The Doctor is In: Sequel Syndrome

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Out there in the book universe, I’m sure there is a book doctor—well, before the book is published, the doctor is called the editor, of course.  However, after its publication date and the author lets the book leave his or hers nest, who becomes the doctor?  The owner, of course.  The reader who delves into the story.  The librarian who keeps all the books from behaving on their shelves. 

As readers we must be aware of something.  And that is identifying certain syndromes the book possess. There is a long list of clichés, sicknesses that editors couldn’t catch before it was time, syndromes that may be the downfall of the book.  Today, we will be discussing just one syndrome that has long taken hold of many books.  Sequel Syndrome.

What is sequel syndrome?  Sequel syndrome is the suffering of a sequel in a series that was not as good or equal in reader satisfaction as the first.

The first one was AWESOME! And readers were so excited to get their hands on the next until...

A lot of series fall prey to this syndrome.  Here’s a list of five that suffer:

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer: Really? Edward and Bella tried so hard to be together and he just decides to leave.  Like, no.  Similar to the blow up that Cassandra Clare created when she dropped the bomb that Jace and Clary may be siblings, Edward is leaving Bella for her protection.  I would tell people to skip the sequel and go on to to Eclipse if the Volturi and Jacob wasn't such a big part of the plot later on.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong: The most difficult part about sequels is now that authors have established the characters are baseline plot, they have this freedom in the second one to do as they please.  This is what creates the syndrome.  Sometimes that freedom doesn't work.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien: As much as I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers is lacking something that the other two definitely have.  I can't identify what it is but it just doesn't work.

Mockingjay by Suaznne Collins: I know a lot of people, including myself, did not like the third Hunger Games book as the rest of the series.  It was my least favorite.  

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey: This sequel shouldn't have even happened.  I loved the first book and it ended with Jessica become royal.  Can't we live it in happily ever after? 

However, don’t think that every sequel suffers from Sequel Syndrome.  That is most definitely not the case.  It is possible that sequels can be as awesome, if not better than the previous book.

Stay tuned for next week’s posts where we immerse ourselves deeper in the world of sequels for Official Sequel Month.  And guess what?! This week we are celebrating Winter’s release. Winter is finally here.  Go HERE to take an awesome Lunar Chronicles quiz.

Have you read any books that suffer from Sequel Syndrome?

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