Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Idea Hacking...

I was over at C.K. Bryant's blog and am sort of tapping into her latest post.

How many is too many in a series?

The discussion was based around the House of Night series by Kristen and P. C. Cast. These are young adult paranormal romance books. Key word here is Young Adult. They're fast reads, well done and all, but I stopped at like the 5th one. There are 13 in the series.

The premise of the story is good, but when I left a comment, I referred to fantasy series.

Two authors that I adore were very good at writing series. David Eddings and Melanie Rawn. Eddings wrote a series of books, five in the series. The Belgariad. Then, using those same characters, wrote five more books, The Malloreon. Then, two more books sprung from those, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara. I devoured every single one of those books. I loved the characters, the humor and the fact that the story kept moving.

Rawn did the same thing, sort of. Three books in The Dragon Prince series and then three more in the Dragon Star series. She used a majority of the same characters. In the first series, the children of the main characters were young. Then in the second series, the elders are really elders and it is the children, grown up, who do the fighting. Well written stories that moved along.

Of course, I have read other series and trilogies. But once the third book is done, there are very few "spin-off" books. Unless of course you read Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance. Those characters intertwine in lots of other stories, make cameo appearances...

I'm trying to think of other series I have read, but can't focus on what is on my bookshelf because my books are packed. Lol!

But anyway, the original question was, how many are too many in a series? You have Harry Potter which has seven, plus three books associated with it. Tales of Beedle the Bard, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You also have the whole Redwall series of books by Brian Jaques. I still don't know how many books are in that series. A Series of Unfortunate Events... I could go on.

So what do you say? How many is too many?

11 comments:

Michael Offutt said...

Anita Blake's series is way to frickin' long. I agree with you on David Eddings. I couldn't get into Melanie Rawn.

I think Hamilton is up to 20 in the Anita Blake vampire hunter. I stopped reading at 10.

Krista said...

I think it depends on the length of the books in the series. If the books are short I can see there being several. The other thing is how long it takes to tell the core or main story.

I am a fan of follow up series - like Eddings. Because the one story is wrapped up and you have the option if investing in the next.

Hard and fast rule - 5 is just right. Unless the books are short or the story is really good (like A Series of Unfortunate Events).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Terry Brooks did three originally for Shannara, and then came the spin-offs. Jordan's Wheel of Time series was too many, if only because it's never ended!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I usually like a fantasy series to end in three or four books, but I've enjoyed some that are longer like Terry Goodkind's and Robert Jordan.

Caledonia Lass said...

I like a good series and personally, don't mind how long it takes as long as it is a well written, engaging tale. But yeah, sometimes some people don't know when to quit. :D

Christina said...

The House of Night Novels have lost all appeal to me...they...took a downward plunge. At least, I think so. I think 3 is a very good well rounded number for a series.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I'd say the Harry Potter series is a decent number, though often I prefer trilogies, with maybe a prequel attached for good measure.

Though, one of my all-time favourite series' is Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, which is 39 novels and counting!

Caledonia Lass said...

Discworld! Woot! And yeah, House of Night... I haven't read the latest but haven't really felt inclined to do so yet.

Talli Roland said...

Thirteen? Yikes! I'm not sure I'd be able to keep the whole story in my head. Four or five is plenty, in my opinion.

Vicki Rocho said...

There are few series that can sustain my love through to the end.

I usually point to the vampire series by Anne Rice. I loved the first few books and even though I've read all of them because she's a brilliant writer, I got tired of the storyline after third or fourth book.

Cherie Reich said...

I had commented on C.K. Bryant's blog too.

Like you, I read through the 5th one of the House of Night series. Loved 1-4. The 5th, not so much.

I think it depends on the books. Harry Potter's 7 main books makes sense. Seven years of school, a book a year.

Other series just go on and on. If there isn't anything new, then perhaps the story should end. It's when one book sounds like all the others that it can make me stop reading.