of all the bad reviews for the last book but I think I’m going to go ahead and read the last book even if it does end up ticking me off.Just so I can be finished with the series once and for all.
I know exactly what you mean! I’m stuck finishing the Dark Angels series even though I’ve strongly disliked the last few installments. 🙁
I don’t like to say that I just “quit” a series, but sometimes, if I get annoyed at the lack of growth or plot development, I will shelf the series for awhile…. I don’t like story lines that are too predictable. Take Anita Blake, that series has been a hot mess, but I still keep reading. Given, I have not gotten to the most recent book in the series yet, but eventually (like when I find it at the library or something) I will pick it up and read it.
I’ll probably read another Anita Blake book one of these days but it’s definitely no longer a priority. Sometimes it’s good to take a break; series overload can be a bad thing.
I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough. There are two for sure I know I need to, but I cling to that hope that maybe, just maybe, they will get their act together again. Like Anita starting to get back to her job more. I still haven’t read Affliction, but the last one was sort of working that way, so I hope this one is too. It would be about time. Another one is Stephanie Plum. I’m on Twenty now, and I do love the side characters, but I think I am over Stephanie.
Just do it. LOL 😀
Yes I quit 2 series and it happened to be for me the 7th book. Also I felt like this one series was just filler and not much was happening in it. The other was just full of too many characters . But I adore the authors..I just needed a break from them.
I hate when a series begins to feel like “filler”. 🙁
Such a great question!
One of my earliest and most ‘liked’ reviews on Amazon was for Danse Macabre (#14), the last Anita Blake book I bothered to force myself through. She lost me at Blue Moon (#8) but I, like you, hate giving up a series. It was the first time I was so fed-up I wasn’t going to give an author another cent and I haven’t. The review is from long before I went from just reviewing to blogging so it’s not my best work but it really says it all in terms of why I felt the series was no longer readable. “It is the lack of non-sex-related plot. I miss the mystery, I miss characters who were more than sexual partners…” (full review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R6GMN75Z1T428/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm)
Other series that I’ve given up on were romance series where either I felt like they were a bit knock-offy of other series (The Nightwalkers, Midnight Breed), began to drag-on too much (Lords of the Underworld), or just were hit-and-miss on whether I liked them or not from book to book.
I think stagnancy and author-ego are the two biggest enemies of series overall. Heck, even hearing an author has been contracted for 3-more in a series scares me at times.
“the lack of non-sex-related”, yup, that basically says it all! No wordy review required.
There are some where I read the first book and I”m just not interested and for the YA ones there’s this huge gap longer than a year and I”m just invested in the story anymore. I try to read sequels right away.
But for ones I”m in the middle for series usually I”m not as invested in the characters and storyline and I don’t really wanna waste me time with it anymore. I look at it like, do I really wanna keep reading this series? Don’t like the characters, I don’t like the heroine that much and I don’t get excited when reading, just blah/meh. This rarely happens when I”m in the middle of a series, but it does happen. I think i’ve had 2 or 3 I just didn’t wanna go one with.
There’s nothing worse than when a fav series starts going downhill.
I completely agree. I’ve quit all of the above series too for the same reasons. The characters become flat because they don’t develop as the books progress; there is an abundance of sex and no plot; the story starts to feel like a video game with the character powering up at each level before the Boss round. After a while it gets predictable and boring because you already know that just when things get “dire,” the protagonist will dredge up some new ability and overcome the bad guy. I ended up quitting the Jessica McClain series and the House of Comarré for similar reasons.
I like your video game analogy! It’s spot on.
When they start messing with the earlier HEA in the series *deeep sigh* I read books for the HEA, if people get killed off – I´m done. I don´t invest time and money in being depressed, TYVM.. =)
I don’t think i’ve ever read a book where the author took back an earlier HEA but that would definitely make me want to quit the series.
