The Unfinished Series

glamour-in-glassThis past week I was perusing books in my library and stumbled across Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal. The author sounded familiar, and I soon realized that the book was in fact a sequel to a novel I read a long time ago, Shades of Milk and Honey. I remembered loving the book, and so I took the sequel home with me to read.

But it got me wondering about how many books I’ve read that possibly have sequels. So I went through my Read book list to find out: turns out that I have left more than 30 book series unfinished, often only reading the first book in the series. While I knew that there were some series that I needed to continue, I had no idea it was that many!

My initial hypothesis as to why I have this habit is simply lack of interest – after all, there are several series I have no interest in continuing because the first book didn’t impress me very much. Yet as I went through my book history, I realized this simply wasn’t the case: I absolutely loved some of these books.

Inside Out Book CoverAcross the Universe Book CoverFor example, one book I read was Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder. This was a book that I cherished reading for its creativity and originality. Another book is Across the Universe by Beth Revis. This book astonished me when I read it. It was so good. And yet I have never pursued the sequel to either story.

What surprised me about these books is that I read both of them in the summer of 2012. That was over four years ago. But I loved these books. How in the world have I never once, in four years, picked up the sequel to books that I absolutely loved?

I can’t help but wonder, with this many unfinished series, if I have a subconscious fear of the sequel.

Sequels can be tricky. In the case where I only sort of like a book, a sequel can make or break the story for me. So when it comes to a book I love, maybe the sequel makes me nervous. I know it’s entirely possible that a second book will ruin my impression of the first book. It could change the world that I loved into something I no longer like. In many, the characters themselves change, and I may not like who they become. When a first book is that good, it becomes a serious challenge for the second book to live up to that standard.

Now that I’ve discovered this little quirk in my reading habits I am challenging myself to fix it. I have to accept that sequels may not have the same impact as the series opener. If I continuously place first books on a podium, I will never give myself the chance to see if the series gets even better. I know there are series in which each book is better than the last – I just have to find them. :)

Here are just a few of the books that I have read that are actually the first in a series. Now to go find the next book – to the library!
 

SabrielSabriel by Garth Nix

Read May 2014

Rated 5 / 5

 
 
 

Scarlet Book CoverScarlett by A.C. Gaughen

Read Summer 2012

Rated 5 / 5

 
 
 
For the Darkness Shows the StarsFor the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Read Dec 2015

Rated 4 / 5
 
 
 

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie BrennanHistoryofDragons

Read March 2015

Rated 4 / 5

 
 
 

namedThe Named by Marianne Curley

Read July 2015

Rated 4 / 5

 
 
 

GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore

Read Aug 2014

Rating 4 / 5

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