I have recently read the most fantastic of fantastic books, The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic. I will rave about it constantly because it had fantasy, hints of romance, a strong independent woman being forced into a feminine role of a bygone era where women were meant to be meek and the language itself which was spoken made it so that women came across weaker simply by the pronouns in which they spoke to denote they were female. Everything about the book was fantastic, apart from the ending and the long list of unanswered questions I had. Now, the book could be taken as a standalone and it worked in that way. The open ending was written well enough that it would work without a sequel but after doing some googling I know a sequel is definitely in the works with no release date, title or really any facts about when to expect it. I just know it’s coming and that is the most frustrating state of being.
It did get me thinking, though. As avid readers, we are frequently subject to situations such as this. We allow ourselves to be tied in for the long haul with series. We know that there could be years between books (I’m looking at you George RR Martin) which is fine when you know you’re entering into a series situation. But is there anything more frustrating than picking up a book which has been on your TBR list and reaching the ending only to discover that there are lots of unanswered questions to the story. At first yo wonder if this was an intentional ploy by the author to keep you thinking about the book. Then you begin wondering if it’s part of a series and you just weren’t aware of it at the time. You then learn there is a sequel, but it’s not officially announced and there is no publish date in sight or even a title attributed to the book. You’re left in limbo and it makes you want to cry, especially when the book was published a couple of years ago and at the beginning of the year the books first draft is finished. I mean, that means there could be at least a year until the next one and that’s just speculation on my part! How frustrating.
I am a reader who begins a series when the first book is released and then somehow doesn’t go back for the rest of the series until it has all been released because I hate all the unanswered questions and the long wait between releases. I am impatient and cannot take the pressure and how much I begin building up the next release in my mind. As such, I am not the kind of person who enjoys discovering their book is leaving lingering questions or is a part of as yet unnamed series that may or may not even happen as the second book really isn’t officially announced. I am even more upset to discover that there is potential for a third book as well! Now I realise I am invested in a series which will be well over 1000 pages long and will probably have three year gaps between releases. It’s so frustrating. I would never decide not the read the book because I adored every page of it but I would have been able to prepare myself more if I knew I was in for that long wait between releases.
The point of this post is, how do you feel about open ended books and series which have only just started and already appear to have long gaps between releases? Can you willingly begin a book knowing that there is no definite ending in sight? And is it worse to read a book and then reach the end only to discover you’re missing some answers and it doesn’t look like you have another book yet to answer those questions? I managed to wait for the Harry Potter releases, but that was a series that had a known number of books to it, you know?
What are your thoughts on series? Can you handle the wait for books or does it all get too much?