19 March 2020

Bookish Blog Hop || How Many Books Is Too Many Books In A Book Series?


I'm excited to be joining in another Bookish Blog Hop! 


Each day, bloggers answer questions about themselves and the books they are reading. 


Today's question is: How Many Books is Too Many Books in a Book Series?

I really think it depends on the author and what they are trying to accomplish. There are some that have really stretched the plot as far as it can possibly go. Others, I can't wait to read the next book in the series, even when they are on 10+! The Jim Butcher Dresden series is a great example. No matter how many books he has written, he's kept the plot moving at the same pace as before. On the opposite of the spectrum, I loved the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton, but after about the 5th book, enough was enough.

Here's what the others had to say:



Jo Linsdell www.JoLinsdell.com


I think it really depends on the series. Some series are best left at 3 or 4 books, others can go on and on. My kids love the Beast Quest series written under the pen name of Adam Blade and that has 130 books in the main series. Not to mention the additional spin off series. According to my kids, there needs to be more. 

The Shepherd series by Ethan Cross is one of my favourites and that has 7 books, although I’ve heard they may be more coming. I really hope it’s true. I’d love for the series to continue. 

Stormi - Bewitched Reader Book Blog - www.bewitchedreader.com


I think the number of books in a series really depends on the series. The Harry Potter series is 7 books long, but I feel like it could’ve easily had more and I would've been happy. Other series I feel like should stop around 4 or 5 books, unless it’s a series of standalones, like The Harris Brother series by Amy Daws. If it’s a series of standalones then I can see it being 7 or 8 books long without it being overkill.

Laura Doherty - Tales of a Natural Spoonie - https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com


Book series are a bit of a bugbear of mine as it feels at times that you can never find just a standalone book. Like seriously finding a book that isn’t a part of a blinking trilogy or series feels like I’m searching for a needle in a haystack! I jest but I do think that the book series way of writing and marketing is overused. That being said if a book is a part of a trilogy and I’ve enjoyed the first book I will usually go on to read books 2 and 3. However if a book is a part of a series and there are more than 5 or 7 books I will give it up as a bad job. 

For example I’d love to read the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin books but WOW reading that series is a commitment and a half. 


I think the last big series I read was either the Red Team Books by Elaine Levine or The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I think both of these had 13 books, so its not that I won’t read a book series, just that I’d rather not.


Although having said all that I am loving the Wilde Investigations series by Laura Laakso. Book three Roots of Corruption is due to be released this month, and I know Laura is currently working on book FIVE!!! I’m in though now, I’m committed to seeing what happens with Yannia, Karrion, Dearon, Jamie, Wishearth and Lady Bergamon. These characters have captured my heart and I need to know their stories.

Leslie Conzatti -- www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com


As everyone else has said, the “adequate length” of a given series depends on the strength of the plot and the amount of world-building. You have on the one hand Mark Lawrence and his trilogies--excellent worlds he’s created, but a limited scope for his plot, which enables him to produce a quality story arc that leaves the reader satisfied in the end, with just three books. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the creative minds behind Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym for a team of authors), responsible for the Lorien Legacies series, which started out with seven books in the main story arc, one spin-off series, and even a sequel series that has at least three books at this point! 

This idea is not restricted to just fantasy or sci-fi series, either. In the realm of mysteries, you have David Baldacci, who writes quality thrillers ranging from stand-alones or trilogies to series of six or seven books--all chock-full of memorable, distinct, sympathetic characters. Then you have Sue Grafton, who created a series with one book for every letter of the alphabet (except Z, as she unfortunately passed away just after the book for Y was released), a whopping 25 books--and while those do get a bit predictable after a while, she kept it fresh and fun, and the unique crimes her character investigated still manages to keep a reader interested!

If a book’s characters are uninteresting, or the plot is insufficient--whether too complex or too simple--then “too much” might be as low as two books. I’m thinking of another series by David Baldacci, namely, his attempt at writing YA fantasy, known as the Vega Jane series. The thing Baldacci does well in any of his books is creating a solid plot for diverse and vibrant characters. Where Vega Jane fell apart was in the world-building: the terminology was too confusing, the backstory and continuity didn’t quite mesh, and thus the story arc suffered. Even though the characters were great and the concepts fascinating, the attempt at fashioning a whole new glossary failed after the second book (essentially, after two whole books of using this “reinvented” terminology--basically a word-substitution for just about every real-world concept, from animals to the reckoning of time--the character “discovers” a “new” part of the world where everything is called what you or I would call it, and thereafter all the characters use these “new” words), which meant the novelty of the premise was shattered, and thus the compulsion of the plot lost its urgency, and I ended the third book (not realizing there would be a fourth!) a bit disappointed at this plot malfunction. It wasn’t entirely the flaw of the author--Baldacci continues to turn out wonderful and compelling thrillers, geared toward adults and set in the real world--but it was, I think, too ambitious of a premise, poorly executed. I did procure the fourth book from the library, but I hesitate to read it because I worry that it might be too hard to “re-enter” a fantasy world I’d already “exited” before I’d even finished the third book.
Then, of course, there are the indie authors with magnificent series that I’d love to see continue, even if it takes a while! Kelly Blanchard already has a solid nine-book epic series, The Chronicles of Lorrek complete with a collection of over 100 spin-off short stories, and at least two more spin-off series of undetermined length promised for the future--and the world-building she’s already done has enough breadth and depth to sustain it all. Authors like R. R. Virdi and Lisa Rae Morris have series just in the beginning stages (of one or two books), that hold the potential to last for a very long time--and I want to be there for every single one of them!



So there you have it! What about you? How Many Books is Too Many? Let me know in the comments!