Sunday, February 5, 2012

The End? Seriously?

My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas, which was much nicer than last year’s present. I won’t rat him out on what I scored last year, however let’s just say I did not shake, shake, shake myself into great arms and shoulders.

Anyway, love my new gadget. The trouble is I’m downloading a mess of sample chapters and not a lot of books. I’m just simply not impressed. Perhaps it is my impatient mind, or my whining children. I don’t know. I just feel like there isn’t a lot of great, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs books out there.

I just finished a self-published dystopian. It actually started pretty good and I willingly purchased the book. The author kept my attention, however the book could’ve been so much better.

Repeater words, thick narrative saying essentially the same thing, bare minimum character development, and just enough to get by world building.

The worst, and deal breaker for me, was the ending. The book simply cut off after a major turning point in the story with a lackluster lead to the next book. The End. Please purchase my next book. 

Thanks for the sample chapter, Ms. Author, but I’ll pass.

I don’t like ploys. Hate ellipses that try to infuse drama. And I won’t spend another $3.99 for your second book because chances are you won’t know how to end the next one.

I love series books. BUT the first book needs to have some sort of resolution—a pay off of sorts. The threat can remain, but I need it to come full circle somehow or I have no desire to read on.
Hunger Games is hugely popular, so I will reference this. The first book’s ending alluded to more to come, however the initial threat was satisfied. Katniss and Peeta lived. They won the games and outsmarted the government. It was a moment to breathe, yet our minds couldn’t help but wonder what else was on the horizon for them. We knew they were in for it. And because I read the book right after it came out I had to wait another year before Catching Fire came out. I had time to think about it, let it stew, yet not feel jipped.

What do you think about the ending of a series (first book in particular)? Do you need resolution of sorts, or if the second book is out is that okay? 


Jeff Clough said...

I couldn't agree more! I haven't run into many books like you describe, but the ones I have were beyond irritating. A novel needs a beginning, middle and end. That it's part of a series doesn't absolve the author of telling a story through to completion. "Thanks for the sample chapter," sums my thinking up nicely. It's a commercial, not a book.

Diana said...

I think this comes into play with more self pubbed books, not because the book is bad because they don't have an experienced person guiding them. A friend of mine was working with her agent who insisted she fix her ending, which I thought was pretty good. But she said it didn't come full circle enough. I totally get what she was saying after I read the rewrite. Thanks for commenting.

J.L. Campbell said...

As long as the book is good enough to hold my interest, I'll spring for the next in the series. The ending shouldn't disappoint though.

Hex Hall comes readily to mind as a nice read. Luckily, I got the follow up novel in the same package, so I didn't have to wait to read the next book. The one you mentioned sounds like hard slogging. Had a similar experience recently, but I couldn't finish the book.

Susan Kane said...

I hate book bait. Either the book can stand on its own, or it can't. The first book has to be self-sufficient, well written enough to leave the reader panting for more. Those book commercials--poor idea.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I prefer books that stand alone and have a resolution at the end, but I don't mind a series like Twilight or Harry Potter where you know there is more to come that might be worth the wait.

LTM said...

SO much good stuff here. Ellipses instead of tension for one. Bad endings for another. I'm a huge fan of series books that can stand on their own. In fact, I would say, write a book as if it's not a series. And then if it happens, yay! :o) <3