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Booking Through Thursday: Series

September 30, 2010

Today, Booking Through Thursday asks

If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?

And, do you keep reading anyway?

It depends on how attached I am to the series, and how badly it’s going downhill.

I’m still annoyed at the way Harry Potter ended. I read the last book, in a daylong swoop of basically not moving while I turned pages. But… it annoyed me. So much of what had been good, intense action, got replaced with aimless wandering and glossing over bits I wanted to read (Neville) while forcing me to go on an endless road trip of McGuffin hunting.

Sometimes if a series has started to collapse, I won’t read the whole of the last book. I’ll skim it, sitting in a bookstore on a rainy day. Did that with the last Traveling Pants book, because I thought the story had been told completely before the last book was written. But I still wanted to know what happened to the girls.

Or sometimes I ignore later books after a series jumps the shark. Spider Robinson’s Callahan series jumped the shark for me with the addition of a precocious kid character. Not even Spider Robinson, whose characters I love, can write a precocious kid who doesn’t annoy me. A McGuffin in toddler form. Yuck! So I don’t read the series anymore. I may be missing out on some good bits. But I just don’t like that little kid.

Orson Scott Card’s Ender series is one of my all-time favorites.  Ender’s Game, Speaker for The Dead, Xenocide, and Ender in Exile are books I’ll recommend to people, or give to them. Children of the Mind technically finishes the story. But it’s desperately stupid. So I just spoil the plot briefly for friends so they don’t have to read it to find the answers to the questions left from the series.

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