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Topic: When is it time to abandon a series?

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Subject: When is it time to abandon a series?
Date Posted: 1/25/2010 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2009
Posts: 174
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Recently I abandoned Killing Bridzilla by Laura Levine. After reading the first few chapters I realized I just didn't care---about the main character, about her silly parents, about the sterotypical gay neighbor, or Prozac, the cat from hell! Skimmed the final chapter and sent it on its way to someone who will hopefully enjoy it more than me.

I read Patricia Cornwell until Black Notice. Suddenly it was just too dark, too depressing--and the characters were beginning to get annoying.  I abandoned the Jack Daniels series by J.A. Konrath because it was just too scary for someone who does most of her reading late at night. (grin)

I abandoned Lori Avocato's books, which I felt were just bad Stephanie Plum clones--I swear it was all the same characters with different names, but not nearly as funny. I would abandon Stephanie Plum--the back and forth between Joe and Ranger is getting annoying, but I love Grandma and Lula.  I laugh aloud a lot when I'm reading one of her books.

What series did you abandon?

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I gave up on the Agatha Raisin series after about six books. Whine, angry, whine, angry, whine, angry....blah, blah, blah.  I couldn't take it any more!

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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Let's see....  The Stone Barrington books by Stuart Woods.  I thought Dark Harbor was terrible and just posted the other books that I had.  The Jesse Stone books by Robert B Parker.  Just lost interest after 5 or 6.  I read the first three Meg Langslow books by Donna Andrews, but probably won't continue.  I didn't think the Jack Daniels series was scary, but just didn't like them enough to go past #2.  A few others.  I have been known to stick with an author way past when I should abandon them.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 1/25/2010 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,951
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For the answer of when to abandon a series - When it starts to get boring to you and skim the pages. I find many series after the first few just aren't that good they seem to run out of ideas. I loved the first 5 of so of janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series but they are getting boring now.  I like Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse but I don't the new books are as good as the first few.


Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I like the Sookie books, too, but the last few have been really, really poorly constructed.

I got pretty bored with Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series after 3 books.  I find that if I resent spending a credit on it, it'e likely time to say goodbye. 

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 5:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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I'm kind of giving up on both of Tamar Myers' series,  the Den of Antiquity and the Magdalena Yoder mysteries. I find myself not caring if I finish the book or not.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,005
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I think this is why the publishing companies are putting a stop on some of the authors's series. They must be seeing a lack of interest and purchasing of their latest books. The latest author that I have heard that happening to is John J. Lamb with his Bear Collector's Mystery series.

Last Edited on: 1/26/10 7:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/26/2010 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I give up when it feels like an obligation to read the next series book rather than an enjoyment. Sometimes this happens after only a couple of books. Other times it happens after reading many n a series, 10 or more. Occasionally it will be just that I don't like the turn the series takes--ie, becomes more focused on a romance or a love triangle than the mystery, for example.

Series I've given up on....Stephanie Plum (after 71/2 books) Agatha Raisin (after 13), Sookie Stackhouse (after four), Caroline Roe's "Isaac of Girona" historical series (after five or six), Patricia Cornwell (after five or six) James Patterson (gave up on those so long ago can't remember how many), many others.


Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,994
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Like Anne, I gave up on Tamar Myers. I finished the first book in the Den of Antiquity series and couldn't stand to read anymore. I don't even think I finished the first Magdalene Yoder series.  I felt the author was pretty much poking fun at the Amish and that kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  The other series I can think of that I abandoned was Lou Jane Temple's Heaven Lee's culinary books. Didn't get through two chapters in number  one. Unfortunately I had ordered all the books in the series!  I was however, able to pass them on to other members. I learned my lesson with that one - read at least one book in a series before you order more! 

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I came close to abandoning Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series, but the last few have picked up have been better.  I don't think I've really given up on a series, but I'm sure that there are several that I've read one or two and felt that they just weren't for me.

Now, having said that, I'm pretty sure that I'll give up on the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I have not enjoyed the last 2 or 3 at all.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,522
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Abandoned Patricia Cornwall after three when I figured out that every single one of her males was portrayed as some sort of pervert. Abandoned Patterson when I figured out the formula to all the books. Still reading Lynley/Havers with enjoyment. Fully developed characters and the absence of stereotypes puts her way ahead of the other Brits and nearly all the Americans, in my critical judgment.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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I like Cheryl's answer to when to give up.  I think that means I have several that I still need to abandon.  I have one book left in one series that I never felt was well written, but I liked the lead character enough that I stuck with it.  I don't know if loose ends were wrapped up in the last book so I am going to use it as my bonus in the challenge and finish up the series.  I think sometimes that I get caught up in a character and even though I no longer particularly enjoy the books, I feel an obligation to find out what is happening with the characters.  Crazy, I know................

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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I have given up on series books where each one starts to sound like a re-run of the last one.


Examples: Jacqueline Winspear's Masie Dobbs

Elizabeth Peters' Peabody series


Date Posted: 1/26/2010 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I gave up Sookie after 3 books and those 3 were a challenge to read.  I am pretty sure I was speed reading through them all.  

