This time, I am looking back at series I’ve abandoned and why I did so, excluding the series abandoned by the writers as this is about my choice to leave them be.
The Mortal Instruments
I remember when the movie came out and it was really hyped up. I also soon learned that the movie strayed far from the book at some points. More curious about this aspect than the story itself, I returned to it after getting my Kindle. I was surprised how much the end of the first book was different from the movie and easily understood why the movie series was discontinued.
Anyway, curious about where it might lead, I eventually read the first three books – the original trilogy. As I went on, “WTF?” moments became more frequent, including twists that did not really feel original (Someone needs a child vampire for nefarious purposes. Whoops, your friend turns into one!) and self-fulfilling prophecy that was sometimes maybe too obvious. What carried me through it was mostly Jace’s sarcasm and carelessness.
Anyway, the third book ended with me being like “WTF?!?” and “Really?”. Looking at the comments/reviews of the follow-ups, I decided to abandon the series.
Likelihood of returning: Low. I might give the collection of short stories about Magnus bane a try, though.
Almost 60k ratings on Goodreads and average 4,46 for Blood Song (my review), the first book, was a promise of a good story. I can’t say I was disappointed in that regard. What troubled me more was the narrative style – time shifts several years to a narrator setting up each part retrospectively was more distracting me from the main story than anything else as it felt disconnected and how the narrating character tied into the story was only revealed at the end in a “you just happened to be there” style.
The second book, Tower Lord (my review), continued in the same style as the first, even with the same narrator who was – AGAIN – captured on a boat to scribble what was happening and AGAIN managed to be brought to where the finale was happening.
What made me turn away from the third book was a combination of factors. First was that the reviews were often saying that it opened more questions than answered and left several loose plot threads from the first book without an answer while also giving the main character less screen time. The second was the pricing. 12$ (+tax) for a book that has a risk of unsatisfying conclusion? Nope.
Likelihood of returning: Low. Lack of answers + narrative that does not suit me alone would be enough, even without the steep price increase compared to the previous books.
Numen the Slayer
A little backstory: I got into a short discussion with the author on Goodreads and, eventually, went for “free book for review” the first time.
It was an interesting experience. The book’s story was not bad but it was, for my tastes, quite gory. Blood magic, cannibalism, insanity… On the other hand, the blood sword pushing Numen to fight for what’s supposedly rightfully his instead of being on the run – that had potential.
It had some other issues and the author eventually made some edits (at least so he said on his blog) based on feedback. The beginning already started with a high death count and the nobles died faster than I could understand their role. It also seemed to struggle with time-based consistency a few times.
As of now, the author is writing the third book in the series. I am still not sure I’ll return to it – the content goes quite far for my tastes.
Likelihood of returning: Unknown. Not sure when I’ll be in a mood to see more sadistic cannibals.
A Court of Thorns and Roses
I read this as a group read, getting slightly away from my preference. I believe it was also the first first-person book I’ve read. As I am not likely to be the target audience, the hype around it did not reach me as much.
The book has a slower beginning that but eventually picks up speed. Amarantha reminded me of Dolores Umbridge in the meaning that she’s a villain you can really hate – and you will. The trials she prepared for Feyre and the cruelty with which she oversees them made sure of it.
By the end, it’s obvious that a larger conflict is looming on the horizon. Yet, for me, this felt like it could very well work a standalone novel. What I am not sure of is whether the story will be provided a villain as easily hated as Amarantha.
As of now, three books are completed with three more announced (I believe) in 2020 and onward.
Likelihood of returning: Medium-low. I might eventually give the second book a try and see the larger picture. If it shows another good villain, I might stick with it for a change of scenery.
So, that’s it – the four series I’ve abandoned so far. Feel free to comment – either on them or on your own cases of abandoned series.