We used to have a B. Dalton’s in a local mall—now a Starbucks. At least a couple of times a month I was in that store, checking the speculative fiction and mystery area for book series by my favorite authors. Was there anything new?
It was like finding buried treasure when I discovered a new book was out!
Then I would race back and read it in one sitting, and then reread it because it was so good.
But over time, I’d discover that maybe about book 7 or so, something changed. With some books, they felt worn out and tired, like the author was bored with the series. I’d usually buy another book, but here was where I would stop buying hardbacks. At $27.00 a pop, that’s pretty expensive if the book isn’t a satisfying read. After paperbacks went to $7, they started getting too expensive, too.
In the mystery genre also, I started seeing some of the long term series mix first and third. The stories had started out in first, and I liked the voice, so third seemed disruptive. It felt like the author thought they had chosen the wrong POV for the series originally and had now painted themselves into a corner. I think I would have been less bothered by that if it had been in book one, not suddenly introduced 10 books in.
Then there were the books where the author made a very sudden change: A character getting married for no other reason than simply to do it; a character finding lost family after making such a big deal throughout the series that she didn’t have any; and a character who crossed a major line that was completely out of character.
And in some books, it was apparent the author stopped learning, or figured they knew everything about writing. It’s fun as a reading watching an author get better, and especially finding new things to like an enjoy, and disappointing when the author stagnates.
Somewhere in all that, I stopped buying those books because the buried treasure turned into a box of rocks.
I used to give the books a benefit of a doubt, and pick them up at the library. I just had two of those I got, and sad to say, the series is no longer the same.
What makes you stop reading an author?