Series-ly disappointed (see what I did there?)

There’s nothing worse than expending time, effort and countless emotions reading a series only to be completely let down by the final book. Ok, there’s probably a few worse things in the world, but when you’re knees deep in that final book and it’s making you cry tears of frustration and regret, it’s pretty hard to find some perspective.

I don’t read a whole lot of series, but when I do I love getting lost in a world and knowing that there are books and books to come that will keep me in that world. But I also like to know that it’ll have a satisfying ending or, if not satisfying, at least a fitting ending.

In some ways I think I have higher expectations for series, because the stakes are higher – I’ve invested all this time and I don’t want to feel like that time was wasted. My second expectation is that the books will get better as they go along – the author should be getting more and more familiar with the characters and the world as the books continue, and have a really solid idea of where the story is headed. Which leads me to my current gripe: the Divergent series. I really enjoyed Divergent, but I thought the last two books took a massive turn in quality. At times it felt like Roth had completely lost control of the story and had no idea where to go with it. Like she used all her best material in Divergent, but had promised the publishers a trilogy so she had to punch out two more books with not a whole lot to go on. Also, in the third book, despite the fact that she had spent so much time with Tris and Four and should have known their voices and motivations intimately, there was no discernible differences in the chapters written from each character’s perspectives. I had to keep turning the pages back to check whose chapter I was in.

I was also really let down by the third book in Frank Moorhouse’s Edith trilogy – in this case I felt like Moorhouse was bored of Edith in the first two books and took her character to ridiculous heights of craziness in the third. This was particularly galling because all three books were massive – so much time wasted that could have been spent reading one of the millions on my TBR pile.

So, you can understand why I’m hesitant to continue reading the Obernewtyn series – there’s 7 freaking books in the series, what if the final one is a shocker? Way too much of a gamble.

Have you been disappointed in a series ending? Fill me in, so I know what to avoid.

4 replies »

  1. Bahahaha. Love the title. I haven’t been disappointed by the ending to too many series, which is a good thing. I was disappointed by Allegiant though. I would have thrown the book across the room, but it was on my Kindle. Haha


  2. Great post! I’ll never cease to be amazed by a book bloggers’ knack for wordplay and puns. I think it’s something we as a community corner the market on.

    I’m not sure if I’ve been disappointed by a series. Certainly, I loved Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and I liked Harry Potter as a child, but I never actually read the last book.

    Currently, I’m reading Jeff Vandermeer’s “Southern Reach Trilogy,” and while I’ve yet to begin the second book, the first one was fantastic, so I’m expecting good things.

    I read the first Divergent book for a course in YA lit, but I wasn’t so keen on it. Roth’s story is interesting, but I feel like it’s far from perfect, and if it only gets worse in the later books…well… The funny thing is that I have a friend who started reading and actually said the second book is better. Ah..differences of opinion.

    Really, though, I’m always afraid to commit too much time to a series, so I rarely move beyond a trilogy in length.


    • Thanks!

      I really want to read the Southern Reach Trilogy, so I’ll be interested to see how it goes for you. I’ve heard lots of good things about it.

      Yep, I agree about Divergent – I thought the concept was interesting, but she maybe wasn’t a good enough story teller to really capitalise on her great idea. Bit of a shame.


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