My friends and I recently discussed our opinions of long book series. We’re talking series with six or more books. Some of my friends liked them, while others hated them. During our conversation, I realized I didn’t know my answer. Did I like long series? As I thought about it, all I could remember were the series I gave up.
Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
Number of books in series: 24 (and counting)
First Book: One For The Money
Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash―fast―but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family. Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water―wanted for murder. Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight―and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man…
The first book in this series absolutely delighted me. Stephanie is a well-written character with a cast of zany, fun secondary characters. And who doesn’t love the tension between her, Ranger, and Joe? But after binge reading the first eight books, I found the lovable cast and fun plots tiresome. Where, exactly, is this series going? What is the end goal? I’ve read every synopsis in this twenty plus book series, but all I find is the same shenanigans between Stephanie, her job, and her relationships. Pass.
In Death series by JD Robb/Nora Roberts
Number of books in series: 46 (and counting)
First Book: Naked in Death
It is 2058, New York City. Technology now completely rules the world, but for New York Detective Eve Dallas, one irresistible impulse still rules the heart: passion…Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she’s seen it all—and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire—and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it’s up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about—except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.
This is hard to admit considering my absolute love for Nora Roberts, but I gave up on the In Death series. The first six books in the series are absolutely amazing. The characters, plot, and setting enraptured me from the moment I cracked their spines to the moment I closed them. I adore Eve Dallas – her strengths, her weaknesses, and everything in-between. I enjoyed the next couple of books after the sixth, but my mind started questioning – where is this all going? After the thirteenth book, I stopped wondering because I no longer cared. It’s Roberts longest running series with over 40 books, but I had to say bye-bye to Dallas and her crew.
The Mortal Instruments series by Casandra Clare
Number of books in series: 6 (plus several spin offs)
First Book: City of Bones
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
The first three books in Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series are phenomenal. Great characters, interesting twists, and intricate world-building made it hard for me to put down. But put it down I did after the third book. I honestly thought the series ended after it. I was surprised when I heard a fourth book would be released…and then a fifth, a sixth. I tried to read them, but I honestly feel the ending of book three made a good series ending. While the ending doesn’t tie everything up in a neat bow, I didn’t mind all the lose threads. Perhaps I will try it again later on in life, but for now it’s officially on my dnf list.
Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine
Number of books in series: 15 (complete)
First Book: Glass Houses
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
I remember reading this series when the majority of the books were donated to the library a couple of years ago. It had a great setting, interesting characters, and an intriguing plot. I enjoyed Claire and her four roommates immensely. But after the fifth book, I wanted to know the point of it all. I finally gave up after the sixth book.
So now I know my answer – I don’t mind long book series as long as an end game is promised. While I love stories, I want all of them to end. If a series is rinsing, recycling, and repeating, I’m officially out.