I spend at least 2 hours a day on a train commuting to work, and it goes without saying that I spend most of that time reading. However, sometimes I scribble down some of my more ranty thoughts… you’re welcome.
I think I’ve had a rather singular experience with the Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder. I *accidentally* bought all six books in the Poison Study and the Shadow Study series last year. They had beautiful covers and were super cheap and were labeled 1 through 6 – and this is where the problems began.
As you probably already know, I read the Poison Study series a few months ago and really enjoyed it. In my opinion, it’s an underrated fantasy series that traverses a uniquely magical world full of awesome characters. It isn’t without faults, but it is a great contribution to a saturated genre.
Anyway, when I put book three down and automatically started reading book four – Shadow Study, or should I say book 1 of the Shadow Study series. (?!) How annoying. I didn’t realise that until after I had already finished it. The whole time, it was like I had a sixth sense because I kept thinking… “I feel like I’m eavesdropping on a private storyline that wasn’t meant for me to read.” Long story not so short, I stopped reading the series and left book five and six to gather dust on my shelves.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong here guys, but what I think happened was that Snyder was pressured into writing more of these books by overzealous fans? In my opinion, she shouldn’t have. Hear me out, let’s take a side-step for a moment and think about Sarah J. Maas and her ever-so-popular A Court of Thorns and Roses series. She finished three superb books and her fans demanded more from her – and to fill the gap she published A Court of Frost and Starlight. Although hotly debated, this book served its purpose well. It provided us with a glimpse into the relatively mundane lives of our favourite characters – just enough for us to think “Oh, yes, they’re OK. I can stop worrying about them now.” (Or was that just me?) Now I know SJM plans to write more – my point is that this novella worked for me. This would have been the perfect solution in the Poison Study series.
In total honesty, this rant is actually about the fact that I often don’t finish series’ or I don’t make it past the first book. This might be because I just wasn’t that fussed about the story or conversely it could be because I loved the characters so very much that I didn’t want to risk reading more and possibly ruining it. It isn’t because I don’t trust the authors (I mean it is a little bit) – it’s actually because I know that authors have to add drama and loss for it to be considered a ‘good’ series especially in YA fantasy. I know, arguably they don’t, but they often do. So, I don’t continue a series for fear of that. There are of course exceptions but it seems to happen more often than not.