Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Book Discussion & Recommendation > Ruining a Good Book with a Series

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message 1: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathenwood) | 8 comments Have you ever read the first book in the series and absolutely loved it, only to reach for the second one and wonder how the author managed to make a sequel that was so terrible? Maybe you were kind, maybe you tried for the third book in the series, hoping that maybe it made up for a poor second. Were you left horribly disappointed? Perhaps it sneaked up on you; you were reading book five in a series and as you start into book six--WHAM that thing slaps you in the face and leaves you breathless with disappointment.

Really, my question is this: has this ever happened to you, and how did you get over it? I finished the vaginal historical fiction (that's how I'd classify it, anyway) book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and I loved it. It was great. Then I started on the second book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. I'm on page 127 of 866 but I just don't like this one as much. How does everyone else deal with this disappointment?


message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan | 25 comments Wheel of Time. by Robert Jordan. Mostly. So sad. Loved the first, second and third books. hate the rest.


message 3: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (ankhet) I did that with the Outlander series around book 4(ish), and with Anita Blake after about the same spot (though for different reasons).

Outlander was just TOO wordy. COME ON, tell the f'in story already! Anita Blake just became this supernatural sausage and angst fest. (Honestly, okay fine with the sausage fest.. but it was done HORRIBLY and the title character transformed from this kick ass vampire hunter into someone who continually whined about "oh I'm not that TYPE of GIRL! Oh, time for my hourly banging session. I'M NOT THAT TYPE OF GIRL!" Really? Just admit it, Anita, you are. Stop slut-shaming, and then go have GOOD sex.)


message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithatc) Wheel of Time -- loved books 1-3, liked part of book four, did not like book five, and wanted to punch book six in the face. After that, I decided I wasn't the series' sucker, so I stopped reading.

Books 4 and 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire are skirting awful close to the precipice as well. I get it, Martin; People ate food and wore things. Can we please move on?


message 5: by Viktoria (new)

Viktoria | 34 comments That's how I felt about the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I read the first one and totally loved it... so I went out and orded EVERY SINGLE one so I could just go through each book without waiting for the next one (I love having the physical book). But then I got to like the 5th or 6th one and started losing it. I felt like is was the same thing over and over again. I still have all the books on my bookshelf and everytime I look at my bookself I feel disappointed. I would just try and forget about the books you don't like and remember what you liked about the others.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 111 comments Yeah, I felt that way with The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset. I just couldn't stand the 3rd book in the series while I really, really enjoyed the first two books.


message 7: by Anna Neal (new)

Anna Neal | 66 comments I'm experiencing the opposite effect with the Green Rider Series right now. I was going to put down the series at the first book, but someone convinced me to read the second and its great so far.


message 8: by Karo (new)

Karo | 38 comments Yeah, it can definitely go both ways. I agree that the second two Hunger Games books did not live up to the first (I need to reread it before the movie come out!), but there are other series that get better -- to me, the five books in the Fever series fall into that category.


message 9: by Leesa (new)

Leesa (leesalogic) Not VF-specific, but I gave up on the Scarpetta books after the 90s/early 2000's or so. Between feeling like Cornwell was phoning it in and wanting to kick Scarpetta for being such a downer all the time, I just couldn't take it.

I mostly gave up on my historical fiction/contemporary romance faves, Catherine Coulter, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, etc. I think those are mostly due to my changing tastes and not the quality of writing/story like as has been happening in the Scarpetta books. I like HOT scenes, romance, even erotica. I just want it contemporary or urban fantasy these days.


message 10: by Virginia (new)

Virginia I felt this way about the Parasol Protectorate series. I LOVED Soulless, but was completely turned off by Changeless, and sort of eh about book 3, I have not yet been able to make myself read books 4 and 5.

I felt like most of the fun in the first book was the banter and unrequited love, and when they (spoiler!) got together it just killed it for me.


message 11: by Zetabodhi (new)

Zetabodhi | 8 comments I agree whole heartedly about the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I loved the first few books: Anita was a strong, independent, bad-ass heroine. The plots were interesting and the romantic tension/interest between Anita and the various characters kept me engaged. I also found the exploration of the pack dynamics of the various Were-groups intriguing. But, as the series went on, I felt like the author got lazy and started using the nearly constant sex Anita was having as a crutch. I have no problem with the sex per se, but I do have a problem with using it as a filler to pad a lackluster, boring plot. It seemed like the author started coasting on the reputation built by the earlier books.


message 12: by Necrophidian (new)

Necrophidian | 74 comments For me, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles jumped the shark after Queen of the Damned.

