Tag Archives: Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Should Have Been Epilogues


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Three leaf clover in a little glass jar with a cork stopper. The jar is sitting in the crease of an opened book. The original topic for this week was books I wish had an epilogue, but I’m going to tweak it a little bit since epilogues are rare in the sorts of contemporary books I generally read.

In my experience, many contemporary books are spun off into series when an epilogue would have more than sufficed. I intend no offence to these authors or to anyone who enjoyed these particular series. It is simply my opinion that their writing would have been stronger if the author had taken the last few books in their series and written a concise epilogue about them at the end of an earlier instalment instead.

I’d rather be left wanting more than read a series that was stretched out past the point where the original premise and conflicts should have been able to be resolved. With that being said, I do still recommend checking out these series if their premises interest you.

 

Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent Book cover. Image on cover shows torso of woman who has cat scratches on her thigh. Her lower jaw is visible but not the rest of her head. (Yes, she is alive).

Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent

This was an interesting urban fantasy series about werecat shapeshifters. I wish it had been a trilogy instead of getting stretched out into seven books, though. The later instalments repeated so many plot twists from earlier stories that the new material in them could have easily been an epilogue instead. I wish I didn’t have to say this as the first couple of books were wonderful beach reads.

 

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee book cover. Image on chover shows a drawing of a train travelling down an empty track at dusk. There is a tree filled with golden leaves near the track.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I spent years wishing for a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. When one finally did arrive, I thought the contents of it would have been much better suited as a bonus chapter in the original. Once again, there simply wasn’t enough new material here to make for a compelling standalone story in my opinion.

 

The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children #5) by Jean M. Auel book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a deer running. it is sketched onto a cave wall.

The Shelters of Stone (Earth’s Children #5) by Jean M. Auel

This is something I’ve discussed on my blog before, but the quality of the Earth’s Children series deteriorated with each new instalment. The first one was excellent and the second one was almost as good as the first. I’d recommend the third and fourth instalments to anyone who adored the beginning, but I was quite disappointed by how the foreshadowing, plot development, and character development were almost totally ignored by the final two books in this series.

 

Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6) by L.M. Montgomery book cover. Image on cover shows Anne standing in her garden with her twin daughters as the girls pick flowers.

Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6) by L.M. Montgomery

I adored the first several Anne of Green Gables books, but Anne sadly didn’t seem like herself in the last few at all. If only more time had been spent exploring her wonderful imagination and zest for life. Her tendency to interfere in the lives of others came across quite differently without those qualities.

 

Do not feel obligated to take my word for any of this, though! By all means go and read these books for yourself if they interest you. They might not have worked for me, but other readers may have very different opinions on the matter.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Need a Sequel

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

I struggled with this week’s prompt because I’ve seen so many examples of genuinely great story ideas that were stretched out into more books than their premise actually required in my opinion. If they’d stopped after the first or third or fifth book they would have been much better.

This isn’t to say that I dislike sequels in general. Some of my all-time favourite stories were written in this format! There simply needs to be enough conflict and character development to actually warrant two or more books in any universe if I’m going to keep reading them.

Due to this, my list is going to be shorter and quirkier than usual.

Christy by Catherine Marshall

This is one of the very few inspirational novels I’ve ever read, and it’s been many years since I read it. The plot was loosely based on the real life experiences of the author’s mother when she was a schoolteacher in a rural Appalachian community in the early 1900s. Christy, the main character, had been quite sheltered growing up, so she was horrified by the poverty, dysfunction, and terrible living conditions of her new home when she accepted this teaching job.

As smart and energetic as Christy was, I didn’t like how judgemental she was of the families of her students or of how quick she was to meddle in their lives. She seemed to have good intentions, but I would have been pretty offended by her attitude and how much she thought she should have control over what other adults did if we’d lived in the same area.

There was still a lot of room left for her personal development by the final scene. It sure would be nice to revisit this character later on in life to see if she’d overcome these flaws.  Part of the problem was that she was a very young teacher when she accepted this assignment. With some more life experience, I think she would have reacted to this culture quite differently.

Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer

This book was written by one of Canada’s best science fiction authors, and it’s about a Royal Ontario Museum palaeontologist who meets a friendly sentient alien.

They strike up a friendship and begin to share information about their cultures, histories, and physiologies. There are far more similarities between Earth and the alien’s planet than should be possible.

Both the main character and his alien friend have their own opinions about why their planets have so much in common. I can’t give away what those theories are without sharing spoilers, but I really liked seeing how they debated the evidence and came to their own conclusions. (No, this is not an inspirational book despite what the title may hint at. It’s far more science and philosophy based).

Oh, and The R.O.M. is a real museum here in Toronto. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area. They have everything from Egyptian mummies to rare gems to dinosaur fossils there. If you do visit, I can even tell you how to get in for free no matter how big your group is if you have some flexibility as far as the date and time of your visit goes.

Well, this was a short list this week. I hope all of you were able to come up with lots of books to talk about on yours.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last year, I wrote a (non-Top-Ten-Tuesday) post about books that need prequels. Today, I’ll be talking about some standalone books that need sequels. This list is shorter than usual because of how many authors and publishers are eager to publish sequels to stories that do well. There simply aren’t a lot of books that I wish had sequels. Hopefully, some of you will have longer lists.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

While I loved the ending of this book, I couldn’t help but to hope we’d hear more from Starr again. The resolutions to her problems were incredibly realistic, but they also left a lot of room for speculating about how or if they might shift again in the future. What can I say? I wanted a happier ended than the one we got, and I’m still holding out home that it might happen someday. (The film is still on my to-be-watched list, so maybe it was different? Please don’t give me spoilers if they changed the ending!)

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda, the main character, had been through something so awful she couldn’t even talk about it. I loved getting to know her sweet, creative personality and slowly uncovering the cause of her pain. She was a lovely person, and I sure would like to see what she was like a few years or decades after this terrible time in her life.

Skip the sentence below this paragraph if you want to avoid all spoilers. Keep reading if you prefer to know about potentially triggering subject matter ahead of time .

This book is about rape and the long-term traumatic effects of that crime. I was caught off-guard by that plot twist, so I feel obligated to let other potential readers know about it.

3. Bridge to Terabithia  by Katherine Paterson

The friendship between Jess (the main character) and his neighbour, Lesie is something I still think about to this day. While the ending to this tale was well done, I’d sure like to see what life was like for the characters decades later. There’s so much room for growth here.

4. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Imagine what it would be like if your father tried to marry you off when you were fourteen! I was a kid when I read this book, so I knew very little about the cultural norms of the 1200s in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter). Birdy’s story is something that has stuck with me for years, and I’d love to find out what happened to her after the events of the final scenes.

5. 1984 by George Orwell

1984 was about a man living in a harsh, totalitarian society who tried to figure out a way to escape it. I had a lot of mixed feelings about the ending even though it fit the tone of this tale well. It would be so interesting to revisit this universe a few decades later to see what might have changed in it.

6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

There were so many unanswered questions about the other flat Coraline discovered. How long has it existed? Why was it created? Will anyone else ever become endangered by it?

A sequel would be the perfect place to answer these questions.

What standalone books do you all wish would have sequels?