The More I Read The More I Am Disappointed With Series Enders And Prequel Novellas (Discussion)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Paper Bindings | The More I Read The More I Am Disappointed With Series Enders And Prequel Novellas (Discussion)

I read a lot, and with my goal of catching up on series this year, it is no surprise that I might find a few series whose endings I am less than happy with. It's a fact of bookish life that a series will wrap up in a way that satisfies the author and not necessarily each and ever reader.

And I am okay with that. I want books that are true to the characters and to the stories they contain.

But sometimes I wonder, is it my fault when upon finishing a series with a less than stellar ending I immediately wonder why I wasted my time on it? Or is the book to blame when all I am left with is that horrible urge to toss the book from a window?

I recently finished a series where the last book pulled what I am calling a "dream resolution."

(No, I'm not naming names here.)

You know, those endings where you basically get told it was all a dream and none of it really happened? Well, this one was like that. Only instead of being a dream, choices were made that changed things. The "climax" basically wiped out the entire purpose of the series and everything that had happened in the previous books became a giant waste of my time.

Why should I have taken the journey and bonded with these characters when they were no longer going to be the characters I first met with or encountered along their character arcs?

Would you consider this to be a valid plot pathway? The author taking the easy way out after writing themselves into a corner? Or something in between?

But it's not just last books that I'm having a problem with lately. Prequel novellas are causing me great heartache.

Normally I love it when an author gives us more from a series I love and adore. But lately I am finding these post-series-completion-prequel-novellas to be at best a disappointment and at worst a reason to question my enjoyment of the series itself.

Because, with few exceptions, if I would have read these novellas before reading the first books, I never would have picked the series up. It strained our relationships that badly.

And that is such a shame to admit. Because the story and writing in the actual books were so much better than what I got from the novellas.

What are your thoughts on these prequel novellas? Do you love them? Or do they make you doubt your love of the series?

At the same time I've been battling disappointment, I must confess there are some absolutely wonderful series enders and prequel novellas out there. 

I loved reading The Orphan Queen. The book was one of my favorites of this year. When I heard about the four prequel novellas coming out, my mind jumped to the lyrics from "I Know Things Now" from Into The Woods:

"Once his teeth were bared,
Though, I really got scared-
Well, excited and scared-"

But they (at least the ones that are out to date) are wonderful. (The Hidden PrinceThey have the same characters I know and love in the same world I am captivated by. I feel like I could have easily hit rewind on their lives and just randomly started playing here. Everything about these novellas fits into the already established world and it's not hard to imagine these characters growing into the ones I will later fall in love with.

So my fellow readers, I have to ask: Am I alone in this? Am I the only on to avoid reading how a series will end because of being burned too many times? Have you ever avoided buying a novella because of the fear you will have just wasted your time and money on it?


  1. It's not the quality of the prequel novellas that I loathe (I haven't read that many so far to judge), it's the whole concept of pre-, inter-, and post-novellas. For one thing, they're mostly ebooks or at least start out this way and seldom make it into print. I'm not into ebooks but for some series, I'd overlook that. As much as I don't like the concept, I feel like they have to be read anyway because they're canon. And for example in case of the Lunar Chronicles, I crave every little tidbit. Problem is, on some I can't even get my hands because they don't appear on German sites. For instance, not even had - and still hasn't got - the Darkest Minds novellas, which drove me so mad I haven't read past Darkest Minds yet. I'm so glad they now publish the bind-up, which I actually can get. Same goes for the prequel to Legacy of Kings. It's just maddening to get a series reading order memo in the beginning but can't read it that way because you don't have legal access. I refuse to turn to piracy and continue being grumpy as hell, but in that case, I'd understand people to do so. Also, the prices for some of these are crazy. Why should I pay €3,70 for an ebook of 60 pages (Die For Her on, as of today) when I get 408 pages for €7,54 as a paperback (If I Should Die)? Makes no sense to me and I refuse to spend that much. So back to being supergrumpy.

    1. Now that you mention them, I have a thing against "inter" novellas too. When I read a series, I want to read everything. But some of the novella prices are out there and I cannot justify them either. I don't want to read a book after a novella and find that I'm confused because I should have read the novella first. (Like the Unearthly series. I would have missed major things and been confused if I'd have skipped it.)

      I'm loving that publishers are doing novella bind ups for series. I have no problem paying for them compared to digital data. But I think that's why I have bought paperback/hardcover versions of books I already owned as ebooks.

      From reading both the Legacy Of Kings and Voice of the Gods stories, I don't think you strictly need to read the novella before the book. I think the book gives you a lot of that info already and I'm willing to be book two gives more. Not that it helps you get the stories over in Germany. I never thought about being in another country/ebooks. Hopefully you'll be able to get it or they'll continue binding up novellas of series. Or even just adding them into one of the books of a series as bonus content like they've done with some series.

      The prices with novellas bothers me so much. I have no problem paying $1.00 for them. But I always skip over the more expensive ones. I just cannot afford it.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. I have a hard time also paying for prequel novellas. They can be way too over priced for the size of the story you are getting. In some series I don't really even know what they add to the story. I often don't care what other side characters think and would prefer to skip all together.

    1. I think if prices were lower overall for novellas I wouldn't mind paying for them. But some of them aren't even full stories that I'm paying 1/2 and actual book's price on. It's always worst when you dislike the character the story is of.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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