Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I won't read the 2nd book in this trilogy....

I posted this on my LJ but throught I'd share it here, too:

I just finished reading the first book in a YA novel that won a big award. I won't name this book because of "spoilers". The reason I'm writing this is because the things listed below have happened in other books, too. I liked many things about this book.

The opening line was great, I sympathized with the main character, I loved his two companions and I was intrigued at the other-world setting and mystery. The writing was powerful with great pacing and original language. I wanted to love this book--and I did up until the second half which took a different turn.

Disclaimer: The following is only my opinion, and I'm soft-hearted in my reading taste. Obviously many people loved this book enough to give it an award. The reasons I will NOT read the next book in this trilogy are:

1. The loyal pet died. Do not kill pets. When I remember the book, I will mostly remember the dead pet.

2. Too many terrible things happened without moments of humor, success, joy or fun. Which is NO fun.

3. It grew increasingly violent, frequent beatings and bloody battles.I'd rather see solid plotting than books filled with a series of horrific events -- as if shocking and horrifying readers will built a plot.

4. The hero turned violent, killing someone innocent which made me lose respect for the hero.

5. The bad guys constantly prevailed and beat the hero. I want the hero to win, at least a few times.

6. Everyone who was kind to the hero was killed. Too grim. Not balanced with good moments.

7. And my biggest complaint -- the book DID not end.It stopped at a terrible situation, abruptly, and teased that it would be continued in book 2. A good trilogy will have at least one major plot for each book, creating reader satisfaction in each book while carrying a plot arc of a bigger story throughout the trilogy. It's like cheating to stop abruplty and write: "End of Book One."

I will not be reading Book Two.

Now an EXCELLENT example of a fantastic first book in a trilogy is HUNGER GAMES. Even though it had bloody violence, the scenes were balanced by humor, wonderful secondary characters and a main character with intelligence, skill and compassion. Even when the heroine was forced to kill, she remained sympathetic. She also prevailed enough through the story, keeping the action balanced. And when the book was over, this book was satisfying with the main plots finished, offering sadness but hope, too, and leaving it open for the next challenge in book #2.

I will be reading Book Two of HUNGER GAMES trilogy (Sept. 09). I can't wait!

1 comment:

The Ravenous Reader said...

Yikes!! what you discribed would be the same reasons I would not want to read any further also. I enjoy a amazing read that is well balanced and that you can have some sense of "Yes" the good guy/gal can prevail without much carnage. I am a wimp...

Yet as you also have mentioned The Hunger Games was absolutely the most amazing book. The death scenes were handled well and were pertinent to the story, not just gratuitous blood shed. I also cannot wait for the second book Catching Fire...ahhh September cannot get here fast enough.