Reclusive Duck Woman. Artist. Writer. GR Refugee.
Last year I embarked upon three new book series, each beginning with an exciting, well written novel, each losing my interest by book two. The series in question were:
The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman, comprising of Unwind, Unholy, and yet to be released Unsouled and Undivided.
The Hunger Games, a trilogy by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant: Feed, Deadline and Blackout.
I began to think of it as the middle book syndrome. I wondered what caused my interest to suddenly wane. Clearly the premise wasn't strong enough to ensure my continued interest, despite the fact that the first novel in each series was exceptional-- a five (or six) star read.
So I finally came to the conclusion that the problem with each of these series was that the first novel WAS the series. No need for more. In fact, further books diluted the strength of the first.
Unwind, The Hunger Games and Feed, had strong, deeply resonating story lines. Sure, readers like to continue on with the world, and the characters, but if the main thrust of the story is told, then why drag threads of that original plot into follow on books?
It's true that not everything was wrapped up by the closure of each of these books. Threads carried over. But I suspect that they COULD have, and MAY have (in the author's original manuscript) but for some reason, a decision was made to make it into a series, rather than a stand alone novel.
OK, I know this blog rambles, but hoping my idea is coming across anyway.
I'm interested in what others think of the middle book syndrome...