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Thread: Series you've stopped reading

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW autumnleaf's Avatar
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    Series you've stopped reading

    Sometimes you love the first book or three in a series, but the follow-ups fail to engage or you simply lose interest. Which series have you given up on?

    I enjoyed the first 3 Earth's Children books, despite some flaws. The 4th was just one walk-and-shag fest, so I was never tempted to continue.

    The first 6 or 7 Stephanie Plum books were entertaining, but they started to repeat themselves and I finally gave up at book 12 (was loaned them by a friend -- would probably have given up earlier if I'd been buying them myself).
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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I stopped The Wheel of Time after book five, I think. It had become something like homework at that point.

    Same with The Vampire Chronicles. I stopped being a faithful chronological reader after The Tale of Body Thief, which left me less than impressed, though I've cherry-picked certain books since then.

    Got fed up with The Dragonriders of Pern after The White Dragon and never went back.

    I quit the Trillium series after Blood Trillium, though many years later I went back and read Lady of the Trillium, which was... merely OK.

  3. #3
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    I stopped reading the Outlander series. The first one was fun enough, then half-way through the second one I lost interest. It was just the same story with the VIN filed off.

    I stopped Sue Grafton's alphabet series, although I was still enjoying it. I like to read in order, and I was missing several letters and my library never seemed to have them around. I've long told myself that one day I will read it, start to finish, in order, although I'll read other things in between. She must be nearing the end now. Anybody know what letter she's up to?

    Maryn, who's probably abandoned other series that didn't come to mind
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  4. #4
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Not counting books that I tried one title of and never pursued...

    I gave up on Dragonriders of Pern after All the Weyrs of Pern, as events in that seemed to betray the very basis of the Pern colony - IIRC, that's about when her son started becoming involved, and maybe when the author's mental issues were starting to catch up with her. (SPOILERS - She killed off Masterharper Robinton in a move she later admitted regretting, and she re-introduced high tech to a colony that was founded specifically to eschew high tech... while setting up the permanent end of Threadfall and thus the impending end of resource-hungry dragons, which were kinda the point of the series.)

    Speaking of McCaffrey, I quit her Brain and Brawn ship universe when the third one adhered to the exact same plot formula as the second and first.

    I quit OSC's Enderverse by the third book of his Ender's Shadow quartet. Too much of the author's politics were tainting the plot and bending the characters into mouthpieces.

    I gave up on Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books after the fourth installment; it worked better as a trilogy, and felt forced. If I were bored and found the next volumes at dirt-cheap prices, though, I might consider picking them up, but the TBR pile's awfully deep...

    I stopped Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence after Book 2. Just not a fan of religious fantasy, especially highly orchestrated battles between Good and Evil.

    Gave up on Margaret Peterson Haddix's dystopianShadow Children sequence; first book was nice and darker than I'd expected, but the second felt too manipulated, so I lost interest in.

    Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages series started with great promise, but Book 2 became too much of an angstfest. Then they threw in deliberately wiping a character's memories to further the angst... gah.

    I tired of Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds Chronicles after the overlong second volume... kinda got tired of Hobb's sprawling Farseer universe as a whole round about then, too.

    James A. Owen's Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica started good, but I tired of it midway through the second; the premise of using real-world people in fantasies is tough to pull off, and the suspension of disbelief became a hard break.

    I tried two books of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective series, but couldn't stay interested; I wanted more of the mysteries, less of the soap opera of people.

    And, in graphic novels, I'm about one volume away from giving up on the Princeless series by James Whitley. Started as a great, fun subversion of tropes, but it's feeling really stretched.
    Last edited by Brightdreamer; 09-29-2017 at 11:42 PM.
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  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Wheel of Time after four books, I just couldn't be bothered to care.

    Pern after Moreta, or Robinton's death. I think. I loved the early series, but then it started getting to contradictory in storyline & history. Dragons teleporting to space stations, yes. No Threadfall means no Dragons if the holders get their way.

