BOOK SERIES: WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT YOU, THEN?


Goodreads. I love it!

That isn’t what this post is about, but it is the major source of the information for it. I joined as a reader, got upgraded to an author, though I have to admit the time I spend on there is definitely reader orientated even if my reading habits reflect otherwise.

What am I talking about?

Research, my friends.

As a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author with a debut novel, which just happens to be a first in a whole set of stories I hope to share with the world, I am IMMENSLEY intrigued by what keeps a reader returning to the same author and characters, book after book, year after year.

I’d only been on Goodreads a matter of weeks when invitations started rolling in to join various Groups. I thought I was being strategic by joining all the PNR and UF Groups. I had a shock when I got there. Conversation after conversation rolled on and on … about books and authors I’d barely heard of, let alone read. I kept creeping on in, reading what people had to say, found myself awed by the passion with which these readers spoke of the stories (that I’d never heard of) … and man, my curiosity nearly burned a hole in my brain.

Yes, the reader in me so wanted to be able to be a part of these conversations. But the writer in me was totally overtaken by a desperate need to know why these certain series’ are so popular with the mass readers of the genre(s).

So what did I do?

Well, I went on a whacko book ordering frenzy.

But not before I’d asked for a couple recommendations.

The moment I did, I was accepted into the fold. People of Goodreads: you are amazing!

They nudged me in the right directions. Told me where to start. Told me what they loved about the books and why and convinced me I’d fall in love with them, too.

I was dubious. I always am when someone I don’t know tries to convince me I’ll love something. My dubiousness was short lived.

Yes, I needed to know what was so special about these books. Yes, I had to understand why readers keep coming back for more. Yes, I wanted to ‘feel’ the passion that provokes so much discussion of one series.

And I may actually be getting to the bottom of the mystery. Because I have found some great reads.

Sure, there have been some series where I’ve bought the first book and wondered what all the fuss is about.

So I head into my groups, type out words along the lines of: I don’t get it.

Like vultures, the groupies (ha! Sorry, GR friends) jump up and yell, no, the first isn’t the best story, you need to keep on, please keep reading, please don’t give up, listen to us we know what we’re talking about.

So I listen to them. I am an author. These people are readers. I have to trust they know what they like or I’m doomed … right?

And every time they have made me read on ‘because it only gets better’, they have been so totally right!

Thanks to listening to readers, I have stumbled across some amazing series’. Series that have left me hungry for more (or not—but the encouragement of others has swept me along). Series that I have been unable to put down. Series that I have fallen in love with.

And I shall be sharing my thoughts on these series with you. I’d love for it to be every week, but alas, I just can’t read an entire series that fast AND write new stuff to send to my editor for publication. So I shall aim for once a month. The second week of every month (starting 12th September), I shall be chatting about series I have been introduced to by readers and what I think brings folks back for more.

What about you? Are there any book series’ you’ve fallen in love with that you’ve just had to read because you’re not ready to say adios to the characters? Any you’d care to recommend?

Darkness & Light is available at the following outlets:

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14 thoughts on “BOOK SERIES: WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT YOU, THEN?

  1. Most of the ones I’ve read are trilogies, like Dean Koontz’s Old Thomas series (thought some grapghic novels have also come out for that one). The true series (more than three) I’ve read is Kim Harrison’s Hollows. I don’t want to consider the Dragonlance books because most of them, while a continuation with the same characters, they were done in trilogies as far as the storyline.

    1. The Odd Thomas books are mor than a trilogy now, right? I’ve only read the first 3 (I think), but I’m certain I’ve seen others in stores recently. Might be 5 or something available now. I really liked Odd’s character. Kim Harrison is an author whose style just doesn’t gel in my head 😦 I tried reading the first Hollows book and couldn’t make it past the first chapter–and I’m pretty tenacious when it comes to persevering.

  2. I don’t read anywhere near as often as I should, but the series I would most recommend to anyone, especially for those interested in Urban Fantasty, is The Dresden Files. It’s already at 13 books, with more to come, but I love Jim Butcher’s writing. I’d never have imagined someone could wrangle so many characters so many different ways. There have only been two books in the series that disappointed me, and even those have their amazing moments.

