Recently I just read a book that is the continuation of a series the first of which I really loved. (Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr is the series and I just finished book 3, Fragile Eternity.) That first book was beautiful, though it’s one of those books where the beauty sneaks up on you. The first time you read it, it’s only so-so, but the more you mull it over in your mind, the more it grows on you. I slowly gravitated towards liking it more and more until I was just shy of obsessive. So naturally, I read one of the other books in the series.
And oh how disappointed I was.
The first book was beautiful and poignant, unexpectedly deep and intricate. It has to do with a love triangle that isn’t so much a love triangle as it is a bunch of people trying to avoid destiny – and they circumvent it when they can’t. It makes the novel unexpected. You’re not sure who to root for, you’re not sure who should win, because there’s what *needs* to happen and then there’s what you *want* to happen. These things are mutually exclusive, unfortunately (though they find a way to work around it in the end) and it makes for a very intense novel.
The sequel is about different characters (called Ink Exchange by the same author), so I do admit that I skipped over it for the purposes of continuing with the characters I currently loved. I will go ahead and say that I don’t think reading that middle book would change my overall feelings towards the third book.
The third book was… disappointing. It was still well written and very detailed, the folklore and worldbuilding very impressive, but that wasn’t enough for me. The characters who hooked me were completely destroyed in this book. (I don’t mean dead necessarily, just not the same characters I fell in love with.) They shifted so much that by the end of the book, I didn’t like *any* of the characters I had once loved. It left me feeling as though I wished I had never read the other books in the series at all. Which got to me to thinking: Are there other books that left me feeling like this?
The only one that immediately comes to mind is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. The first book was *incredibly* good. Addicting and beautiful and everything I wanted out of the book. I was so excited when I found out it was a series, picking up that second book as soon as I could. (Linger by the same author. The series is called the Wolves of Mercy Falls, I believe.) And low and behold, it was such a stink bomb. All of the awesomeness of the first book seemed to have disappeared and I was left with this lingering dregs of what had been the first book.
It was terrible. But I hoped for more in the third book – which was so bad, I still haven’t finished it. I’m about half way through and I don’t think that will ever change.
I don’t know why this happens to some authors, but it does. And I know that it’s incredibly difficult to write a book, much less a really good book, but when someone writes a deliciously good book, you come to expect that quality in the next book. And sometimes authors just don’t deliver.
So what about you out there, Reader? Are there any series that just broke your heart with the sequel? (And I’m not talking about books that *started off* terrible. I mean books that were so incredibly that the sequels just couldn’t live up to expectations.) If you know of any, feel free to comment below and let me know! Or message me – or even write your own blog post about it! Leave me a link and I’ll check it out.