And while I'm still greatly enjoying Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, I found Dance of Dragons to be comparatively weak. Enough so that it's made me a tad concerned about where it's all going from here.

Counter question: what series have you found to be remarkably consistent throughout?


✿◕‿◕✿Pao (orbyknorby) | 12 comments hands down for me Sookie stackhouse series..after 7th book in the series it has been a steady downhill in content. The last two books were total waste of trees imho lol... I'm not even gonna bother with the next book coming out in may..... now on the other hand you have books where the first books were meh but the subsequent books were amazing and made putting up with the first book totally worth it.. Fever series comes to mind and Kate Daniel Series.


message 14: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 493 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "Really, my question is this: has this ever happened to you, and how did you get over it? I finished the vaginal historical fiction (that's how I'd classify it, anyway) book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and I loved it. It was great. Then I started on the second book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. I'm on page 127 of 866 but I just don't like this one as much. How does everyone else deal with this disappointment?"

I haven't given up on the Outlander series yet, but I did have similar feelings during the second book. It's definitely a slow start but it picks up near the end, and I hear that Voyager is better than Dragonfly in Amber, so I'm keeping it on my to-read list... for now.


message 15: by Brandi (new)

Brandi (biddywink) | 112 comments Amber wrote: "Ender's Game. One book should have been it. Period."

I emphatically agree, Amber.


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (thebookishginger) | 25 comments Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert Or so my husband says. I can't really think of anything right off that I haven't enjoyed the series.


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Stubbs | 15 comments I call it the book series burnout where what you loved in the first book becomes like in the second and third to ok to start looking at the book flaws more and more that then becomes an active dislike. The Sword of Truth series springs to mind as an example of that to me. There are book series where I'm perfectly comfortable with the more of the same but not something containing a romance.


message 18: by Necrophidian (new)

Necrophidian | 74 comments Jennifer wrote: "Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert Or so my husband says. I can't really think of anything right off that I haven't enjoyed the series."

I could've lived without Chapterhouse. Heretics left me a bit cold.


message 19: by Zetabodhi (new)

Zetabodhi | 8 comments Kate wrote> Really my question is this: has this ever happened to you and how do you get over it?>
If there's a series with which I've become a little "blah," but for which I still have hope, I typically read through the next novel quickly to get the gist, skimming over the bad parts. This is especially true if I'm reading an established series with several books already published. I'm fortunate in that I'm a quick reader with a great library system nearby, so it's usually not much of a risk. I usually give up if I've renewed the book the maximum number of times without finishing it! :-)


message 20: by David (new)

David (david_tames) | 13 comments Amber wrote: "Ender's Game. One book should have been it. Period."

Except for Ender's Shadow. That was great. And then Speaker for the Dead is nearly a stand alone, anyway, so that doesn't really count, I don't think--though that one was amazing in a very grown up kind of way. But the other's? Yes. They don't do Ender's Game justice.


message 21: by Lenore (new)

Lenore Kosinski (lenoreo) It's like how some sitcoms in the UK (original Office for example) had a set number of seasons in the beginning...I almost prefer books where the author has mapped out how long the series is going to be right at the start, b/c then you know there is a reason and a story to tell, not just trying to capitalize on success (and often failing miserably)... Course, that wasn't an example, but a generalization. You're welcome. So perhaps I just prefer series that are finite....hmmm....


message 22: by Wayne (new)

Wayne Owens (waynependragonowens) | 3 comments DJ Enigma wrote: "For me, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles jumped the shark after Queen of the Damned."

I agree. It lost the plot With Memnoch the Devil and never fully recovered.


message 23: by Jill (new)

Jill Anne Rice Vampire Chrons was probably the first for me - struggled to the end of Queen of the Damned and gave up very quickly on Memnoch. Also suffered this with the Steig Larsson books (though I did read all three, the first one is by far the best) and am struggling with Wheel of Time series right now. Then there are other books I would love follow ups for that I don't think will ever happen like the Metatropolis collections.


message 24: by Sofie (new)

Sofie (duskbloom) I felt like this with Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I completely adored the first book and when the second came out I got it immediately. It was not even close to being as enjoyable as the first book, so I haven't even bothered getting the rest of the series.


message 25: by Wayne (new)

Wayne Owens (waynependragonowens) | 3 comments Jill wrote: "Anne Rice Vampire Chrons was probably the first for me - struggled to the end of Queen of the Damned and gave up very quickly on Memnoch. Also suffered this with the Steig Larsson books (though I d..."

