29 March 2009

Sunday Salon: Dangers of Reading a Series

I've discovered in the past several months that there are different ways to construct a series. Cindy Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt trilogy contained one basic story, so there was a cliffhanger at the end of books one and two. The Harry Potter series had an overall goal (defeat Voldemort) but each book covered one school year so there were more immediate situations pertaining to that year and there was a satisfying conclusion at the end of each book. The Lori Wick series that I have read are yet another type. Each book in a series is set in the same town, but it doesn't really deal with the same people. Characters from a previous book will make a cameo appearance but they don't play a major role in the story.

The problem for me is that Wick drops the characters from previous stories into the current book with little explanation. Today, I am finishing up Promise Me Tomorrow. It is the last book in a series I read a while ago, but I forgot that I hadn't read this one. There are all these characters showing up at a wedding, and some of the names are vaguely familiar but I can't really remember their stories. When you read the books back-to-back, the appearance of these characters is like running across old friends. If I take a break between books, these scenes don't mean anything to me.

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