I’m the same…it takes a WHOLE lot for me to say good-bye to a series. It’s usually that the series has taken an entirely different direction (yep, Anita Blake) or after however many books the characters just aren’t growing (the House of Night series) or may have drastically changed.
We need to learn how to let-go Traci. LOL
I don’t necessarily quit but I get less and less excited with every book that comes out. I am this close to quitting Dark-Hunters but I heard Styxx is really good so that might redeem the series for me.
I’m starting to get wary with *gasp* BDB too. I feel it’s become super romantic and lost it’s “edge” it displayed early on. I’ve always had an issue with the villains in the series, I feel the Omega is too weak but with BoB on the fringes I hope they can balance everything out.
Another series is HoN for the same reasons Traci mentioned.
So in conclusion I may not be much of a fangirl but I’m a loyal reader. It will take a lot before I quit a book.
Great discussion post, Carmel 🙂
Thanks for coming back to comment after your Google+ problems! I’m on the fence about the BDB series. I really like the brothers but now that all of their stories have been told I’m not sure I like the new direction Ward has taken with the BoB.
I quit series all the time. All it takes is one lack lustre book and I just forget to even consider the rest of the series. I’m a fickle reader, and have a hard even time trying to remember the books I really want to read, let alone the maybe-it-will-get-better books.
Being a fickle reader isn’t a bad things although, i do believe that all series’ deserve a second chance. I’ll give an author 2-3 books to try to win me over before calling it quits.
I usually don’t quit either, exactly for the same reasons – I don’t like leaving things unfinished and I hope that it might get better. Sometimes, however, I’ve had too much of their stupid plots and I just decide it’s best for everyone if we just call it quits. For example The Vampire Diaries – the tv show is a masterpiece compared to the books. I think I read 4 of them and gave up during the 5th. It was terrible.
I haven’t watched or read any of The Vampire Diaries; I know I should but now that I’m so far behind it’s discouraging…
I think everyone struggles with series. As they all grow longer and longer these days with no end in sight we have to decide as readers when to give up. I usually like to give a series a chance and see where it goes but I have a hard time giving up. I do this a lot with the first book in a series. I read the first book, end up not liking it all that much but then sit around and wonder if I should give book two a chance to advance the storyline along. There are just too many series out there to keep up with and I think it should be the publishers job from time to time to say you know what enough is enough lets end this thing and not sign on for 5 more books to the series.
I get discouraged when I look at series that are already 20+ installments deep. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to catch-up so I don’t even bother trying.
If a series is too long and it focuses on one single main character. Like Southern Vampire Mysteries or Anita Blake. Seriously, how many more creatures can hate Sookie? As for Anita Blake, I admit I didn’t get too far in the series, I think about…book 3? 4? I can’t remember. But it just didn’t hold my interest as much as I’ve wanted it to. Oh, I also gave up Elemental Assassin. I tried, I really did, but the constant reminder of where her knives were and how her family was murdered by Mab was getting on my nerves.
A big sign that I should probably give up reading a series is me skipping over huge chunks of text just to get to scenes with certain characters. That’s what I did with Lover At Last. I have no clue what happened with most of the characters, I just wanted to see Qhuay together. Oh, and can I mention that even though Assail was a hot vampire, what happened to Marisol reminds me of a different couple from this series? Or maybe I’m the only one who thought that, it might be possible. But I don’t think I’ll be reading The King 🙁 So far I don’t have that…need to keep reading the series.
Such a great post Carmel. I don’t give up on series per say. I leave them on my TBR with the intention of returning to them someday. And I just kind of forget about them. I guess that means that when I finished the last book in the series, there wasn’t anything that made me have to read the next one. I was going to say that a long time between releases could be the problem, but that’s not it, because Karen Chance releases a book like every 2 years and I’m ALWAYS chomping at the bit for it. I think overdone storylines and characters that don’t progress ruin it for me.
I’m sorry to hear that about the Keri Arthur series – I LOVED Riley Jenson and have had her other books on my TBR for a while. Too bad 🙁