I started reading the wheel of time series for the first time the start of the year. I shot through the first few and really enjoyed them. Till I hit (Lord of Chaos) book6? I'm having trouble finishing this one, its just so slow, and seems to be going no where.

I'm going to force myself to finish it, because I've been told the books pick up again soon.


message 26: by Kara (new)

Kara | 5 comments Orlyn wrote: "Amber wrote: "Ender's Game. One book should have been it. Period."

Except for Ender's Shadow. That was great. And then Speaker for the Dead is nearly a stand alone, anyway, so that..."


Agreed!


Keith wrote: "Wheel of Time -- loved books 1-3, liked part of book four, did not like book five, and wanted to punch book six in the face. After that, I decided I wasn't the series' sucker, so I stopped reading...."

Really? Books 5 and 6 were my favorite! THEN it started to go downhill for me.


message 27: by SheNundi (last edited Mar 10, 2012 12:09AM) (new)

SheNundi (imaginationmuse) | 3 comments The vast majority of books that I read are series book. I like the fact that the story continues and builds into this epic adventure of characters, plot lines, and it gives you time to really know the character. But I can say there have been those few where you start it and it has so much promise that you buy the other books and they let you down that happened with me and The House of Comarre series by Kristin Painter. I loved the 1st then the second started to wain and then by the third I had completely lost interest. Too bad I bought it in an ebook format. I would have got a refund, but that happens when you have so much hope in series.

The authors that have stayed strong for me are Kelley Armstrong and her Women of the Otherworld series, Patricia Briggs with her Mercy Thompson books, Karen Chance with the Cassandra Palmer books, and Jeaniene Frost and the Night Huntress series. They are my top faves in my book collection.

I always feel like I have to go for the series books because I am never really satisfied with the standalone's because I always want to know what happened next unless they rap it up really nicely.


message 28: by JasonH (new)

JasonH | 1 comments The Dresden Files. Almost put it down while reading the second. It just felt to cookie cutter for me. Not sure what it was, but I literally had to force myself to keep reading. It helped that my wife urged it. Glad i did cause the series got better.


message 29: by Michele (new)

Michele (nerdmichele) | 74 comments JasonH wrote: "The Dresden Files. Almost put it down while reading the second. It just felt to cookie cutter for me."

I've stopped at #3. I mean to go back, but still working up the nerve. With each book I can't help but open it and wonder, "So how's he going to get his ass kicked this time? *cringe*" He's already at almost Vash the Stampede (Trigun) levels of martyrdom. Having the last couple of books in the series spoiled accidentally hasn't help my motivation. :F

I wished they'd continued the TV series though, that had some good eps.


message 30: by Michele (new)

Michele (nerdmichele) | 74 comments Virginia wrote: "I felt this way about the Parasol Protectorate series. I LOVED Soulless, but was completely turned off by Changeless, and sort of eh about book 3, I have not yet been..."

I loved 1-3, was eh about 4, and started but put aside 5 for other, more interesting books. Alexia is trite now, whereas before I adored her. Now I'd rather read about Biffy or Madame Lefoux.


message 31: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Benzin | 20 comments I definitely agree about the Sookie Stackhouse series. The last three haven't been all that good. For some reason though I haven't given up hope and keep reading them. I keep thinking "maybe this one will be amazing".


message 32: by Dana (new)

Dana (rhysiana) | 2 comments Mistborn. Loved the first one, but the second one was such a slog, I gave up on the series entirely.


message 33: by Christal (new)

Christal | 16 comments SheNundi wrote: "But I can say there have been those few where you start it and it has so much promise that you buy the other books and they let you down that happened with me and The House of Comarre series by Kristin Painter. I loved the 1st then the second started to wain and then by the third I had completely lost interest. Too bad I bought it in an ebook format. I would have got a refund, but that happens when you have so much hope in series...."

I'm sorry to hear that about the House of Comarre series. I just finished Book One and loved it and was looking forward to the others. I haven't bought them yet so maybe I should try to find them in the library instead.


Jaime the Wizzard (wizzardofxxxx) | 36 comments I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the Study series by Maria V. Snyder. The first book "Poison Study" is so FANTASTIC I assumed I would like the rest of the series as well, but everything that was good, new and exciting about the first book was completely gone during the second and third. And then she continued the world with books 4-6 which were just not entertaining.