    Two series by AW authors I respect too much to name. One lost me by essentially allowing the sexual exploitation of non-sentient beings by a sentient being, framing it as a 'reward'. Ya, no, sorry. The other series lost me when I realized the MC was too goddamn perfect all the time.

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    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    (At least she didn't out me!)
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  7. #7
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    Wheel of Time. So fiddly. And I had the really small font editions, which added to the annoyance. I can't remember giving up any other series

  8. #8
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    I'll stop reading any series where the author seems to run out of ideas and starts recycling conflicts/mistakes from previous books.

    I haven't completely given up on A Song of Ice and Fire, but assuming the next book ever comes out, there's no way I'm paying good money for a hardcover like I did last time. I'll wait for the library to get a copy, and then I'll brace myself for descriptions of banners, clothes, food, turtles and breasts before I start reading.
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  9. #9
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    I stopped reading ASoIaF after the third book. I had more and more trouble keeping track of all the character arcs, especially as more got added with each book. And anyway, what was the point in rushing through the last two published (so far) books when the last one seemed to be stalled indefinitely, and I'd be stuck on a massive cliffhanger for years. Then the TV show came with all its changes to the story, and making it even bloodier and rapier, and I lost track of what was *real* in the story universe anyway.

    I ran out of steam with some of Mercedes Lackey's fantasy series. As much as I long for sequels to books I enjoy (because I love revisiting worlds and characters I've bonded with), after a few books, series often seemed to start repeating or recycling, plots, ideas and themes. This was an issue with these, imo.

    Also, I didn't get any traction with Joe Abercrombie's later books set in the same universe as The Blade Itself. I enjoyed the first trilogy, but I couldn't get as pulled into the later books. I think the unrelenting pessimism about human nature and the lack of anything resembling narrative justice or happy endings and all that finally got to me.

    Also, I ran out of steam in the middle of Maria V Snyder's second poison study series. I can't put my finger on why I stopped reading there. Maybe it was the series of small mistakes, misspellings ("reigns" for "reins" jumped out at me in one case), and editorial inconsistencies I hadn't noticed with the first trilogy (maybe they were there too), or maybe I'm just fatigued with the stretching out a romantic happily ever after for characters and an optimistic direction for a fantasy world into a new series of crises.
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  10. #10
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    Stopped Game of Thrones on the third book, but it was the beginning of the second that I saw the writing plunging downhill. Still got through it, though, and the next, but after that, that was enough.

    I'm leery of series as almost all of the ones I completed went downhill by the last books. I simply think writers only have so much to say on a topic before they grow bored of it and start repeating themselves, and the longer the series goes, the more rushed the production is.
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    A Series of Unfortunate Events--I think I stopped either in the middle or at the end of book 3. The first one was good, the second one was good, and the third one was good, too, but they were too repetitive for me.

    The Hunger Games--so I actually did finish this series, but I nearly gave up on the last book. I happily sped through the first and the second books and loved them, but I felt like all the characters were so cardboard in the third book, and the outcome of the love triangle was so predictable that it was painful to read the same "But whom shall I choose?" paragraphs over and over.
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  12. #12
    Your Pixie Queen Kerosene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post
    I stopped The Wheel of Time after book five, I think. It had become something like homework at that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Wheel of Time after four books, I just couldn't be bothered to care.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curlz View Post
    Wheel of Time. So fiddly. And I had the really small font editions, which added to the annoyance. I can't remember giving up any other series
    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    I stopped reading ASoIaF after the third book. I had more and more trouble keeping track of all the character arcs, especially as more got added with each book. And anyway, what was the point in rushing through the last two published (so far) books when the last one seemed to be stalled indefinitely, and I'd be stuck on a massive cliffhanger for years. Then the TV show came with all its changes to the story, and making it even bloodier and rapier, and I lost track of what was *real* in the story universe anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Denevius View Post
    Stopped Game of Thrones on the third book, but it was the beginning of the second that I saw the writing plunging downhill. Still got through it, though, and the next, but after that, that was enough.


