Series books have become quite popular in the YA world. From dark and gritty urban fantasies to the tales of preened upper society high schoolers, more and more shelves at bookstores are displaying ongoing sagas. I'm not complaining. I like knowing I'll get to spend just a little longer in a great story with characters I love. But series books can also get a bad rep for committing these sins. How forgivable are they?
Are these the best way to get readers in line for the next installment or will it just leave them throwing the book against the wall, swearing off the series entirely? It's great to leave some unanswered questions lurking in the readers mind, but ending a book with the main character, mid-fight and on the brink of death or standing between two love interests trying to decide, can be downright cruel!
Drawing a story out unnecessarily.
Nothing bothers me more than coming to a place in a series where the story drifts so far off the map I feel lost, only to drift back to the main story line with the next book.Of course there should be subplots, but let's just say a random sword wielding moose that is released onto the post-apocalyptic masses, just to be cleared up completely and far too neatly 325 pages later (never to be heard of again, mind you) can come across as nothing but filler if the moose didn't bring about some big revelations or changes in the main characters. Series books should have a forward momentum, some swelling to a big finish.
Have you ever gotten aggravated with a series? How do you feel about cliffhanger endings?