It’s the only other series than Anita Blake that I’ve read and has actually made me sad about what happened to it.


message 35: by Elizabeth (last edited Mar 15, 2012 05:55PM) (new)

Elizabeth | 36 comments Michele wrote: "JasonH wrote: "The Dresden Files. Almost put it down while reading the second. It just felt to cookie cutter for me."

I've stopped at #3. I mean to go back, but still working up the nerve. With e..."



But it gets really interesting with changes, and ghost story!!! its kinda a few books in but basically everything in harry's life changes. so it's going to be interesting with what he does next with the series. I get what you mean though, the writing in his earlier books isn't as good.



I also get how everyone feels about the wheel of time series. I read to book seven and then gave up because he kept coming out with more books and I just didn't want to keep reading anymore. I feel like I need to keep notes so I can remember what happened in the first books!!! sheesh.


message 36: by Erin L (new)

Erin L (wellreadmoose) Michele wrote: "JasonH wrote: "The Dresden Files. Almost put it down while reading the second. It just felt to cookie cutter for me."

I've stopped at #3. I mean to go back, but still working up the nerve. With e..."


Ahhh Harry. Based on my reviews, I didn't really start to LIKE the series until 4. That said, teh ass kicking never really stops. Some books might give you a short breather, but, yeah, he's always in the middle of dying in those books.


message 37: by Ainsley (new)

Ainsley | 9 comments For me, it comes down to if the series has an over-arching story line - if its has a beginning, middle and an end. I need the story to be going somewhere, for the characters to change and grow and eventually have an ending.

If a series starts to feel like the author has no idea where he/she is going, then I will drop the books.


message 38: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Silva (kellysilva) | 9 comments I'm actually one who can get through a long series, even if the latter books aren't as good as the first. I don't seem to have the attention span for most things in life, but books series I can spend an inordinate amount of time on. I start to feel like the amount of time I've spent investing in these characters lives isn't worth giving up on. Plus, I'm pretty ease to please with entertainment such as books, movies and tv shows. Many books/movies/tv shows that are critically reviewed, I find to be enjoyable and entertaining.


message 39: by Kris (new)

Mermaid Kris (themermaidkris) Well.. I don't know how to say but for example with Witcher I am glad there is more parts and there are also single story books. Buuuut! I am reading 3rd from 5 books and I am kinda stucked. But love it and I am glad I will still have something to read.
HP is different, in this case I am sad that there is not more.
As someone said, for example Hunger games made me angry *spoiler alert* because of the plot is the same..."GAMES". If author will change it (escaping to woods etc.)
With Twilight ... I would be glad there will be maximum 2 parts!
And the last one.. "game of thrones" and "true blood" ... always happy to have more and MORE.
(btw. sorry my english...hi from Czech)


message 40: by Molly (last edited Apr 10, 2012 02:07PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) I'm with everyone else on Ender's Game. Should have stopped with the first book with the exception of Ender's Shadow. But that could almost be a standalone.

For A Song of Ice and Fire, I remember absolutely hating one of the later ones. I think it was A Storm of Swords. It had all my least favorite characters in it and having to put up with Cersei's bilge made me crazy. I wanted to stab that psychobitch with a fork the entire time.

I really liked the first two books in Snyder's Study series, but the third one fell flat and I hated Opal as a protagonist in the spin-off series. A very lackluster heroine, and I never needed to know that much about glass-blowing.

Too bad I can't think of anything no one else has mentioned yet, but I guess I don't read a lot of series. Anything longer than a trilogy, I feel like authors tend to get lazy and start scraping the bottom of the barrel plot-wise.


message 41: by Cece (new)

Cece | 20 comments I'm with the ppl who love Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. As of right now it is my all time favorite series. She may eventually write herself into a corner, but I don't care cuz Kate is a great heroine.

I also agree with Zetabodhi and others. LKH's Anita Blake series going downhill was my biggest disappointment with an author. Lazy, lazy writing! Throw in some angst and a lot of sex, I don't care. Fine by me. Sex scenes can make a story more fun. But for god's sake when the main character seems for have forgotten that she has a job to go to every day that was the main thrust of your first 5 or 6 books, then please just mercifully end the character's life and start a new series with new characters. Don't ruin one of the first most kickass heroines in urban fantasy by writing books with no plots and bad dialogue. [Sorry to rant, but I'm still bitter abt that series]


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 89 comments Kate wrote: "I finished the vaginal historical fiction (that's how I'd classify it, anyway) book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and I loved it. It was great. Then I started on the second book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. I'm on page 127 of 866 but I just don't like this one as much. "

I've been working my way through the Outlander series, and I finally stopped for an extended break after The Fiery Cross. It just became too "domestic" for me: what had once been an adventure series about clashing clans and subverting kings across Europe became a story that was a little too much about keeping the homestead to keep me interested. I do, however, LOVE her Lord John novels, so if you want to keep reading stories in that universe, but don't want the long-winded Claire POV, then those are a good alternative.

