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Parting of the ways

Parting of the ways

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

A few weeks ago, Maya Banks posted about what happens when authors’ and readers’ points of view diverge—also known as, when readers break up with authors.

This is by no means a novel topic. Readers have complained about authors changing the rules of the worlds they build *coughJRWardcough* or how every successive book is the same story and the same characters as the previous dozen *coughChristine Feehancough* or feeling betrayed when the author kills a main character, well into the series *coughKarinSlaughtercough*

Some readers stop reading authors because they feel preached at—an often cited example is Suzanne Brockmann and gay rights issues. Or, as is my case, increased emphasis on religion—I stopped reading Catherine Anderson for that reason. *shudder* After loving Annie’s Song and several other of her novels, the last one I tried reading (I think it was Sun Kissed?) ended up DNF and out the door.

Then there are those series that go on forever and ever and ever—how many of you are put off by the fact that the In Death novels now number 30 plus the short stories? New to the series readers may feel intimidated by the length, while others grow bored with the characters.

But there are other ways of parting ways with authors—sometimes only partially, sometimes absolutely.

For example: as much as I adore Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling novels, and despite having liked Angels’ Blood, I have no interest in reading the rest of her Hunter Guild series. I know she writes awesome characters and that her worldbuilding is careful, detailed and—most important to me—internally consistent across the novels. And yet, I find myself not interested in this series, at all.

An author I find myself parting ways with completely (at least for the time being) is Suzanne Brockmann. I love her Troubleshooters novels, and am one of the few readers who has no issues with either her views on politics or her human/gay right issues popping up in her characters’ own views. I simply adore those books and any quibbles I have, have nothing to do with either of these things. And yet, as much as I’ve loved Ms Brockmann’s writing for so many years, I have no interest whatsoever in her new series. None.

What are the authors and/or series you have parted ways with?

13 Comments »

  • Long series don’t put me exactly – in fact I love them. buuut I have a strange obsession. If I’ve started, I will finish. So I look at a long series with dread because if I read 1 book and it’s utter drek, my own obsession will drive me to endure every last book while screaming every night “someone stop the author writing! PLEASE LET IT STOP!” I can’t even DNF them! It’s like some weird masochistic self-imposed penance.

    But long series in general I like – so long as the author can hold it together and keep injecting something new with each book. Which, admittedly, is a tall order. Some series derail completely – like the Anita Blake series (see, told you I suffered) and some you can feel even the author getting bored rigid of her own series (Charlaine Harris) and some authors just recycle the same stories over and over (Sherrilyn Kenyon).

    But some pull it off – Kelley Amrstrong’s Otherworld series keeps it fresh and interesting, Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows and Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassins are all holding it together.

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  • Cindy
    May 9
    1:07 pm

    Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy mystery series…not only has she become preachy (one book read like a Planned Parenthood Brochure), she seems bored by the whole series. All of the characters talk and think alike now. I finally gave up with last year’s entry, when she had the heroine battling breast cancer. I read for escape. And the book prior, the mystery was across the country and no real involvement.

    Lora Leigh’s Breeds series…I hadn’t started yet when it hit #24 and I just thought…no.

    Susan Wittig Albert- I love her China Bayles mystery series but can’t stomach the Beatrix Potter series.

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  • Jeannie S.
    May 9
    1:07 pm

    Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series – the first book was amazing and I really liked the next two, then it started to get stale. I didn’t even bother with the last one, which I heard was terrible.

    I also used to be a die-hard Stephen King fan, now his books don’t really interest me.

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  • Lori
    May 9
    1:15 pm

    Sally MacKenzie’s Naked series. I bought the bundle and enjoyed three of the books but then had to stop reading. I don’t think she did anything so egregarious but I completely lost interest.

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  • Sallah
    May 9
    1:27 pm

    The list is long, Janet Evanovichs Stephanie Plumbs have become, car blows up, Steph botches recovery 2 times before success, who do I love Ranger or Morelli.. Its bad when I look at one of the books and couldnt tell you what the real plot was in 14 versus 16.

    Linda Howard is another old time fave whos books no longer interest me, she finally said on facebook that she had thyroid problems which make it hard for her to connect to her romantic aspects of her books, and it shows, in the way the last few books of hers I read that seemed like survivalist manuals.

    Laurell K Hamilton lost me when she decided sex was “edgy”.

    Rachel Caine, and Karen Moning lost me because they do what I call ” book segments” with the end of each book written as a cliff hanger. I dont require each book wrapped up with a bow, but I do want at least a little closure so I can enjoy the year wait till the next adventure..

