The first time I saw a book that was in first person and then broke for a scene that started in third, I tripped over it and fell out of the story. The storyteller in question didn’t make a good transition between two viewpoints, starting out in way that implied that nothing would change. So when I hit it I also immediately decided I didn’t like it.
I’m usually open to experimentation in books, especially if it’s done well and gives me something different. I don’t mind seeing present tense (which I just typed as pleasant tense), which many readers hate outright. Most of the time it isn’t done well, but when it is, it rocks.
Mixing third and first? I honestly am having a hard time seeing the purpose for it. Most of the time I’ve seen this is in mystery. No so much in fantasy. It seems to crop up in long-term mysteries where the books have gotten a bit tired.
The reader’s perspective
In a way, it’s a form of a betrayal of what the reader is expecting. Particularly with a long term series, I’m reading it because first person is an important part of that story and character. I find that it fundamentally changes the characterization. It doesn’t seem like it should, but it takes away the power from the first person POV character that’s in a pure first person book.
The writer’s perspective
It seems like a lazy shortcut to filling in details the first person viewpoint can’t experience. This makes me wonder if the writer cares about the story or just cares about meeting the deadline.
What’s your take on the mixing of the viewpoints?