Monday, July 13, 2009

"It's not you...ok, it totally is"

A month or so ago, there was an entry at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books about Breaking Up With A Series. This struck me as interesting because I've recently been thinking about a once-loved series that I just don't care enough to read anymore. Now, I fully admit that I'm a series addict. If a character and world truly grabs my attention, I want continuing stories of the characters and their lives. I will hold on to a series when even the rats are jumping ship. But sometimes a series just...fizzles, so badly that you have to let it go before it takes you down with it. And with the fizzle comes a certain amount of disappointment, like a trusted friend letting you down.

That said, I was very surprised by some of the series and authors discussed on the SBTB blog. The most notable authors/series named were JR Ward and the Brotherhood Series, Sherrilyn Kenyon and the Dark-Hunter Series, Laurell K. Hamilton and the Anita Blake Series, Christine Feehan's Carpathian Series, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse Series, and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series. (Damn, that's a lot of links).

Some of these shocked me. Tired of JR Ward? Perish the thought. The woman could sneeze on paper, have it published, and I'd probably spend hours trying to decipher the meaning of the water marks on the page. Likewise, I'm still deeply in love with Harris's Sookie series, and not just because of True Blood. I feel like the world Harris has built is just really starting to be explained. While I don't like the increasingly darkening mood the series has taken, I still consider it a must read.

I've never read any of the Anita Blake books. Same goes for the Carpathian novels and, from what I hear from Helena (and I trust her implicitly...where books are concerned), I'm not in a great hurry to break the binding of a Feehan novel anytime soon. I haven't read enough of Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series to pass fair judgment. As for Evanovich's Stephenie Plum series, I'm praying I stay interested. I only picked up this series (now 15 deep) about a week ago. I've finished the first two and I'm infatuated. It's quirky, it's smart, it's sassy, and it's completely relatable on a very basic woman-cursed-by-Murphey's-law type way.

Now, there are series that I'm ready to have "the talk" with. You know the talk, the one that begins with "It's not you, it's me..." and ends with me eating a pint of extra creamy mint chocolate chip ice cream and wishing I'd started the convo weeks (months, years) earlier.

Men and books. Both can lead you to mainline Häagen-Dazs.

Yes, that totally deserved its own link.

The first series on my list, and it pains me to say this, is Lynsay Sands' Argeneau Series. Looking back, we've had a rockier relationship than I'd like to admit, the Argeneau's and I. The first two books hooked me, they really did. The next few seemed a bit long, but only because the out of order sequencing and release of the titles lead to a great deal of repetition. At least that's what I told myself.

But things did get better for a while. The novels eventually straightened themselves out and the story lines started getting stronger. I had such high hopes. Then the nagging feeling that I'd read this all before started to settle in. The world is fascinating, like no other vampire world I've read before, but the main characters are all so similar. Still, the situations and world building of the series kept me interested...all the way to the ninth (and in my opinion strongest) book.

Vampire, Interrupted really is a worthwhile read. Unfortunately it is also the last worthwhile read in a series that has passed its prime. The last two installments, so forgettable I can't remember their titles and don't care enough to look them up, were a collection of recycled characters and themes so bland that I jumped ahead pages at a time just to make the reading go faster. Then, when I finally got to the end of the last, I realized I simply didn't care. I didn't like the main characters, I didn't feel any chemistry between them, and even though the story ended on a cliffhanger, I have no real interest in seeing the matter resolved. I've reached the end of the Argeneau series, whether the series continues or not.

You just aren't meeting my needs, Argeneaus. I'm sorry. I'll always look back on the good times.

So, what series do you think have passed their prime?



Helena Sparrow said...

your mom, christine feehan about halfway thru dark prince, and lynsay sands about book 4 then a shining moment with vampire interrupted (book 9)...then back to blech

Lily Ghates said...

(Comment originally posted July 18, 2009. Reposted due to account error)

I liked a few of Sands's books between 1 and 9. Um...The Accidental Vampire was good. Lucern's book and Basiten's book both sucked. I enjoyed Eteniene's though, and I remember liking Lucian's, although I can't really remember what it's about now. I refuse to dislike Thomas's, just because I like Thomas so much. And Vincent's wasn't too bad. So there! And Victor's was good.

Yep, I liked (or at least tolerated) all of them up until she branched off into the Immortal Series. That's when it was time to pull out the pistol, shoot the book, and put me out of my misery.

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