I read two books this week that were part of a trilogy serial and it made me start thinking. Before I get started, let me say that this post is all my thoughts as a reader, curiosity as an author, opinions and just plain rambling. I mean no offense to anyone, reader or author. Second, the books were great. They could have used a professional editor and some polish, but the emotions and storyline were lovely. It was a M/F romance called The Driven Trilogy by K. Bromberg. I really enjoyed them, but ...of course there is a 'but'... the last book is not yet out, it comes out in March, and she left with one hell of a cliffhanger.
Cliffhangers always suck...always...but this one made me so mad. I'm not going to elaborate, just in case you want to read them. They really were very good, I would just recommend starting them after the third comes out so you don't want to throw your Kindle, Nook, Phone, or computer across
Yes, it was that bad.
A few years ago I read another series that had a similar cliffhanger, and I was crying so hard at the end of that book that I had ugly face and wrenching sobs, yelling out loud no! No! And then the book ended. I had to wait 8 months, or something like that, for the next one. I was so upset by this, I read that last book for closure, and never bought another of her stories again.
The reason I was so upset is that I need that closure. This is why I try to read angst books when I have the time to read the whole thing. I can't stop in the middle. I just don't have that capacity. If I don't know the book is really emotional and will make me cry before starting it, I have been known to stay up on work nights until ungodly hours to finish. I can't go to sleep otherwise. I love a good cry, but I want to feel better afterwards.
This unsaid author made me ball my eyes out and then made me wait 8 months for, what was to me, the ending of the book. I don't mind waiting. I completely understand. I read the Outlander series and Diana's books take two to three years to come out. I get that. And I don't always need a happily ever after or happily for now story. On the contrary, I quite enjoy dark erotica. I usually read the happy-ending type stories more often because books are my escape from reality. I know life doesn't always end well, but I don't necessarily always want to read about it. I like that sigh at the end, when you feel okay with how things turn out. Even if it isn't what you wanted to happen, or what you thought would happen, you can move on.
Don't get me wrong, I love my feels. I think an author's main job is to cause some type of emotion - love, hate, fear, and yes...even sadness. The author did her job, both of them did. My problem with this is that I feel like the book isn't complete. Especially if it's under 500 pages and you end with some huge issue. Basically, you left the story in the middle of highest part of the arch of a book. Why? So that the reader has to buy the next book?
To me, that feels kind of wrong.
I like serials and I really enjoy series, mainly because I don't have to let go of the characters I fall in love with just yet. I get to see more of them. We always want more, don't we? I get that complaint a great deal with my stories and most of the time I take it for a complement, because the reader enjoyed my characters and story so much they didn't want it to end. That is fantastic! I did my job. I have never ended a story with a cliff hanger though.
These new kinds of serials, with the huge cliffhangers in between books seem to be the new thing. I don't like them. I don't think that I would ever do that to one of my readers. I would have to have one hell of a good reason. I will still read them, but only if they are reasonably priced and all at once. Because to me, it's just one big book split into parts.
I want to leave my readers wanting more, of course I do, but I don't want them to feel like they got ripped off either.
What do you think? Do you like the serials with the cliffhangers, or do you hate them and feel jilted? Let me know. I'm really interested in hearing the
Have a great week everyone!
Hugs and spanks,