The Power of Three

When I love a character, I want the book to go on and on. That’s the beauty of series. Right now, my platinum standard is Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I love almost all the characters and could easily move to Three Pines if it were a real place.

Right now I’m enjoying Charlaine Harris’ “Midnight” series – which is a paranormal/mystery series I found after watching the new NBC Series Midnight Texas. I actually like the books more than the TV series, partly because I like Charlaine Harris’s writing style. An added bonus is, characters from her other series’ make appearances.

Which brings me to a question I ask myself, where is the tipping point on a series when it goes on a long time?

Case in point is Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, also known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Fell in love with them. But at some point along the way, I started to lose interest and didn’t make it to the thirteenth book. I might’ve committed treason around book ten. It was when an interesting character was killed off to make room for more incredulous characters. I know – I’m talking about a Paranormal genre. Still, good writing is good writing, but around that point, the writing felt forced. Maybe the author lost interest too, who knows?

I blame Tolkien for the expectation of books falling into trilogies – and I know that’s unfair. Lord of the Rings was written as one work and the publisher split it because it was too long. And it was actually six books. Fun fact: I did not like “The Silmarillion”!

After LotR I went for the Shannara Books by Terry Brooks. First three  – great. Now I think there are a dozen, maybe more. The Shannara world appears to be totally mined, but I bet I am wrong about that. I was tapped out at three. How many more swords/elfstones/elfsongs haven’t been lost/discovered?

Same issue with The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan, that world seemed to grow exponentially. It’s author died before the series was complete and the editor (fun fact: editor was the author’s wife – may explain the never-ending story aspect) hired another writer to finish the last two books, making a total of fourteen books to get through. I actually had a lot of these in hardback – this was when books made great gifts. One gift was the compendium of maps and people. I never finished this series, either.

I am sure this is a tough call on authors who have all watched or read “Misery.” That fan base can be pretty wicked.

In the meantime, I can definitely recommend Louise Penny’s works, and this particular series by Charlaine Harris. Oh, and Lord of the Rings.

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Power of Three

    • Agreed. So far, Penny’s characters and plots are fresh, so if you like contemporary mysteries, a little humor and believable people, that series is a winner. I went through a big sword and sorcery phase after LotR, and those seemed to generate a lot of the series-that-never-end. Now I’m phobic about time commitments on reading. I read two of the three Mississippi Burning books, each 800 pages. That was plenty.

      Liked by 1 person

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