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  • Patrice
    May 9
    1:39 pm

    Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill, I zoomed through 1-4 and really enjoyed the characters and a different spin on a paranromal vampire world. Then it all screeched to a halt, because of what the author does with a main character. Book 4 just ended with a situation that gave me brain freeze. Then I was pissed, really pissed. Which made me stop “suspending my disbelief” and notice some worldbuilding discrepancies and other issues. I was sure I was done with it. And while the author acknowledged all the fan cries of WTF??? I have a tendancy to mistrust when anyone says “trust me” a bit too much. I did read book 5, but I borrowed it from the library. And the device the author used to “resolve” the previous horrible character issue was another boggling bit of supernatural wierdness. That I really do not believe. (But at least she didn’t make up a ghost character.) So sadly, I won’t be buying anymore Cadogan House adventures.

    And yah the BDB series was another fail for me after the first 3 or so. The spelling cliche names was an autofail I had to overlook from the very begining, but then the stories just didn’t hold my interest and their faith system and supernatural woo-woo seemed too contrived. I just drifted away, like one of the ghostly leading ladies.

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  • Jenns
    May 9
    3:33 pm

    Another vote for Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I used to wait eagerly for each new number and gobble them up like candy. I loved them and was hooked. Then things changed. The characters became caricatures, the plots became sillier, the jokes were rehashes. I felt cheated. It took a while, but I’ve stopped hoping for improvement and no longer buy or read them.
    I’m somewhat put off by series. If I see or read about a book that’s part of a series I’ve never tried, I really hesitate to pick it up. From experience, I know that I’ll either feel totally lost while reading it or feel that I’m missing something. And then there’s the question: do I really want to invest time and/or money into catching up?
    Does anyone else miss single titles?
    Great topic, Azteclady!

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  • The religion in Anderson did me in as well, at least for that particular series.

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  • Cindy
    May 9
    6:33 pm

    Number 18 was the last for me for the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich as well. It wasn’t funny at all. Once I heard she never intended any character growth for Stephanie, or choosing between Morelli or Ranger, it became “What’s the point.” Plus Sallah was right, every story became interchangeable.

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  • katieM
    May 9
    10:58 pm

    I still buy the In Death books, but some are better and some are worse. I loved the first few books of the Anita Blake series by LKH, but the writing became increasingly unreadable and the plots became badly written sex, sex and more badly written sex. Kelly Armstrong has several strong well written series. I suspect that it’s because she writes in the same universe, but each book features a different heroine with a different ability.

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  • Suzanne Brockmann: I agree with her political views, but it got tedious.

    Nora Roberts: Her non-In Death books are the same characters over and over again. And her trilogies are always about the bestest (I know that’s not a word) and most perfect six people ever. All that perfection is tiresome and boring.

    As for her In Death series, I tried one and couldn’t get through it because I kept picking apart the pseudo-science.

    Laurell K Hamilton: Does anyone need an explanation?

    JR Ward: I was done after the Casper resolution. And her treatment of women was a little disturbing.

    Linda Howard: Cry No More started the break and Death Angel finished it. Her books stopped engaging me because there was no emotion and they became how-to guides.

    Elizabeth Lowell: I got half-way through Death Echo and reading it felt like work, so I stopped.

    Kelley Armstrong: Once the heroines became TSTL, I had to stop.

    Angela Knight: I really hate the sex-for-a-greater-purpose/power trope.

    I stopped reading historical romance altogether because the British monarchy and the whole peerage system go against my belief in democracy and meritocracy. And I was never into Westerns.

    I stopped reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy because I don’t like the portrayal of humans as clueless, helpless, and in some cases, disturbingly childlike and susceptible. Human beings are pretty resourceful, innovative, and adaptable. In a battle between Batman and the Twilight characters, it would be a figurative re-enactment of Hulk smashing Loki, the Puny God. And the whole fated mates thing annoys me to no end. I happen to like free will.

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  • Mireya
    May 10
    12:36 am

    Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters (can’t recall which was the last one I read, I think it may have been Acheron), J.R. Ward’s BDB (after book 4 I started getting more and more disappointed. Then she sucked me back in with “Lover Avenged”, skipped “Lover Mine”, had a rage-read with “Lover Unleashed” and that was it), Lora Leigh’s Breeds (which I got hooked on way before it became a mainstream success, her main characters I now consider “interchangeable” meaning main characters from book 4, for example, can be exchanged with the ones for book 8… and no one would notice the difference), Christine Warren’s Others (as with Lora Leigh, fell in love with her Others way before she was contracted by mainstream publishers, but her print books I never considered as much fun as the electronically published ones), and there are several others which I can’t really remember right now. I don’t read anything with cliffhangers, I hate them with a passion.

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  • Anon 76
    May 10
    2:38 pm

    @Jeannie S.:

    Yes. Thanks. Those are two you finally brought to mind after mentioning them. It just became, Meh.

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