We here at Stellar Four don't always finish what we start. Earlier this year, Megan 'fessed up to bailing on my beloved Harry Dresden. And I, too, have stopped reading long-running series when the sequels kept diminishing in quality and there was no end in sight. (In other words, see ya, Sookie Stackhouse. Stop calling, Sandman Slim. It's not me, it's you, Anita Blake.)
|This is a very good trilogy. The ones I'm about to discuss are not.|
Yeah, that's what I always thought, too. Yet a number of trilogy enders are being published this year, and I just don't care enough to read the final installments. Let's run down why.
The first reason is disappointing reviews for book 3. I quite liked Veronica Roth's first two books in the Divergent series, but I couldn't ignore the shockingly low star rating on Amazon. Then, in reading a few of the reviews, I stumbled across enough spoilers that I concluded that I could happily live without experiencing the actual resolution of Tris' story. It wasn't the specific SPOILER that turned me away — although that was a huge turnoff, I'll admit — but it was the repeated complaints about the shoddy writing, the uninspired shifts in narration, and the generally confused storytelling that convinced me to stay away. (I'm even less enthused about the movie series now that I know how the story will end. Wonder if anyone else stayed away for that reason?)
The second reason is lack of enthusiasm for the trilogy as a whole. I forced myself to power through the first two books in Glen Duncan's Last Werewolf series, neither of which I really enjoyed but which had occasional bursts of wickedly clever writing and enough brutal action scenes to keep me interested. I hated all of the characters, but I plodded through. However, the thought of picking up book 3 and spending more time with all of those horrible people? I couldn't do it, you guys. I just couldn't.
The third reason is that morbid curiosity isn't enough, and life is too short. So hey, the final book in Deborah Harkness's Discovery of Witches series comes out in July. Guess what I won't be reading! I slogged through Harkness's terribly overhyped, terribly boring first book. Her second one was better, but it wasn't good by any stretch. (So why did I even bother reading her second one in the first place? SPOILER for a three-year old book: Book 1 ends with our heroes traveling back in time, and I will read pretty much anything with time travel.) This bafflingly acclaimed series never captured my imagination or sparked any real passion in me, but I kept reading it to try to understand why reputable literary critics were losing their minds over it. The prospect of book 3, which is already No. 1 on the Amazon occult fiction list (ugh, why?), leaves me cold. Worse, these books are long, which makes skipping the last one even easier. I can find better uses of almost 600 pages' worth of time.
Please note that I'm not a serial trilogy non-finisher. I'm already bouncing in my chair in anticipation of the final books in Lev Grossman's Magicians series and Laini Tayler's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Whether I read the third book in Justin Cronin's Passage series will heavily depend on the reviews and whether the third book recaptures the heart-pounding sweep of the first. Oh, and I would punch your grandmother in the face if it meant I could get my hands on Patrick Rothfuss' yet-to-be-completed final book in the Kingkiller Chronicles sometime soon. (OK, I wouldn't do that; your grandma's a nice lady.)
So have you had a trilogy you bailed on in the final act? Or do you force yourself to finish book 3, no matter what?