Author Topic: s/o Running out of series! - series that have been a huge disappointment  (Read 5781 times)

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Lynn2000

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I've mentioned this one before somewhere. Everworld, by K.A. Applegate. Skinny YA books, but there's 12 of them, and when a friend told me about them I was instantly hooked on the idea--a group of modern-day teens are pulled into a world where all the mythologies of the world are real. The Greek gods are there, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, etc.. I've always been interested in mythology, so I rounded all the books up used and another friend and I read them.

They were pretty cool for quite a while, with the teens introducing modern technology like the telegraph to places like Fairyland using the materials at hand. Meanwhile there's a couple of Big Bads they're fighting against, who are truly terrifying, and the kids are having some fairly sophisticated moral crises. Then around book 10 you start thinking, um, there's not too much time left, how are they going to wrap up all these problems?

And then... they don't. I think they got rid of one Big Bad, but the other one was still there and completely active, armies in the field slaughtering everyone they come across (so not even on the run) and the story basically ends with, "Yeah, they just stayed there and kept on fighting!"  :o

The vast majority of the series was good. But the ending was such a huge letdown that that's mostly what I remember about it now. :(
~Lynn2000

goldilocks

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I still enjoy the Sue Grafton series.   There's not a lot of differnce in one to another, but sometimes that's kind of nice.

Maybe it's just me, but the Kay Scarpetta's started going downhill when the author switched from 1st person to narrative.  These books just depress me now - all the characters are permanently angry, sad, overworked people.   I'm sorry Lucy's mother is awful - get over it!!   You are a billionaire now so go buy yourself something nice.

Kay -surely you and Wesley have enough money that you don't have to work 3 jobs (FBI consulting, CNN, and your other job).  It's exhausting to read about how you rush from one thing to another, cancelling plans with Benton along the way and never getting any sleep.

Jaelle

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Laurell K. Hamilton. Sigh. They used to be really good. I'm no prude (loooove Jacqueline Carey), but they just got so repetitive and boring.

I also gave up on Wheel of Time.

I did the same on Song of Ice and Fire (read the books from the release of No. 1, but lost the thread during one the looooon break between No. 3 and 4). However, my friends' fascination with the TV series renewed my interest. :) It's nice to be the one with the knowledge.
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling

Kaora

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I never did get into Pern.  I really wanted to, so dad handed me his copy of Dragonquest, but I just kind of stared at it for a few pages and went away.  No idea what happened there, but I just couldn't get into it.

Sadly, the same thing can be said of Foundation and I.

Pen^2

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I've mentioned this one before somewhere. Everworld, by K.A. Applegate. Skinny YA books, but there's 12 of them, and when a friend told me about them I was instantly hooked on the idea--a group of modern-day teens are pulled into a world where all the mythologies of the world are real. The Greek gods are there, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, etc.. I've always been interested in mythology, so I rounded all the books up used and another friend and I read them.

They were pretty cool for quite a while, with the teens introducing modern technology like the telegraph to places like Fairyland using the materials at hand. Meanwhile there's a couple of Big Bads they're fighting against, who are truly terrifying, and the kids are having some fairly sophisticated moral crises. Then around book 10 you start thinking, um, there's not too much time left, how are they going to wrap up all these problems?

And then... they don't. I think they got rid of one Big Bad, but the other one was still there and completely active, armies in the field slaughtering everyone they come across (so not even on the run) and the story basically ends with, "Yeah, they just stayed there and kept on fighting!"  :o

The vast majority of the series was good. But the ending was such a huge letdown that that's mostly what I remember about it now. :(

Ooh that reminds me of Animorphs!

I read them as a teen. The premise was great (a bunch of human school friends get the power to shape-shift into animals and have to fight a secret alien takeover), and the early books were fantastic. But as the series went on (there are something like 50 books in total), it just kept introducing characters, ideas, and abilities that were never mentioned or used again in any of the obvious places despite, you know, lives being apparently at stake. There was one book, for example, where they randomly one day appeared out on thin air of a cool alien planet and had some adventures there, but the explanation for how they got to the planet in the first place was basically, "well, just cuz." Even the top advanced alien scientists all say, "this is a very important mystery," before promptly forgetting about it. Or, in several books, a character would start to have a deep moral crisis which would be left unresolved, with the character still in throes of mental anguish, and it would never be addressed again. The character would be back to normal in the next book, as though the author forgot about it. I'm talking about things like a character philosophising over the entire darn book about the virtues of vegetarianism (they can morph animals, so it's kind of personal), and deciding she would rather die than eat an animal again, representing great personal growth and the apex of the individual novel. The next book would mention her eating bacon for breakfast.