    I've been binge-reading ASoIaF and Wheel of Time as of recent. Maybe my patience has found the better of me and I've learned to invest more interest than I had once before, but these series are those that I had given up on until I revisited them. ASoIaF theories really got me going, and when I started picking at the differences between the books and shows I blazed through the books. The later books get sooooooooooo much better.

    For the Wheel of Time, I'm currently in "the slump" in the middle at book eight. I read books 1-4 years ago, many months or maybe a year apart to pace through it, but when I continued on I found my memory lacking. Now pacing through it I'm really investing myself in the series.

    I think for both of these series, you've got to invest interest and patience into them heavily. For ASoIaF, you've got to get into the characters and political plots and all the interweaving. With the Wheel of Time, you've got to give it time to let it all soak in.

    I'll also add that I've found audiobooks to really help in terms of slugging through some of the iffier parts. Both series have great audiobooks that add extra flair to parts I would have found pretty flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marian Perera View Post
    I haven't completely given up on A Song of Ice and Fire,


    Series are a bit odd for me. I'm not a completionist by any means, but if I like the first book I'll more than likely continue on through them. There are series where I've been iffy on as of late.

    Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch is one of these. I loved, loved, loved the first book. But the second was just... not the same, and the third I was really anticipating and it had some great points that I wanted in the first book, but just fell flat the same as the second. I'm not sure if I want to hit up the fourth in 2018.

    The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks has some of my favorite novels in it, but the fourth newest book really fell flat for me. I might revisit the series and pace through it and see if my opinion of it changes like the previous series have, but I dunno. I'll hit the fifth book in 2018 for sure, but that fourth book...

    Are you starting to see I'm wanting to refresh myself? Some first novels I've given up, like The First Law series and a few others that I didn't engage with years ago I want to revisit now.
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  13. #13
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    Stephen King's Darktower series. I loved the first book, The Gunslinger, but bogged down in the second novel and never got to the third. I probably should give it another go.

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  14. #14
    figuring it all out Jeff Bond's Avatar
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    Like autumnleaf, I quit Stephanie Plum. I think she lost me after four.

    I have read all Richard Ford's Bascombe novels ... but if a fifth comes out, not sure I'll bite.
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    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Also, I didn't get any traction with Joe Abercrombie's later books set in the same universe as The Blade Itself. I enjoyed the first trilogy, but I couldn't get as pulled into the later books. I think the unrelenting pessimism about human nature and the lack of anything resembling narrative justice or happy endings and all that finally got to me.
    What is narrative justice? I've never heard that term before.

  16. #16
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    And anyway, what was the point in rushing through the last two published (so far) books when the last one seemed to be stalled indefinitely, and I'd be stuck on a massive cliffhanger for years.
    Sadly, by the time I finished A Dance with Dragons, I didn't really care about the characters any more, so it didn't matter whether there was a cliffhanger or not. Either they were stuck in a holding pattern, or they were doing something in tedious detail while the narrative rambled on about the scenery. Right now, the only thing I'm curious about is how the Battle of Winterfell will turn out.

    I did read the sample chapters from The Winds of Winter, only to find Arya cast as a rape victim in a play and getting her nipples tweaked by one of the men on her death list. I don't want to read any more of her chapters now.
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  17. #17
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    I had to give up on Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion trilogy.

    As much as I was excited initially by the idea of a female warrior MC, I just couldn't with ol' Paks, try though I might. She never seemed to have any real agency - she just did what was expected of her, in a rather prim and methodical way, while all around her the other warriors were brawling and drinking and having sex.

    Most of books 1 and 2 were about her taking orders and getting the snot beat out of her as a result. I was really struggling by the third book and when I peeked ahead and discovered poor Paks was going to be the victim in an extended rape/torture sequence, I threw in the towel.
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  18. #18
    Be blunt: I appreciate it kevinwaynewilliams's Avatar
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    When the final "Clan of the Cave Bear" book came out, I got 100 pages in and asked myself how I had ever enjoyed that series at all.

