I don't usually do a Booking through Thursday, but this week's topic called to me. :)
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?
I read a lot of different series (check out my not-so-up-to-date list!) and - as a general rule - love doing so. When you find a character you love and a setting that you want to live in, it is easy to want the good times to go on! But sometimes I do worry that a series will jump the shark. And when it does, I tell myself it is ok to let go. I will read on if I truly loved the first books, but I try not to let the new books affect the way I think about the characters I love.
There are a lot of examples out there of series-gone-bad. In UF, the most common example is Laurrell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake books. I am only 4 books into that series – supposedly the pre-shark jumping phase – and love it. But I have no idea how I will feel when basically Anita turns her home into a brothel, and shall have to read before I judge. Nevertheless, I completely understand why fans were rather horrified – it is quite the change from the horror and action of the first books!
In YA, Twilight is example of good-gone-very-bad. Honestly, even though I enjoyed Breaking Dawn, it was such a change from the first books that I struggled to accept it. When I think of Twilight, I try only to remember the teenage swoon-worthy romance of the first book – and perhaps the heartbreak of the second book – and leave the rest. While I wouldn’t say Meyer “jumped the shark”, she certainly got in the water with it.
But for me, the most unfortunate case of good-going-very-bad was the Study series by Maria V. Snyder. I adored the first book, loved the second – but had to force myself to finish the third. Epic disappointment. The characters were self-centred shadows of their former selves, and my only consolation was that at least the series was ending. It was actually very sad.
Perhaps series do better when there is only a set number of books? In other words, when the author has a contained plan where the end is known right from the beginning. My favourite series, Harry Potter and the Darkest Powers Trilogy, seem to be prime examples of that!
Jump the shark? To those of you wondering where this peculiarly phrase came from, watch this highly informative video featuring The Fonz!