I love reading. Love. It. Do it as often as possible.
Every now and then though, I come across something that really annoys me – what annoys me more is when it’s not just in ONE book, but in SEVERAL. I can handle something if it’s just cropping up on occasion, but some things seem to be becoming trends.
Of course, I can overlook a lot if I like the story enough.
Today, I’m going to talk about two of my latest irritations.
The first of these is when an entire series is named after the first book. I see a series title as a way to link the books together, a way to tell the reader a little bit more about the series as a whole, while the title of each book hints at what is within it’s pages. It seems like a fantastic thing to use, to draw further interest and I’m sorry, but it seems incredibly lazy not to take advantage of that. A lot of the time it seems as though they could easily come up with something that would mesh with the whole better than just using the first thing that came to mind – the title of the first book.
LAZY. Come on! This is a creative industry! Make the most of the opportunities! I’m well aware that the authors themselves are probably not making these decisions, so I don’t blame them. It just seems like such a waste.
An example of something that works is: Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer) – this tells me way more, than if the whole series was called Ward Against Death (which, in some ways might actually work, as Ward is the main character and he wants to be a surgeon and stop people from dying). I can tell his profession, that it’s not his first pick, and it sets the tone well for that used in the telling of the story. WIN.
Others I like are Geist/Spectyr (Book of the Order Book #1/#2) and also Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book #1) – both of these hint at a larger world/landscape/organization behind each book in the series, linking them, while allowing the title of the book to give an idea of what is happening within it.
One that doesn’t work for me is: The Goddess Test (The Goddess Test). This is book one in the series, and while the story leaves off in a place that makes sense for there to be another book, she has passed the test and she is a goddess. So, that part of the story line seems to be wrapped up in book one – yet it’s the name of the whole series. Arg! Admittedly, I haven’t read further (as they aren’t out yet) and I can’t make a final verdict until the series ends, it seems like it’s pure laziness and a wasted opportunity to me.
The Hunger Games is less offensive to me, as each book does have Hunger Games stuff in it, but still, I think they could have come up with something a little more interesting.
Maybe I just want too much 😉 I really do think it’s a waste of opportunity though.
My second pet peeve of the day is books that have excessively long beginnings, or where most of the action is in the final 1/3rd of the book. I have been coming across is on a fairly regular basis at the moment – both in first and second books of different series. The writing isn’t bad – in fact I often don’t realize until 1/3rd in that nothing is actually happening – it’s quite often solidly written, so much so that it can fool the reader into thinking there is actually stuff going on. Important stuff.
An example of this lately has been Rebirth (Aftertime #2 – another series with the same name as the first book!). The writing was good, but a lot of the details could have been skimmed over. The final third of the book was excellent, and action packed, but it was a stretch to get there. Also, Falling Darkness, which I recently read but have yet to review. Lots of cool stuff happening, but none of it really important to the story. It felt like a huge lead in to the real story, with a cliffhanger ending leading to the second book in the series. ARG!
I can understand a writer wanting to set the scene, but sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes, the reader can pick stuff up as they go, sometimes the reader just wants to get to the actual story and not potter around in no-man’s land before then – that reader, obviously is me. I’m sure there are people who like things this way, just not me. I want you to hit me with the hook right near the start. Tell me why I’m reading, make me desperate to read on. Please!
Anyways. I can forgive a lot of things. All of the books I have mentioned have their good points, some of them I’ll read on in the series, some I won’t – either way, it’s not solely because of my pet peeves.
What drives you nuts? What are you sick of seeing in books? Are there any ‘trends’ you find annoying? Let me know! I’d love to know I’m not alone 😉