Friday, October 16, 2015

Authors who can't let go

We all have a favorite author - a favorite series - that we just don't want to ever stop. I totally understand the feels that come when a series is over and a new one begins. Maybe it won't be as good, you think. And sometimes you're right! I've been really unimpressed by a couple authors' second series (Exhibits A and B). But at least they tried something different!

It is, in my opinion, a hundred times more desperate to continue milking the same cow for literally decades. Sometimes I genuinely have to wonder if these women are really one trick ponies who just have no other ideas floating around in their heads. Three authors come immediately to mind.

This woman... Am I the only person who feels like she's just at the point of embarrassing herself? It has been ten years, ma'am. You seriously just need to let it go.

I understand that when she wrote The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, she was still in the prime of the Twilight frenzy. That one... you know. It's forgivable. Tons of authors write in-between novellas.

Then The Host was released. It seemed like Mrs. Meyer was finally moving on! Until she abandoned the series completely (with two additional books still slotted on Goodreads), to the dismay of her loyal fans.

Recently, the unthinkable happened. She released Twilight Reimagined. At first I thought it was just some kind of a tenth-anniversary joke. Maybe even a jab at E.L. James who just re-released 50 Shades of Grey from Christian's perspective.

But then it showed up on the Target shelf. It popped up in my Instagram feed. And I stared in disbelief. How desperate is Stephenie Meyer? Could she POSSIBLY make it any more obvious that this is a clear cash grab? And the ratings make it obvious that the book has not been well received. The fans wanted original work and they got... this.

I didn't love the Twilight series. I read it, obviously, but I was never a part of that fandom. I can't imagine the disappointment from those fans who have been anxiously awaiting original work for the last TEN YEARS from Stephenie Meyer. I'm embarrassed for her, honestly.

It's no secret around these parts that I loved The Selection series. Loved it. I don't care that it's mostly fluff. I don't care that it suffered from stupid teen angst syndrome. It was a good series with some good plot points and loveable characters! Yes, I was sad when it ended, but there were enough novellas to keep me occupied for awhile and I was excited to see what Cass would do next.

What Kiera Cass did next was announce another book in a completed series. A series that was nicely tied up and well done. A series that definitely did not need a book four. But there it was. Book four came out and I bought it. I was wary, but I had high hopes. My hopes were dashed.

The Heir was terrible. Awful characters, terrible plot, no redeeming qualities. And you know it couldn't just be one follow-up book! Nope. It had to be a duology. (Please, book gods, let her stop after two!)

I loved Kiera Cass so much. I wanted so much more from her amazing, romance-writing brain. I'm still holding out hope that she will finally let go of The Selection series and embark on a new bookish journey that will pull me back into her fan club.

Admittedly, this is one author I don't have much first-hand experience with. I listened to Clockwork Angel on a ten hour drive a few years ago and, while I didn't really love it, I did want to give it another chance at some point. I currently own The Infernal Devices series and am just waiting on the right mood to read them. I know a lot of readers are obsessed with Cassandra Clare, but good grief.

A few days ago I saw an announcement for a new series by Cassandra Clare - The Dark Artifices. The cover was gorgeous and for a moment I was intrigued! Until I saw that it was yet ANOTHER Mortal Instruments series. I understand that she apparently loves this series (and so do her fans), but when you've exceeded 25 books in the same book universe, maybe it's time to put down the pencil? Maybe.

At least she did branch out to co-write The Magisterium series, I guess. I just can't help but feel like she is getting every single last drop of milk from the Mortal Instruments cash cow. More power to the readers who will read all 25 of these books! Maybe one day I'll join you.

I get it. An authors' work is her baby. I understand that there might be some growing pains in moving on to different things. But some of these ladies just really need to understand when it's time to let go of their babies and just.move.on.

What do you think? Is it totally cool for an author to write the same series for 10 years or 25+ books? Or do you get the feeling they're stuck?