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Book Series

03/12/2012

I’m not a big series reader. I’ve been burnt a few times before by Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. These are both bricks which make it even harder of course.

I’m sitting here trying to contemplate what book to read next. Part of me wants to read The Templar Knight by Jan Guillou, second in the Arn trilogy, the first I read not long ago. However, I rarely read the same author more than once or twice a year – here lies my problem with series. The reason I haven’t jumped back into the Medieval world of crusades, monk’s and forbidden love is because I’m afraid that I will get bored of being in the same old place over and over, yet part of me really wants to read it.

Part of me really wants to start Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson as well, which is a so far ten book epic fantasy series made up of bricks. Considering I rarely read an author more than twice in a year – this could take me between 5-10 years to complete. It’s a big commitment.

Starting a book you know to be part of a series, is not just starting one book, in a way it is starting all ten of them. Why commit to one book if you don’t want to commit to all of them? I don’t mean that once I start it I’ll continue even if I don’t like it – if I get bored by any point I’ll dump it fairly quickly so as not to waste time on a series I have no intention of finishing, even if the first book does become mildly better by the end.

When I was younger I got really addicted to Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ and read the first four to five books in quick succession but hit a wall running. I just couldn’t get past a certain point: nothing happened. I was peed off about Perrin marrying someone I hate and when looking up spoilers finding certain storylines I enjoyed weren’t even going to be touched much upon or resolve until another four or five books in.

The same with Gabaldon – I pretty much read those back to back up until ‘The Fiery Cross’ and I’ve never gotten more then 300-400 pages through that lather. Nothing happened.

The last series I did eat up was probably Stieg Larsson’s ‘Salander’ trilogy but even then I had to wait for books to be released so it wasn’t so much reading one after the other. Trilogies seem by far more manageable to me – although I’m still reluctant to read all three books in a line.

As it is, I already have a few book series queuing up behind me as it is. Philip Reeve’s Hungry City series and the prequels, Tad Williams sci-fi Otherland which is fortunately only four books and they’re all bricks. Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy of which I have had the second book for over a year now and never read it because I feel I ought to re-read the first book to re-fresh my mind. Will I then want to go back to it afterwards though? The same with Lian Hearn’s Heaven’s Net is Wide from the Otori series. It’s going to be a perpetual circle of needing to re-read but then never getting around to reading the next book in the series. Oh and then I have Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series to move on with as well. Never mind all the crime series fiction I’ve started reently.

I do want to be able to get into one big epic fantasy though, and just be lost in this one world. Standaone books cannot do this so well. It’s one book and even if it’s a brick there’s only certain amounts of stuff that can be done. Being in a long running series can be a good thing.

However there are the dangers – what if you get bored, what if the whole thing turns to pot? Why do so many fantasy authors have to write such long series with each book the size of a door stopper? Can there not be a series of medium sized books? It’s intimidating being so many pages and knowing that it isn’t even the end of it. How can an author come out with that much?

So I am literally poised over the Gardens of the Moon as I type. I bought it, so I guess I may as well read it or try to… or do I go with the Swedish Templar knight book and try to actually finish that trilogy before it exits out the backdoor flap of my mind? I don’t want to have to wait a year until I get around to reading the second or even third book.

Part of my mind is already kinda made up n giving Gardens a go now. Even though it’s starting yet another series that I will have on the go.

I’m thinking 2013 should be the year of catch up on all the book series and try finishing a few!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/12/2012 02:58

    I’m a huge fan of the Outlander Series, but I hit a wall with the latest one “Echo in the Bone.” The waiting between books is long, and then when you do finally settle in, the author refers to so many other characters (both major and minor) that I’ve forgotten! It makes for a bit of irritation when reading.

  2. 03/12/2012 15:49

    I absolutely loved – and would say that I still loved the first four books. I get impatient with authors though who insist on writing bricks – I think they have less of an excuse to have boring slow parts or even whole books, than authors who write shorter books which are part of a series.

  3. 08/12/2012 17:37

    ‘When I was younger I got really addicted to Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ and read the first four to five books in quick succession but hit a wall running. I just couldn’t get past a certain point: nothing happened. I was peed off about Perrin marrying someone I hate and when looking up spoilers finding certain storylines I enjoyed weren’t even going to be touched much upon or resolve until another four or five books in.’

    I am so glad you said this! Me too! I never liked Faile either. In fact this is what annoyed me about WoT – endless side plots. Matt and Perin are well and good, but their narratives were cutting into Rand time. Looking back, I can’t believe I persevered to Book 10, which was the most awful fantasy I’ve ever trudged through. Have you read any Robin Hobb? Now there is a masterful writer to immerse yourself in 🙂

    • 08/12/2012 17:51

      No, I haven’t read Robin Hobb although I remembered trying her once before. I think I would like to give her a go again though.

      I do actually (for some reason) want to give WoT another go! I think because Brandon Sanderson is finishing the series off…. probs the only reason.

      • 08/12/2012 17:55

        Definitely begin with her Farseer Trilogy and then Liveship Traders – my two favourite. I feel the same about Jordan. Sanderson’s a great writer and I feel I owe it to the series to get to the Last Battle. The problem is picking up from number 6, which is where I got up to in my re-read. That’s a lot of pages…

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