Friday, June 24, 2016

Prequels and Sequels for a Finished Series: When Is It Beating a Dead Horse? | YA Talk

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As you might know, I'm absolutely crazy for Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series. 

When I found out about OBLIVION, the first book OBSIDIAN from the point of view of the alien love interest Daemon, I wasn't so ecstatic.

With five books and a prequel novella, the series is already pretty long, too long for my taste if you consider the lack of actual story.

Unfortunately it seems to be common right now in the YA market to release additional content, usually novellas that aren't necessary to really understand the story.


Prequels: New Trend in YA?

Kiera Cass, Sarah J. Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Lauren Oliver - almost every YA author that celebrated success with a book series within the last years seems to have published at least one novella, collection of short stories, or (unnecessary) prequel that doesn't really add any additional value to the series.


Why I'm against Additional Prequels/Sequels in General

If you're a hardcore fan of something, obviously you'll be happy for every bit of extra content you get. But is it really necessary to keep on releasing content even long after your original story is done?

Whenever I read novella reviews the common reaction is "it's okay but you don't have to read it". I mean, if you don't have to read it, does it have a right to exist? Why should I pay money for something that doesn't show me a mind-blowing new perspective of things? Only because I'm so emotionally invested in the characters that I cannot refuse?

It's easy to say "if you don't like it, don't read it", but really - why should anyone support an author that doesn't seem to care about the quality of their content as long as it brings in more money?

Please Just Do It Like JK

Spin-offs that I think actually make sense are things like FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, one of the text books from the Harry Potter Universe that J.K. Rowling released in 2001. As a fan, this is a nice touch of authenticity. Unfortunately, not all prequels and sequels on the market serve that purpose.

Riddle me this:
  • In what way is a prequel consisting only of an alternating POV to an already published book a treat for the reader? It's not like you could possibly get any groundbreaking new info, the series is already finished. 
  • If an already successful author loves their characters so much that they decide to continue writing in that series, why don't they do it like Cassandra Clare and turn their passion towards writing multiple new series in that universe? 
  • Why half-ass it and cram out the stuff that didn't make it into the first book in a "collection of short stories", that are actually just the things your editor cut out of the first draft? 
True story, there is a highly popular author who admitted to doing that


A book series ends where it's supposed to end. Publishers, editors, and marketing specialists make sure of that. Any additional content provided should only be a treat for the reader. 



How Do You Feel About Sequels and Prequels for a Finished Series?


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