9 October 2011

STANDALONE VS SERIES

I always used to think that I preferred series with long winding adventures, watching the characters grow and change. But the more I read the more I’m uncertain as to what I prefer.

As a blogger, I’m cautious of reviewing books further into a series in case readers haven’t read the earlier books and aren’t interested in the review or somehow feel alienated. And as a reader, when I visit the library it’s really difficult to find a full series. Often some are missing or in other libraries, and picking up a standalone book requires a lot less effort and waiting. With a series I somehow feel obliged to read the rest of the books once I’ve started it, waiting months and months for the book to come out with the secret fear that I may not even like the next instalment or the way the author finished the whole series.

On the other hand, you do get to watch your favourite characters grow and change and get caught in new adventures or romances. One of the main reasons I read is for the characters – I want to see them stumble a little, be human and real, be tested and pass. Is a standalone enough to become really enamoured with a character? And if you do really like them, surely you would want to read more about them?

In the case of Sookie Stackhouse I absolutely love this series and know I will read it again and again. I love watching how her life changes and I know I would have been gutted if there had only been one book about Sookie. In contrast, (and this may be a little controversial as I know it is so popular) I felt disappointed with the Fallen series, and almost felt like it was a waste to read three books only to not even want to read the final book in the series.

One author told me that publishers prefer standalone books. But is this true, as there are plenty of new series being published? For the time, I’m still split…

What do you think? Do you prefer a standalone or a series? Or does it depend on the book and the characters?

5 comments:

FantasyLass said...

It all depends on what's going on in my life, whilst I love a good long ten book series, sometimes a standalone or just a quick trilogy fits in with daily life better. Ideally, given the time, and the peace, I love to watch characters and worlds change and develop over a humungous great epic series :)

Cristina said...

Series have to be really, really good. I loved the Sookie Stakchouse series as well... and I read up to book 10? I think there's been 2 or 3 more released, but I won't read them. I think the break between the last one I read and the following release was too long and I moved on. But 10 books in a series is A LOT for me. So I feel ok with not continuing.

I've read the Mortal instruments by Cassandra Clare and I have to be honest. books 2 and 3 were my favorite and I wish I had never read #4.. it just made me angry. I felt like she was pulling stuff out of nowhere just to have a book.. I will not continue reading this series...

Some of my favorites are trilogies and I think that's the ideal number for me.. It's just long enough to spend with characters and seeing them grow, but not too long that it becomes a soap opera :)

And then there are some, like "The Forrest of Hands and Teeth"... it was an amazing book. I was completely enthralled by it. Definitely a favorite.. BUT I have no desire to read the other 2. I felt the 1st one was so strong, the voice so different.. it was enough for me.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I'm a huge fan of series, but I quite like sprawling fantasy epics, so series are part and parcel of the genre. I'm always a little disappointed when I finish a good stand alone novel, since I know that there's nothing coming up after it.

However, given the sheer amount that I need to read, stand alone works quite well for me. That way, I don't have to worry about jumping into a series half way through.

Raimy-rawr said...

Im not sure what I prefer. It is relly annoying when youre at the library and theres the second or third but not the first of a series... and quite often I can never tell which ones are the first! But I still love a good series because it lets the characters develop even more and gather more depth!

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