11 December 2009


No, not mine. Sorry, not the best title selection. Last month (at least, I think it was last month), while I was reading Grimspace (Ann Aguirre), my lovely friend Kerry informed me that Ann Aguirre had sold the last two books in the Jax series, so the story arc will be completed. And that got me to thinking..

My immediate thought (selfish I know) was 'YAH'! There will definitely be an ending!' Because, as a reader, it is...incredibly frustrating to not have an ending to a story that you have invested time and energy in. (And yes, I'm aware of the vagaries of publishing and that sometimes the author is just as frustrated as the reader when a story arc in left incomplete.) The example that springs to mind whenever I think of a incomplete story arc is The Exiles, a fantasy trilogy by Melanie Rawn. I read the first book in 1994 and the second book in 1997. As for the third book...well, I'm glad you asked *grin* The third book hasn't been released yet...I actually don't think it has been written. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way, shape or form demanding the third book. It's not my place to do so. And, I'm aware that Melanie Rawn has experienced serious health issues over the past few years, and I can't imagine how hard it is to write when healthy, let alone when you are not.

I guess what I would like is some indication from the author as to whether (or not) the third book will ever be published. If it won't be, I'll accept that...it's the not knowing that drives me up the wall. And if the third book is never published, then I really hope that Melanie will make available a short plot synopsis, with answers to all those questions that I have. It's like the TV series The Pretender. All those plots never completed...it's... *deep breath*

So, how do you feel about books with incomplete story arcs?


  1. Hey Orannia! one thing I can tell you, is my publisher bought books 1 and 2, and what they do, and I think this is standard for newbies, is they hold off on buying #3 and later until they see how sales and reviews are. Often, they decide not to buy book 3 and beyond of a series before even #2 comes out - I have seen that time and time again with authors, who then sometimes go on to sell later books elsewhere, but sometimes not.

    You should write Michelle! I bet she's got it largely written and plotted if not completed. And if not, I bet she'd love to know somebody's thinking about her story. I bet she'd love to share it with you if she did!!

  2. Heh - I think it tends to vaguely annoy me in principle but rarely in practice, since I'm a little... how do I put this... ADD with books.

    Basically, if I'm reading something and enjoying it it, it's awesome, and I can't wait for the next one to come out. But as soon as I pick up the next series I really enjoy, I kind of... forget about the last one. So in practice, even if a series isn't finished, if I've been distracted by something else, it doesn't really bug me that much.

    And hey, you've seen the size of Mt TBR, right? There's a *lot* of potential distraction in there!

  3. They make me twitch. This has actually only happened to me once, with Sandy Hingston. She wrote this series called The School for Scandal, but was dropped by her publisher. I don't think she writes anymore at all. :(

  4. Yes, I hate it. I want to know the end of the story.

    I agree about Melanie Rawn's Exiles books
    Kate Elliott's Jaran books
    Doris Egan's Ivory books
    Patricia Keneally-Morrison's Keltia books

    I'm sure there are plenty of others, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I don't blame the author in any of these cases, but I do wish I could read more of the books.

  5. CJ - I'm rapt that your publisher has bought your first two books! I can't wait to read Mind Games and will definitely be keeping my fingers crossed that it sells well and your publishers offers for the third book! And yes, I have seen some authors start with one publisher and move to another (with the same series).

    starfire - Mt TBR? LOL! It has been growning - YIKES! I'll admit to being OCD WRT books. I like to know how things end...and yes, it leads to a lot of frustration :)

    heidenkind - it's so frustrating. You just want all those loose plot ends tied up, and you know you're not...it's so hard when you've invested so much time. Hmmm. Maybe we should email the author and see if they can give us an idea of the planned ending...

    Kerry - me too! I haven't read books by the other three authors you mentioned but I have been eyeing up Kate Elliott's books *makes note of incomplete story arc* I'm definitely not blaming Melanie Rawn. Life is...what it is. It's just frustrating, and I'd rather know she wasn't going to write the book than just being in limbo...I'm definitely more of a 'give me the bad news so I can deal with it' than a 'I don't want to know' gal...

  6. Less than 100 days until CJ's Mind Games is released!!! Just had to throw that in here.

    I definitely want closure and finality in a series I'm reading. I don't mind if it's 3 books or 13, but I'd like to know if and when it's ending. I'm sure the writers themselves want to complete their story arcs as well. I imagine it drives them more nuts than it does the reader when the last story doesn't get published. To put it bluntly, that must really suck when that happens.

  7. Less than 100 days until CJ's Mind Games is released!!! Just had to throw that in here.

    YAH! And good point - there might be far more than three books, but we need to know there will be an ending. That is why I was so glad when JK Rowling announced that she had written the final chapter of Harry Potter. I knew then that regardless I would know what the author intended. Am loving the In Death books, but...I wonder if JD Robb has an ending in mind?

    And yes, I can't begin to imagine how frustrating it is for authors, particularly when readers would turn to them first for an explanation, and not the publisher...