*Originally published in 2015/07/30
In the world of trilogies and series many fall flat with repetitive plots, frustrating readers with love triangles or never letting the couple become a couple, and/or start to be ghostwritten/co-authored so the series can churn out 2-3 books a year (but alas, lack the original author’s talent).
James Patterson’s Alex Cross and The Women’s Murder Club were two of my favourite series, but by book 7 I could figure out the plot faster than the author probably had intended. As I kept reading I no longer cared how the women or Cross would finally tie up all the loose ends. I kept picking up the next book more out of routine. I was noticing the books I enjoyed by Patterson were usually written on his own (or with Andrew Gross) and wondered why he would team up with an unknown author rather than writing on his own which worked well for him. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have divorced myself from the Cross series as it feels too much like a chore to even pick up the next book (Alex Cross’s Trial). I have separated but not given up The Women’s Murder Club so will give book 8 a chance when I have the energy to try to reconcile.
Another series I have divorced is Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. I find myself shouting (way too much)…”Pick one, already! Please no more monologues on how hot and mysterious Ranger is compared to how sexy and good Morelli is.” While I love Lula’s sass and Grandma Mazur’s comebacks and antics I just can’t take the cliched plots and same secondary characters being recycled as new ones (and stopped officially at Fearless Fourteen).
I have always felt obligated in finishing a series once I start just like my OCD tendencies will only allow me to start at book one for any series. But enough was enough. Why was I reading a book I could just as easily put down and never think about it again when there were so many books that made me do the Snoopy dance when I just held it in my hands? I have broken the chains of series obligations and taken my reading time back.
So you can imagine my apprehension on starting a new-to-me series with a high number of books. An acquaintance once talked me into reading JD Robb’s (aka Nora Roberts) first book, Naked in Death. I went in not wanting to like it as it seemed like a daunting task. I finished the book and went, meh. I felt good that I was off the hook in starting a new series. Then my dear friend (who inspired me to read Stacy Green’s series) convinced me to try the first book (and ultimately the series) again by just her passion for this series…and I felt left out in chats. In March 2012, I started with book one again (liking it but not loving it) and then picked up book 2, 3, 4, 5,
etc. There was no love triangle, and the couples do not get boring or drag, each plot is different and the suspense had me staying up nights trying to finish them. The fact that this series is set in the future with some futuristic aspect adds to the freshness. There are few repetitive factors in this series (might contain spoilers so won’t go into them) but it’s comforting rather than eye-rolling. Call it sci-fi mystery romance, romantic suspense or plain mystery…this is a series that will keep you reading.
Here I am almost three and half years later listening to book 48 (plus 10 novellas) and still loving the In Death series. It isn’t Eve’s romance with Roarke that makes me download the next audio with glee, but the friendship between Eve and Peabody, the insights from Dr. Mira, the banter between her and Summerset, the fabulous secondary characters that bring the world of In Death alive and the way Eve Dallas loves her job and does it well. There are bad books in this series but I have not rated any book less than 3 stars and would still recommend people read them (as they are still good just not great as the standout ones). I will let you know how I feel when I get to book 50 on how it’s going but I am very impressed with Ms. Roberts’s writing and her ability in keeping my interest.
Agree or disagree with my thoughts on In Death, Alex Cross, The Women’s Murder Club or Stephanie Plum? Let me know! Or any series I should stay away from as you have divorced yourself from it?