Anyone else notice that it seems to be impossible for a story to be contained in just one book, these days? I love a good series, and more writing from authors I enjoy is always a good thing. It is, however, becoming more and more difficult to read a story from beginning to end without buying at least three books, sometimes more ( a lot more if it’s Robert Jordan).
I’m not sure if it’s authors or publishers who are pushing for the three book arcs, but it is resulting in a lot of book series that start off great, but leave you less than satisfied. The Hunger Games trilogy is one that I was disappointed with – I loved the first two, but it seemed like Collins couldn’t figure out how to finish it, and eventually said “whatever, stuff happened, the end.” Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, was fantastic, but I was not as thrilled with the books that followed, and gave up on the series. I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, but I think part of the reason it works so well is it isn’t tied to a single storyline. Also, he’s Terry Pratchett. Ender’s Game was great, the rest of the books, meh. Also, don’t get me started on Orson Scott Card.
If you are getting series fatigue, here are a few great books that can be read on their own:
David & Leigh Eddings’ The Redemption of Althalus was written in their classic style, epic fantasy with sly humour and cutting satire. One of my all time favorites, and completely re-readable.
Most of Neil Gaiman’s work is standalone, Stardust is a lovely fairytale, magical and gorgeous.
Always amazing, the hardcover illustrated edition of The Princess Bride is coming out in November (on the fifth!). I’ll be ordering my own copy of William Goldman’s book, re-watching the movie, and saying “As you wish” a lot.
Guy Gavriel Kay is my favorite author, and this is one of my favorite books by him. It was this book that convinced my dad that he liked fantasy. If I had to make everyone read one book, Tigana might be it.
Go forth and read with no pressure! The only next book you need to read is one you choose. If you have any books that are standalone to recommend, I’d love to hear about them.
On a completely unrelated (snort) note, apparently the paperback edition of Dance With Dragons will actually finally come out this month, since we checked store inventory, and it is in fact in the process of shipping. See you in a few days!
Happy (stress-free) reading.