Also going to jump on the Game of Thrones bandwagon here. I like the story and GRRM's way of telling it, but the last book was more of a chore to read than a pleasure. I've heard that the next few books won't move at as much of a glacial pace, but we'll see... he's not so good at living up to what he tells his readers to expect.


message 43: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 7 comments Anita Blake series was horrible post book 4.
Terry Goodkind's horrible attempt at encapsulating Ayn Rand's middle school philosophy into fantasy form was bad past book one.
Anything by Nina Harper (Succubus in the City...horrible).

As for Wheel of Time, I loved almost all the books probably because I'm obsessive compulsive and love the attention, over attention, to details. The mythology and world building was too much at times but now that Robert Jordan has passed (requescat in pace) I'm glad that his world was built up so well as Brandon Sanderson can focus on finishing the series and not have to world build.


message 44: by AshesToU (new)

AshesToU | 5 comments I have to say I love the first books of Terry Goodkind from book 1 to about 5 or 6. Once the empire gets involved it got a bit slow for me, but I loved the first FEW books not just wizard's first rule. Most especially the side stories such as Zed, Addi and Kahlan's adventures! Confessor was also a good book imo, though there got to be so many characters that it was confusing already!

As for Anita Blake she was my role model in a sense up to book 8 or so and she just became a slut. I then got in to the Merry Gentry series instead! And I kind of feel the same way about Sookie Stackhouse.

I look forward to reading a few of the series others say are solid such as Kelley Armstrong and Karen Chance.

A series I love that I feel got a little slow in the middle then picked back up was the Kim Harrison Hollow's series starring Rachael Morgan.

Any other good recommendations on solid series?


message 45: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 55 comments Gawd. The Anita Blake series is so, so horrible. I actually liked the books up through the eighth or so, and then it was just...like Hamilton flipped a switch and started publishing absolute drivel. I'm one of those people who feels compelled to finish a series, and even I can't stomach the later books. I picked up the most recent one on a whim, and three chapters in I wanted to set it on fire.

I actually sort of felt like that with the Lady Julia Grey books. I loved the first one so much that I chewed through the next two in short order. The fourth book, though, was pretty much awful. I've started the fifth (again, compulsion!), and it seems to be much, much better.


message 46: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 15 comments I agree so much on the Anita Blakes. It started out so well with a strong woman and mystery. It became a story about a woman who couldn't go a page with out sex. It is the most disapointing series ever



Ashley wrote: "Gawd. The Anita Blake series is so, so horrible. I actually liked the books up through the eighth or so, and then it was just...like Hamilton flipped a switch and started publishing absolute driv..."


message 47: by Seawood (new)

Seawood The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M Auel went right off the boil, don't you think? I slogged my way through the later books, which were basically "walk a lot, bonk a lot, isn't she just amazing at everything under the sun, walk a bit more" and gave up at book five. It finished fine there, there was no reason to go on - and having seen the reviews I'm glad I didn't bother shelling out for book six.


message 48: by AnnaBanana (new)

AnnaBanana Pascone (snapdragnful) | 89 comments I loved The Sword of Shannara & The Elfstones of Shannara, but was really disappointed with the third, The Wishsong of Shannara. I just couldn't identify with the main character. However, Terry Brooks redeemed himself with the Scion of Shannara quadrulogy (whatever) because I totally loved those. I am holding out hope that Charlaine Harris will come about in the same way.


message 49: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 15 comments Don't forget that every 20 pages we had to hear about how Ayla discovered fire. Very disapointing books


Caroline wrote: "The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M Auel went right off the boil, don't you think? I slogged my way through the later books, which were basically "walk a lot, bonk a lot, isn't she just amaz..."


message 50: by Guru (new)

Guru (gurukast) | 1 comments Renee wrote: "Don't forget that every 20 pages we had to hear about how Ayla discovered fire. Very disapointing books


Caroline wrote: "The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M Auel went right off the boil..."


I was so hoping that her daughter would play a more pivotal part in the series, but she might have well gotten a new pet rabbit for the amount of impact it had on the series. It became more like an encyclopedia than a story.


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