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Topic: Which series do you have to read in order and which don't you?

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Subject: Which series do you have to read in order and which don't you?
Date Posted: 11/9/2008 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2006
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I'm fairly new to the paranormal genre so I'm accumulating books in a kind of haphazard way.  I seem to recall someone saying once that the Argeneau Vampire series doesn't necessarily need to be read in order but reading #1 first is recommended.  I was told that the Twilight Series ABSOLUTELY HAD TO BE read in order, which I did - and they were right.  I read one of the Sookie Stackhouse books out of order and am going to re-read it in order because I think I missed a lot the first time. 

So, what other series can you read out of order?  Can anyone think of any that absolutely have to be read in order?  I'm specifically wondering about the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.  I've read #1 & #2 but I'm missing some of the books around the middle.  Also wondering about the other LKH series (Meredith Gentry?) and some others that I can think of right now:)  So any suggestions???

Date Posted: 11/9/2008 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Carrie Vaughn's Kitty books HAVE TO BE in order.

LKH's Merry and Anita probably should be.

Robin Owens's Heart books don't have to be.

Christine Feehan's Dark don't have to be.

Charlaine Harris's Grave series has to be in order.  Sookie should be also.

One of the questions to ask, is the series about one person (who would hopefully grow) or is each book about a new character with over lap within that world.  That usually decides it for me.  But it always helps to read #1 of any series first.  Get the framework of the world.



Last Edited on: 11/10/08 12:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2008 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
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I think that all series should be read in order...why would there be a series otherwise?    They would be stand alone books!

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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for a lot of romance series, each book is about a new couple.  those can often be read in whatever order.

if a series stays with the same main character, i would read it in order.

specifically for either of the LKH series, yes, definitely read them in order.

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
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Being how I am .... I read everything in order. And I've found that it seems to be more enjoyable that way. But I have a friend that very rarely reads things in order and she's just as happy as I am. lol So I think it just depends on the person.

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2006
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Sweet - thanks everyone!

Date Posted: 11/10/2008 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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Read in order!  It's a series! 

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 6:46 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
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Depends on the person for some series.  I prefer to read in order as much as I can, sometimes there are small nuances about the secondary character you remember in their next book, though not so important if read out of order.  That applies for me mostly to historical/regency series, where the next book is about some secondary character that appears in the previous.  Those that have a mystery underlying plot I'd read in order.  Kimberly Logan had a series with a plot, villain not revealed until third book in trilogy.

But in the paranormals and urban fantasy, besides usually following the main character who may grow emotionally from book to book, often there is an underlying plot, and you may miss what is really going on if you don't read in order.

For instance, a few I'm reading:

Nalini Singh's Psy series has a very good plot carrying through the books,  great worldbuilding, read in order.

C. L. Wilson's Fading Lands series, definitely have to read in order, both the characters and plot develop from book to book, in fact better for most to read the first two together, and then the third and fourth upcoming, though I couldn't wait and read the third right away.

Jeaniene Frost - Developing relationship between Cat and Bones, and plot, read in order.

Karen Marie Moning's Dark series, the plot and mysterious antihero, read in order.

Robin Owens' Heart series - There are small nuances about some characters who appear in later books and the world, but won't make a difference to most if read out of order.

Jean Johnson's series, lighter, no complicated plot, could be read out of order.

Lynsay Sands' Argeneau series could be read out of order - in fact, I believe the first few weren't published in the order written.

Lynn Kurland's medieval/time travel series, could be read out of order, as she doesn't follow any particular timeline as she writes them.

I do agree that it depends on the person, some are satisfied with the romance HEA and don't care about any underlying, not overly complicated plot as in some of the historicals, but I think you miss out if you don't follow along in those urban fantasy and paranormal series with more going than just a romance.

 

 

 

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/11/2008 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I am an extreme stickler for reading things the order they were written.  Even if it's not absolutely necessary, you could be missing helpful information.  I have mentioned it in other posts, but I hold a grudge against the compilers of Octavia Butler's Patternist omnibus Seed to Harvest.  Besides inexplicably leaving out one of the five books, they arranged the other four in strict chronological order, so I read her first book last.  And it wasn't until I read the last book I realized the purpose of the 'prequels' was to explain things you were already supposed to know from her original book.  The books were enjoyable out of order, but there were definitely pieces missing. 

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Oh I hate that.  When there is a big series and the series itself is out of time order..  Do you read in publishing order or time order?  Catherine Asaro's Skolian series is like that.  (Space, not paranormal)  And has this huge time line AT THE BACK.  Octavia Bulter deserves at least a prologue telling both the time order and the publishing order.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/11/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I am convinced publishing order is the way to go, always.

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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I mean they are written as series for a reason.  I don't get why people would think to start on book 5.  It's like trying to start watching Lost in the middle of season 3.  While you might enjoy it and get it on some level...you are missing things! 

Date Posted: 11/11/2008 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Yea, but if the series is wait listed, are you going to wait until you get them all?  Request one at a time?  And some times the early numbers in a series have less books out there, making really long wait lists.  Sometimes it matters greatly, sometimes you just lose a little.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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Yup!  I most certainly do.  Nor do I ever wait to get an entire series before starting...what if I don't like it!  If I must I'll buy the book on half.com or amazon.  And I always check the library for series as well.  But I have never read a series out of order.  Nor would I advise anyone else to do so.  I think the whole notion of a series indicates it should be read in order.  I go back to my Lost anology...would you watch episode 5, then 2 then 10?  I wouldn't.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I'm definitely with Marie.  There is enough stuff to read out there and I'll wait if necessary to read in order...it depends how much I like the series.  I liked the first Dresden Files book so much I bought the entire series (from Zooba) rather than wait.  I am liking the first book of the Anita Blake series, but it's not a keeper.  I'll just request the books one at a time.

I haven't seen it with paranormals, but a few series frustrate my plans...specifically the career-spanning worlds of three in particular: Andre Norton (Witch World) Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover) and Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar).  All three series are very long, and sometimes the books are really only linked by being sert in the same universe.  These I don't necessarily have a problem reading out of order, but Id still check to see if it's part of a 'series within a series' to read that in order, at least. 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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But the original question was which does it matter with?  Which are only in the same world?  Sort of like comparing Lost to CSI.  Sometimes the order is necesassary, sometimes not so much.  This is also a question of which paranormals follow romance formulas and which don't.  And I have the impression from Matt and Marie's posts that you both read more of the urban fanatsy paranormals (which usually need to be in order) and less of the romance paranormals like Christine Feehan.  I read both.

I admit, in an ideal world, all series would be read in order.  But wait lists and limited credits are not part of an ideal world.  I do try to read series in order and often go buy the early or middle book to do so. 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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Emily I do read paranormals but prefer Urban Fansasty.  For example I've read Gena Showalter Lords of the Underworld and while you could still probably follow the book if you did not read in order you are still missing stuff.  I would never, ever read any genre that is a series out of order.  Ever.  It's a series for a reason! 

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
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I'm with you Marie!  I read Paranormals, UF, and romance, and I still read ALL series in order.  Even series like Lynsay Sands Argeneau series, which most people say don't have to be read in order.  You miss the original time that you meet the characters, and most of the time past characters get mentioned in the later books as well.

I would much rather wait awhile on the earlier books then read them out of order!