13 August 2009

Retracing Your Steps

Friends and I were chatting the other week at morning tea. Say you'd read a series, a great yet complicated series. But say the author had...'paused'...mid-series (no, I'm not getting on my soapbox about that topic, because we discussed that in Soapbox Favourites (Part II) but was finally planning to publish the next 'installment'. Would you go back and re-read the whole series to familiarize yourself with the characters and the plot to date or would you read a synopsis?


  1. I'd probably just try to wing it. I have too many new books to read to devote a huge amount of time to re-reading a long series. Not to mention it would take me forever with the pace I read at.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Yes I would. Just to get back in the vibe of the authors writing style, world building and of course to get a feel for the characters again. With a re-read things might be perceived different, if it has been years perhaps other things get noticed too. I don't know what I would do if it would be a equilevant of Nora Roberts' In Death series though...hhmmmmm

  4. Unequivocally yes.

    I am well behind in my Outlander reading--two books behind, gah! but back when the bug was fresh, I did read the first three waiting for the fourth (and these are massive tomes, too)

    I didn't do it for Harry Potter or for the Children of the Earth series because those are fairly simple, but for Outlander? It was pretty much essential.

  5. Generally I will just read the previous book in the series and that will wake up my brain enough to bring me up to speed for the new installment. :)


  6. Re-read! (its probably why that tbr is so unmanageable) I like revisiting the old characters.

    As an example: Just finished a re-read of Ann Aguirre's Grimspace and read Wanderlust in prep for Doubleblind

    Hm... see you are reading Where Serpents Sleep. I have it in the TBR somewhere so am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

  7. Heidenkind - I would probably just try to wing it too, especially if it was a series that dragged in places. I'm thinking of George RR Martin's series - there is only so much travelling I can take :) Saying that, I never felt bored with the travelling in Melusine (Sarah Monette).

    Ohhh, very good points Leontine! If Melanie Rawn ever releases The Captal's Tower I will definitely be going back and reading the first two in the Exiles series. I don't think a synopsis could adequately cover all the intricate detail.

    LOL azteclady! I've already read Outlander (7 years ago), but have decided to try the series again and am starting at the beginning. Am really beginning to think the question, at least for me, is series dependent :)

    I like that idea Michelle. Familiarization without taking up too much time :)

    Aymless - I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that, for me, re-reading would be series dependent :) Oh, and I'm only about 25 pages in to WSS, but it's very good! CS Harris writes so well! Oh, and I did enjoy Eve of Darkness - thank you so much!

  8. I think it would depend on the series. If it had been a couple of years I probably would have too.

    I don’t do nearly as much re-reading as I used too. It’s kind of sad. But I’m on a mission to get that TBR pile down :o)

  9. Interesting question. I'm with many of the above, it would depend on the series. I read so damn slow, I would have to be so commited to reread. Okey, really curious about the series here.

  10. Like stated above, I'll usually just re-read the previous book. Though, on occasion, I have gone whole hog and re-read the entire series!

    Recently, I've really enjoyed "re-reading" by listening to the audio versions. It sometimes is a way to get some new insight into an old favorite!

  11. LeeAnn - I'm aon a mission to get that TBR pile down too...I'm not doing very well at the moment :)

    CJ - I really do think it is series dependent. The (fantasy) series we were talking about is by George RR Martin. It's very long and very complicated.

    Renee - I like that idea. I really must try an audiobook at some point!

  12. I'm also an 'it depends'. It depends on how much I loved the previous books, how daunted I am by the thought of re-reading, etc, etc.

    Usually I start reading the latest book to see if I can still follow the story. I find with fantasy especially that many authors tend to drop memory prompts or provide some back story anyway so it's pretty easy to wing it.

  13. I find with fantasy especially that many authors tend to drop memory prompts or provide some back story anyway so it's pretty easy to wing it.

    I'm with you on that Kris, although one of the things that struck me about The Mirador (Sarah Monette) is that there was no realy backstory (more on that in my review, which I must write!).

  14. I'd go back to the beginning again. I was doing that with each new release of the In Death books but then it got to be to many *g*. I still like to go back to Naked in Death every so often though so see how far Eve has grown.