I have somewhat abandonded the Patricia Cornwell series and the Stuard Woods series because I forgot where I left off.  Not sure why my hiatus was so long that I couldn't recall the last one I read.  I wouldn't mind trying these two again. 

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I often plod along out of habit. Evanovich I keep reading because they are far apart enough and because they still do make me laugh, and there is always a time that comes in handy. I'm reading Myer's Penn Dutch series, for much the same reasons - a chuckle now and then and a quick read. If there is some humor, I'm likely to read longer. I gave up on Cornwell for awhile, but am going to give Scarpetta a try. Sometimes giving up is not even a really conscious decision, they just get pushed further and further down the TBR list and then eventually I decide that I probably don't care enough to read it at all. Sometimes, I go to post something that that's happened to, and while perusing it, I decide to give it another chance...  

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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I have given up on Joanne Fluke and am considering abandoning both Janet Evanovich and Denise Swanson.

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 1/26/2010 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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I gave up on the Magdelena Yoder series after the first one - just couldn't get interested in that series.  I agree with a lot you regarding the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I really liked those at first, but the last couple (and I'm up to date) just seemed to be missing something that the earlier books had.  I just read the first 3 in the scrapbook series by Laura Child but got tired of the main character and her dilemma of whether or not to take her self-absorbed, childish, selfish husband back.  I've read the Queen Betsy series by Mary Janice Davidson and again, the last couple were fairly short (same old same old) and I pretty much skimmed through them.  But I think the one series I was the most disappointed in is the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton.  I loved the first 8-9 books and then they started getting really bizarre and every other page was wild sex with anything that moved.  The entire plot line had changed from those first books.


Date Posted: 1/27/2010 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2008
Posts: 48
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I have only given up on two series.  I did not make it past the first Maddy Hunter Passport to Peril book.  I just did not find it at all funny.  I also stopped after the 4th Joanne Fluke book.  I just could not tolerate Hannah and her perfect world any longer.  I have managed to stick with all my other series even Patterson, Cornwell, and Evanovich. After I get to a certain point in a series, I just can't seem to let it go.  I feel that I have invested a lot of time in it and I just have to see it through I guess.  Some series, like Sookie Stackhouse and Stephanie Plum, seem like old friends and I just have to check in and see what is going on.

Date Posted: 1/27/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2009
Posts: 35
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I've given up on some of the series already mentioned (Janet Evanovich, Laura Levine, Tamar Myers) because I just don't find them funny anymore.   Other problems, with the Evanovich I just kept wondering how on earth Stephanie could afford car insurance, and Myers' Magdalene Yoder series lost me when it turned out that after something like fifteen books it turned out that Magdalene was actually drop dead gorgeous, not the plain jane we'd been led to believe all along.  Why too "oh please, how stupid do they think readers are" for me.

One series that hasn't been mentioned is Ann Purser's Lois Meade series.  I think it was the Secrets on Saturday book that ended it for me.  There was way too much depiction of violence against animals for my liking.  I know these things go on in the real world, but I don't want to read about them in what is supposed to be a nice little cozy mystery.  I have a couple of the later books sitting around, but I don't know if I'll read them.

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Uh-oh, I have many of these books on my TBR pile.  HOwever, I rarely feel the need to collect an entire series before beginning to read.  I do try to get at least one toward the beginning of the series, just to have some foundation for the characters and the settings, etc.  I try real hard to start with the first, but if I then go to the 4th or 7th, etc, especially if there's like 20-something in the series, I don't worry. 

So, I have a handful of Myer's Antiquity and Amish books.  Hope I can get into them.  I also have the entire (got a deal) series of Lois Meade's.  I also have the first, uh, 4 of the Passport to Peril series - all mentioned here.  Uh-oh. 

I gave up on Kimberly's Ghost and Mrs. McClure series.  I just read the first one, and I think I may have started the second.  The main character's total lack of parenting skills annoyed me so much that I couldn't get past such a huge character flaw.  If she's smart enough to solve a mystery she should be smart enough to parent a little better.

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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So, I have a handful of Myer's Antiquity and Amish books.  Hope I can get into them.

I liked the earlier books, its only the newest ones that I cant get into.

I also have the first, uh, 4 of the Passport to Peril series - all mentioned here.  Uh-oh.

So far I've really enjoyed all the Passport to Peril books.To each his own, I guess. If anyone is looking for a new series to start I can recommend all three of Hannah Dennison's Vicky Hill books.

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Thank you, that makes me feel better.  :)

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 6:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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I like Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse but I don't the new books are as good as the first few.

That's because she has completely changed Sookie! Although in the earlier books Sookie was never portrayed as educated and urbane she was mostly described as a tall slim blonde, attractive and intelligent, somewhat reserved and very loyal to her family. In the latest book of hers (which was written after the television series filmed) Sookie somehow became a dumb, gap-toothed, short, squat little yokel.

I think Charlaine Harris decided Anna Paquins version of Sookie was better than the original. Read the first book and then the last and you will see what I mean.

Date Posted: 2/6/2010 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 325
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Cynthia Baxter's Reigning Cats and Dogs series. 

I'm about to toss the Hannah Swenson series, I won't spoil the latest book by saying why.

Date Posted: 2/7/2010 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 2/19/10 6:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1