Posts Tagged ‘series’

Virgin River series by Robyn Carr

January 18, 2010

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reading this new series that I’m really enjoying. I finished Books 1-7 in this series and am on hold at the library for Book 8 which was released at the end of December. Book 9 is due this month and Book 10 shortly thereafter. This is hard for me. These aren’t books I necessarily want to own but I can’t stand the waiting, either.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr - Book 1 in series

Virgin River is a made up small town of about 600 people in the mountains of Northern California (near Eureka). It’s a place most people go to to fish or hunt or camp. Carr’s community of characters are mostly former military men and the women who cross their paths. I decided to give the books a try because it’s too long between Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter books. Carr’s books do not have nearly the same level of suspense that Brockmann’s do but she does weave several plotlines together within and between each book, which I like. Carr has a main couple to focus on in each book, but lives are so intertwined in Virgin River we get to see how others who’ve come before are doing (mostly they are wildly in love and having babies and keeping the town moving forward but that’s ok). Plus Carr has explored/included at least two teen and one “mature” couple’s relationships in the books, which rounds things out and gives her/us readers the opportunity to look at relationships between men and women from different perspectives.

I did not read the books in order . . . they didn’t come from the library that way . . . so this may have colored my reactions to the books e.g. Book 1 (Virgin River) wasn’t quite as interesting as I would have hoped but maybe it was just anti-climatic to read about how the two main characters in the series met after hearing about how they met in the 3 or 4 books in the series I read before I got to Book 1.  My favorites in the series so far are books 3 (Whispering Rock) and 7 (Paradise Valley). You can find the whole series in order at http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/robyn-carr/

Kindred in Death (Robb) and Grave Secret (Harris)

January 6, 2010

Here are two of my favorite series/authors. Funny, but I don’t like Nora Roberts’ books but I love J.D. Robb’s “in death” series. That isn’t the only combo like that either. Love J.R. Ward but Jessica Bird is only ok. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books are a hoot but her romances are pretty awful. . . .

At this point, with book 30, and this time of year (the holidays) Robb’s in death series reminds of an annual holiday letter . . . great way to catch up with an old friend. It’s been more than a year since I’ve read one – and it is clear I missed at least one from references to one character’s situation in this latest book – and it was nice to catch up.

Re: Charlaine Harris. I just love her writing. I haven’t read any of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries (there’s just too much else on my plate and cozy mysteries haven’t rung my bell yet) but I love the rest of Harris’ series (Sookie Stackhouse, Shadespeare and “Grave” with Harper Connelly and Tolliver). Although I had really weird dreams last night after finishing Grave Secret. . . .

Next up: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton.

Rant . . . Publishers only printing half a book!

December 5, 2009

Just finished Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo In the Bone and it ends in the middle of the story! Leaving aside the discussion that this series eventually has to end, my huge takeaway is:   I’m so tired of reading books that end on major cliff-hangers!!!

I love series books. I like revisiting characters to find out what they are up to next. Harry Potter was a great example of how to do this well. Each book had its own story arc that resolved itself within each book. We knew more interesting stuff and character development was forthcoming but we knew each book’/school year’s major conflict would be resolved.

But this trend of publishing only a portion of a single story arc is really irritating. Suzanne Collins truly excellent The Hunger Games (plus its sequel) and Kelly Armstrong’s new YA novel The Awakening (and its sequel) do the same thing. Gabaldon’s latest actually ends in the middle of a conversation between two of the characters (Jamie and Lord John)!!!

I compare this to The Lord of the Rings. All three books were already published by the time I first read the series. I suppose I’d be just as ticked about LOTR if I were reading those as they were published. But I don’t think it was standard publishing practice back then to do this to readers. It’s become a publishing habit these days . . . especially in the YA/children’s market.

I keep threatening to write to the publishers and with this one I may just do it. It’s like 5 years between Gabaldon books these days. This is not fair to readers, especially for a really well-established series like Gabaldon’s. Why should anyone buy a book when it is first released? Just wait for all the books to be released before starting a new series. . . . and get them at your public library so you aren’t being soaked for the price of 2 or 3 or more books just to get a single story!