Series or stand-alone novels?

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One of the things I always look for when I see a new book is whether or not it’s part of a series. There have been a few times where I’ve picked up a book not realizing it’s part of a series or the first book in a series. Sometimes that’s a good thing because if I like it I get more of it, and sometimes that’s not a good thing because sometimes I just want a complete story.

It seems like a lot of books out there are part of a series. Sometimes it seems like a successful story gets turned into a series because it did well in sales. If you think about it, it makes sense. I mean, why write one story when you can create a world that never ends. :cue “The Song that Never Ends”: that’s how I feel sometimes about a series. Now, I’m not saying that’s the only reason why an author writes a series but you have to admit, there are some series out there that have you wondering why they haven’t just moved on.

When it comes to series versus stand-alone novels, they each have strong and weak points. With a series, you know what you’re getting into. It’s essentially the same world, same set of characters, and the same conflict. So, you know what to expect as a whole. Plus, it gives you more time with the characters you’ve started to care for. However, at the same time you can get bored after a while. With stand-alone novels, even though you may like the author, you are taking a risk every time on whether you will enjoy the setting, characters, and how it all pans out. Not to mention if you love the story, your time with it is limited. On the flip side, each book is exciting and new because it’s a story line you have not read before.

My favorite series are the ones that change between characters of the same world. That way, I get something new with following a different set of characters but I’m still in the same world as before and may periodically see the previous characters in the following books. However, there was that one series that I loved and it followed the same character around for the whole 6 books series. You may have heard of it, Vampire Academy? Yeah, that one. So, there is always an exception. 😉

In the end, I’m definitely more of a stand-alone person. I like getting a complete story. Which is why I cannot stand serials. Plus, with a stand-alone I sometimes feel like all the filler has been removed because the author only has “x” amount of words/pages that they can work with. So there is no need to draw out scenes or conflict. Also, I tend to get bored really easily and I usually find that with a series I really only end up liking the first book anyways. I can’t tell you how many series I’ve started only to never pick up the following book, or I have and I wound up not finishing it. I wish I could get into more series. It would be nice to have a reliable world that you love to visit. So, let me know if you have a series that you love.

 

Which do you prefer, series or stand-alone novels?

 

 

14 Thoughts on “Series or stand-alone novels?

  1. I am more of a series person. I do not like to say goodbye to my characters. I just want to keep on knowing more about them and their lives. I do like series that change characters in the same world if the story is just as powerful. I have read a few that seemed to be doing the same story over again different characters. don’t like that . I like stand alones too but on certian genres. like contemporary romance. those do well with stand alones. Also horror books. But adventure and fantasy and sci fi … I need series.

    • I get discouraged too when the stand-alone books within a series seem to follow the same pattern or plot. I agree with you that sci-fi and fantasy could be a bit hard fitting into one book. Unlike contemporary books, the author has to create a whole new world and the characters within it. There’s just too much stuff that needs to go in to them.

  2. Great topic of discussion! I’m a stand alone person, too. Like you, I enjoy a series when they are stand alone books that introduce different characters. One of my favorite series like that is the Beautiful Bastard series. Or On Dublin Street. I’ve made exceptions for my favorite authors – Crossfire series and anything by Sylvain Reynard – but that’s rare because I HATE cliffhangers. Just the thought of starting a new series sometimes seems like too much of a time commitment and it turns me off from the books. I have several series on my TBR to read, and I can’t seem to bring myself to read them. 🙂

    • I only read the first two books of the Beautiful Bastard and then sort of lost touch with them but I have read On Dublin Street, or at least all but one or two of the books from the series. That’s my problem with a series, I may love the books but by the time the next one comes out, I either don’t get a review copy and the book gets pushed back until it is forgotten, or it comes out and I feel disconnected with the characters that I feel pressured to reread the previous books just to get in the right frame of mind.

  3. I definitely like stand a lones best but there are books and characters I love so much that I’m glad there’s more than one book for them.

  4. Hmmm I fell like I’m a serial person, but contemporary romance books I’m a single book only type of gal. Great topic!

  5. I’m both… with conditions.

    Standalone with full closure.
    If it’s a series, I prefer trilogies.
    If it’s long-standing, I hope you can skip volumes especially if it features different characters per book like BDB, DH, etc.

    There are exceptions though like Elemental Assassin.

    Great points for discussion!

    • I like the Dark Hunter series. I’ve skipped around with that quite a bit. Plus it intertwines with her Were-Hunter series. So it always seems fresh and new.

  6. I’m good with either though I love a series. Mainly because in a stand alone often the side characters catch my attention and I want their stories 😀 But I’m good with either. As long as it’s not a serial “book” I’m happy 🙂

    • I hate serials. I read one… The professional (I think) and while I loved the first “book”, I lost interest by the third and final “book”. I can’t take break in the middle of a story. I lose focus and connection from everything. One day, I may go back and read the series from start to finish.

  7. I am all about there series. When there is only one book, I get so disappointed, especially if the book was amazing.

  8. Ooh, I hadn’t thought about standalones as being ‘cleaner’ if you will because all the filler is removed. Hmm…. I don’t really have a preference for one or the other. I love some series, VA being one of them…I also love PBriggs’ series, and KHarrison’s series, and there are others. But I like standalones as well. And I’m older so I grew up during a time when there weren’t series. *ha* I am always kinda disappointed when I finish a book that I thought was standalone and then find it’s part of a series, even if I really enjoyed it. It is nice to read a book that is complete in one book. I have more of a sense of accomplishment rather than this feeling (which I have a lot) of drowning because I’m behind in 743 different series. *ha* Okay, it’s not that many but still… Great discussion, Kristin!

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