    Piers Anthony's "Xanth" series wore out for me in the late eighties, and Harry Turtledove wore out for me a few years ago.
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  19. #19
    In Time-Out For My Sins nelehjr's Avatar
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    Does Anyone Else Kind Of Abandon A Series When One Book Sucks?

    I can't be the only one... Like, sometimes the first book is just AMAZING and then the second book is meh... I also work as a librarian so I recommend books to people a lot. There's one that I ADORED the first book but the second... Meh! So sometimes I just straight up warn patrons... I'm on the fourth book of Throne of Glass. I don't like it as much but I already bought book #5... Haha, anyone have any thoughts?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    Gave up on Margaret Peterson Haddix's dystopianShadow Children sequence; first book was nice and darker than I'd expected, but the second felt too manipulated, so I lost interest in.
    Having read the other books in the series, I have to agree with you. The chief problem with that series is that it wants to be middle-grade and is geared towards a middle-grade audience, but the conflict that defines the series, is just too dark and big to be resolved in the traditional middle-grade way. It leads to an incoherent mess where you have all these pages portraying the dark, bleak world the characters live in, yet at the same time, it follows traditional middle-grade tropes, like having things be resolved by the hero doing a grand heroic gesture in the spotlight. It might have worked as a YA novel, but it would still be a tonal mess.

  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    I read nearly all of Louise Cooper's "Indigo" 8-book series. The eighth book was boring so I never finished it.

    I think what I didn't like was that the MC lost all her feistiness and was falling in love. There may have been an in-story explanation for this that involved demons and possibly the personality change was due to some kind of demonic possession but it made the MC too boring for me to keep reading. I also had a nagging fear at the back of my mind that it was kind of a "grand finale" gone wrong by making the MC turn more "traditionally feminine". (I'm allergic to the idea that women are supposed to be "traditionally feminine" - though I'm totally fine with women (real or fictional) who are like that naturally as opposed to following what "tradition" says women should be like, because we all have different personalities.)

    I probably should go back and read the 8th book to see if she got her personality back in the end, even if she still ended up in love with the same guy (I'm not that vehemently averse to romance). it was a bit of a disappointment as the rest of the series was very gripping.

    ETA: to be fair on Louise Cooper, I really liked the entire Time Master trilogy and would gladly read her other stuff. We all have bad days so a crapppy 8th book isn't enough to stop me reading her other stuff.
    Last edited by neandermagnon; 10-01-2017 at 12:58 PM.
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  22. #22
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    I can't speak to the Throne of Glass books, but I'll generally give a series a pass on one slow book. I'm thinking of a fantasy/paranormal romance series I started where book 1 was GREAT. Amazing world building, compelling characters, interesting villains.

    Book 2 was fine, still enjoyable.

    Book 3 was slow and painful and had that 'I've been signed to a contract longer than I've got plot for so I am dragging this out' feeling.

    Book 4 was awful. I made myself finish it then physically left it in a paperback exchange at a vacation hotel (and felt bad I might be inflicting it on unsuspecting vacationers but maybe if you like to drink heavily before reading in the hot tub it would work and if you dropped it, no loss)

    I will not be ordering or reading book 5.

    If you can slog into book 5 after disliking book 4, you are a more dedicated series reader than I.

  23. #23
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    There's already an active thread on this very topic, right here in the Bookclub: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...topped-reading
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  24. #24
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinwaynewilliams View Post
    When the final "Clan of the Cave Bear" book came out, I got 100 pages in and asked myself how I had ever enjoyed that series at all.
    Aw. You didn't get to the hilarious scene where Ayla drinks too much booze and has public sex with the local drunk until Jondalar drags him off her with a scream of, "He's making my baby!"
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    I'm not one to give up on series, even if they escalate in a way I didn't like. But mainly because I'm not a really big fan of YA novels, I gave up trying to read The mortal instruments series. I saw how overhyped it was, so I had high expectations but I was disappointed by the end of the first book. I didn't feel a connection with the characters and I didn't see anything special about it. It had its positive aspects, but I didn't love it to continue it.

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