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.

58 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Should Have Been Epilogues

  1. “Should have been” really changes the game, doesn’t it? I hear you on Anne of Ingleside and Go Set a Watchman too, both books seemed to rob some of the glory of their predecessors.

  2. Oh, I totally agree with you about the Earth’s Children series of books. I really think this should have been just a trilogy and then, the writing could have been tighter. But not sure how an epilogue would have fit in.

    • A trilogy would have been good! I’m not sure how an epilogue would work for that version of it, but the storytelling would have been tighter for sure.

  3. I definitely agree that it’s not always good when books are stretched too long into multiple installments. While I have books where I want more, I definitely think it’s better to want more than to have more but it’s a disappointment.

  4. This is a great take on the prompt. I have when a series ruins the “story.” Sometimes, I won’t go on because I can tell or I’m worried the series won’t do the overall arc justice.

  5. This is an interesting take on this week’s prompt! I find To Kill a Mockingbird quite intimidating to read, and the sequel certainly didn’t do anything to change that.

  6. I have to agree, much like with TV series, some book series don’t know where to end and end up with more instalments than they should, or really should have just been a standalone. I’m reading the second book in the A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder series at the moment and whilst I’m not very far through, so maybe I’ll change my tune once I’ve actually read the book, I felt like AGGGTM had a pretty self-contained plot and didn’t really need a sequel (much less two!).

    • yes, exactly! Some tv shows have the same problem.

      I hope you like the book version of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder if or when you read it.

  7. I’ve liked what I’ve read by Rachel Vincent although I haven’t read that series. It sounds fun but seven books seems a bit much…

    Same thing with the Auel series although in that case I haven’t read ant of them, but love the premise…

  8. I agree that the Anne books went on for way too long. Also, Go Set a Watchman needs to absolutely go away – don’t know anyone who liked it.

  9. That is a highly interesting twist to the topics. As you saw, I did just the reverse but I love your idea. Well done, Lydia.

    And in the defense of Harper Lee, she never meant this book to be published.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week.

  10. You are much kinder to “Go Set a Watchman” than I have been. I think it never should have been published. (Technically, this is not a sequel. It’s the original manuscript Harper Lee wrote, which was then extensively edited and published as “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Lots of questions–legal, ethical, and literary–surround its publication.)

  11. This is a great spin on the topic! I love seeing your thoughts on these. I remember really enjoying Vincent’s Stray when I read it, but I don’t think I continued with the series. I’ll keep your thoughts in mind, though, and if I go back to it I’ll have to see if I’m satisfied where book three ends, series-wise.

  12. I was so very excited for Go Set A Watchman when I heard it was coming out and then I started reading reviews and it made me not want to pick it up. I think many people would agree with you that it would’ve been better as an epilogue than a full novel. Great twist to the topic, Lydia!

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.