      1. I have the whole series, including the collected short stories. They’re all written so you can jump into them anywhere, pretty much, but after about Book 4 or 5 the mythology starts to build up and you’ll need the background from the previous books to get by.

        Storm Front is the first book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Storm-Front-Dresden-Case-Files/dp/0356500276/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1314619634&sr=8-3

        Great read, and it ends with one my favourite all-time closing paragraphs.

        The second book, Fool Moon, was one of the ones I wasn’t so happy with, but Grave Peril, the third, really is where the series kicks into high gear and just keeps going.

  3. I’ve read every one of the JD Robb ‘In Death’ series. But you knew that already. 🙂 LOL There’s just something about that Roarke character inside there. 😉

  4. I’m a series gal and a tenacious one at that. There are several series I read that hooked me right away (Sookie Stackhouse, Harper and Tolliver, and Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris, the Queen Betsy series by MaryJanice Davidson, Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane, Annalise Ryan’s Working stiff series) and others that mushroom clouded on me (Ilona Andrews’ Magic series, Cassie Clare’s City of series). There are many series I wish I’d stopped reading long before I did. There’s one I just started that did not click with me but the next 2 were dirt cheap at my books store and people I trust have raved about it…so I bought them. I’ve read quite a few that were absolutely RAVED about but meh, I lost momentum and never revisited. I have the sequels in my possession but momentum on a “meh” series once lost is difficult to regain.

    I do like the comfort of a series and often am more willing to give the devil I know a second chance than the stranger I don’t a first shot. It’s about risk and reward, to a certain extent, with the presumption that the author’s experience and comfort with the characters has grown.

    1. That’s a good point about the author being more comfortable because I have certain characters whose minds I slip into like a second skin over some who I have to stretch like the tightest latex ever made to get into. The Sookie Stackhouse books kept my attention until about book #8, and it was due to inconsistency that I stopped reading those. But 8 books is a helluva lot to keep someone hooked for, right? Thanks for the input, Claire. 🙂

  5. I tend to get myself hooked into series. I read the first book…then, oh wait, this is a series???? And I can’t stop even if I want to…my curiosity usually gets to me and I have to keep going. lol Although I have intentionally picked up a series before. I’m always hesitant to start those huge ones though.
    I started Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series after reading her YA books, the Darkest Powers (The Summoning, The Awakening, The Reckoning), and I’ve definitely gotten hooked on her writing style. I’ve only disliked one book in the series, Living with the Dead…I just really wasn’t a fan of that one. Personal Demons was so-so for me, but I’ve heard of tonnes of people who loved it, and I loved every single other book in the series. 😀
    I also love anything by Cassandra Clare, her Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices Trilogy are fantastic! 😀
    The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa! Love it so much, that’s a good one with fairies. 😉
    Holly Black’s Curse Workers Trilogy is great too. I love Cassel, and the whole concept is awesome. Ther are people called workers who can affect others through touch and “work” them, and the workers are pretty much like mobsters. It’s awesome. 😀
    I’ve always gotten into a bunch of newer series lately, where only the first or first two books are out. (Paranormalcy & Supernaturally, Firelight, Divergent–AMAZING Dystopian) And most of them are YA, but I love them. 😀
    I usually only pick up a book if it interests me. I try not to listen too much to other people’s opinions on them before I read them though, but I do take it into account, like if I haven’t heard of a single person who liked it, I probably won’t start it.
    And one series that I absolutely am so over is The House of Night series by P.C and Kristin Cast. I started it when I was desperate to read more vampire books and really liked the first few, but then I just started hating them. I couldn’t even get through the last book I bought from the series, I think it was Burned. I also didn’t like Another Faust, the Wicked Series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, or Kissed By Angel by Elizabeth Chandler, but lots of people liked all of those. I’ve noticed though that books with multiple authors are usually hit or miss with me. There are times where I just don’t think the two authors writing style flow well together. One that I loved though was Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green…such an awesome story! 😀

    1. I’d read co-authored novels by James Patterson before, but no PNR or UF co-authored until I won a copy of Blood Trinity. That one’s co-authored by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, and I really enjoyed that–I’d deffo read the next one once I get my hands on it.
      Thanks for the suggestions, Ambur. Think I might have a couple of them on my list already. but I’ll be adding the others. 🙂

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