Great start. Even as a kid I ended up re-reading the first dozen books or so over and over because the later ones were so weak. Too many introduced ideas that were fantastic and had lots of potential, and then they were just waved away or not addressed again. It just kept getting more complicated without any of the new subplots ever finishing or being developed further. I like things that leave unanswered questions, but this really just felt unfinished. The series' ending was that they mostly kind of defeated the Big Bad but then another Bigger Bad came along. The end.

zyrs

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The Wheel of Time - the next book would be coming out and I'd read all the preceding ones again to be ready for it and ... one book came out and nothing really happened to anyone and I lost interest so I haven't read past it.

Ender's Game series - the first book was ok but the explanation for the Pequinos' whole existence as the way they were was just incredibly poor and barely thought out - and it just got worse.  They are the only books I have recycled rather than donate.

Earth's Children - I have always felt Jondalar was a jerk and it just got worse.  I haven't bothered to read the last book.

Phule's Company series - The first two books were great.  The last four have revamped the series from interesting, slightly serious comedy to slapstick and bad puns.  It's very disappointing.




Last_Dance

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The Hawkenlye Mysteries - supposedly a series of medieval whodunits.

I mentioned the only book I bought in the Horrible Books thread, but to make a long story short: you know what I really don't want to see in a historical novel? Blatant historical inaccuracies!

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

Lynn2000

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I've mentioned this one before somewhere. Everworld, by K.A. Applegate. Skinny YA books, but there's 12 of them, and when a friend told me about them I was instantly hooked on the idea--a group of modern-day teens are pulled into a world where all the mythologies of the world are real. The Greek gods are there, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, etc.. I've always been interested in mythology, so I rounded all the books up used and another friend and I read them.

[...]

The vast majority of the series was good. But the ending was such a huge letdown that that's mostly what I remember about it now. :(

Ooh that reminds me of Animorphs!

[...]

Great start. Even as a kid I ended up re-reading the first dozen books or so over and over because the later ones were so weak. Too many introduced ideas that were fantastic and had lots of potential, and then they were just waved away or not addressed again. It just kept getting more complicated without any of the new subplots ever finishing or being developed further. I like things that leave unanswered questions, but this really just felt unfinished. The series' ending was that they mostly kind of defeated the Big Bad but then another Bigger Bad came along. The end.

Same author for both. Sigh. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
~Lynn2000

wolfie

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Phule's Company series - The first two books were great.  The last four have revamped the series from interesting, slightly serious comedy to slapstick and bad puns.  It's very disappointing.

And how each story seemed to end with "and then he threw money at it and the situation just went away"

lilfox

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Earth's Children, definitely.  I also haven't bothered with the last book because I could probably predict all of it just by going with the most boring Mary Sue cliches possible. Im sure it turns out that Ayla is probably single handedly responsible for every cave drawing in Lascaux and is the basis for all Earth Mother/Gaia stories ever.

Ender's Game - I loved the first one but that's it.  I've read most of the others, including the Bean side novel series, but didn't find them nearly as engaging (or they were outright disappointing).  Still sad I can't find my autographed copy of EG.   :'(

The Middle Kingdom series by David Wingrove.  Again, loved the first book and I still reread it, but the others just didn't live up to it.  I think I quit after 3 or 4 (there were originally 8 in the series but then it was rereleased as a repackaged set of 20 or so, according to Wikipedia).

PeterM

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Phule's Company series - The first two books were great.  The last four have revamped the series from interesting, slightly serious comedy to slapstick and bad puns.  It's very disappointing.

I agree. I barely started the third one before I put it down, and hadn't even realized there were more. As I recall, the first two were written solely by Asprin but the rest were with a co-author. That practice often explains a drop in quality.

In Asprin's case, my understanding is that he also ran into some trouble with the IRS that made the idea of churning out a bunch of hopefully profitable books with co-authors seem like a very good course of action.

mandycorn

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I got really into the Bones tv series and decided to give the book series a try. They're okay as brain candy/beach reads, but I made the mistake of reading three or four of them right in a row, at which point it becomes apparent that they all follow the exact same formula:

Explanation of why Tempe is living in her current city instead of the other one where she splits her time
Decomposing/slimy murder victim(s)
Police work
Discussion of traffic/parking in Montreal
Tempe is told not to investigate on her own
Tempe investigates on her own
Tempe almost dies and is rescued at the last second
Murderer is arrested
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zyrs

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Phule's Company series - The first two books were great.  The last four have revamped the series from interesting, slightly serious comedy to slapstick and bad puns.  It's very disappointing.

And how each story seemed to end with "and then he threw money at it and the situation just went away"

I liked that he was applied that intelligently though - in a lot of the "throw money at it' stories, they don't throw it accurately.