We typically get hooked with the first book. That's a given.
Unfortunately, the second book often seems like a bridge to the third.
And then the third either satisfies or makes us totally mad.
The first trilogy that failed to deliver for me was the Hunger Games trilogy. Loved the first book and found the second okay only to be totally put-off by the third, Mocking Jay. It ruined the series for me.
Then came Divergent. I loved this book so much that I sought out the author when she came to Salt Lake last year and waited in line to meet her. It was fun to hear her talk and to get my pic with her. She signed my books, too. I couldn't wait for the third to come out. And, since I listen to most of my books, (I also buy print books of those I love) I waited up until midnight to start the book then. However, it wasn't available at midnight, so I went to bed and got up at six to download it and start it.
what was happening to Veronica Roth. I checked the Amazon's Allegiant page and saw that 90% of the reviews were ones and twos. What? I had a decision to make. would I continue to read the book and possibly come to dislike the series and author or would I go ahead and stop listening? You can guess what I did. Seriously, how could I not finish it.
What did she do wrong? She didn't satisfy her readers. Even though I'm not a fan of the negative character arc, I can handle that type of book if I believe there was no other way for the series to end. With Allegiant-it didn't have to end the way it did.
Typically, an editor will guide an author who is going way off track. The question is, did Roth dig in her heels or did the editor love how the series ended? Roth must have really been having a heart attack going from the most loved author and having the most loved books for two years straight, to one that was being bashed all over the internet. Roth even felt the need to write a post defending how she ended it. That, and having heard her speak about how dark the book was when she originally wrote it, lead me to believe that she was the one that fought for the ending.
At least for Allegiant, as it was for Mocking Jay, the reviews have about evened out---half are 3+ and half are 2 and under.
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I know what makes readers mad.
As writers, we want readers to come back and want to read what we produce next. I'm not sure I can return to whatever Veronica Roth produces next. I don't want to be let down.
The time I have to read is precious and I can't waste it on that which doesn't satisfy.
So, as I wrote the Watched trilogy, I tried to make sure that my middle, with Protected, was not just a bridge to Created, the end. And that the end, with Created was satisfying.
What other trilogies have you read that failed to satisfy?
Which ones have you read that did satisfy?
By Cindy M. Hogan