The book community has been going crazy over the recent book release of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. While I’m also excited, I couldn’t help but think about how the people who read it immediately are going to need to wait over a year for the next book in the trilogy. Then, an additional year for the last book.
It’s a struggle that many book lovers face with their favorite authors, their favorite series, or even an extremely hyped upcoming series release. It’s a choice that readers have to make – read it now for that immediate satisfaction even though it’ll be painful waiting for the next release, or save it for later and read it when more books (or even the whole series) are out.
Here’s an anecdote (about losing interest in a series because of long new book release dates) from my experience:
Back when I was in high school, I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor a few months after it came out. For those of you who don’t know, Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a very popular Young Adult fantasy trilogy. I’m proud to say that I read it before the hype started and everyone else started reading it. It was an amazing book and I loved it, but I had to wait months for the second book in the trilogy to be released. Looking back on it now, it actually wasn’t that long – a few months is short compared to a lot of other release dates. However at the time, I was focused on getting instant gratification from reading the next book, and it was a large struggle for me. The week after the second book was released, I devoured it, and was then of course left with wanting to know what happened next, without the last book even having a release date. The third book ended up being released two years after that.
What happened in those two years? My hype and adoration for the series went on a gradual decline, and still to this day, I haven’t read the last book of the series. It’s on my to-read list though! It really is. But I haven’t read it because at the point when the book was released, I didn’t care that much, and I had forgotten a lot of what happened in the first two books. If, I mean when, I read the last book in that trilogy, I’ll probably need to re-read the first two books. However, I really dislike re-reading books just so that I can remember enough to read a new book release… So I might put this off for a bit longer.
As a side note, does anyone have recommendations on becoming up-to-date with the first few books of a series so that it’s easier to read a new release? I’ve tried reading summaries, but they tend to miss out on some details, and I feel like I miss important refrences while reading the new book in the series.
Other series that I’ve put off because of long release dates include:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare,
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare,
Divergent by Veronica Roth,
The Premonition by Amy A. Bartol,
The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine, and
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.
This list is non-exhaustive, because I’m sure there are series that I’m forgetting to add.
Don’t even get me started on book release dates that are pushed back a couple of months. Then a few more months. Then eventually a year. All bookworms have experienced this at one point or another, and it’s always extremely frustrating. I personally believe that the author and publisher should be more conservative with the release date initially, then surprise the readers with an earlier release date if things progress smoothly. Otherwise, fans become upset, and some people lose interest.
Then, there are book series that take this to an extreme and don’t have a new release for years. What comes to mind immediately for me is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, the author of the Twilight Series. I read The Host back in high school around seven years ago, and I remember really enjoying it. Since then, a movie adaptation came out in 2012 and Stephenie Meyer said in 2013 that she was working on a sequel [source], with the story probably becoming a trilogy. However, at the end of 2015 she published Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, which is basically the first book of Twilight, just with gender reversals of Bella and Edward. So essentially, Stephenie Meyer created an unasked-for version of Twilight, while not saying a peep about The Host sequel. A lot of fans are upset, which is apparent on the Goodreads page of the sequel, and overall the fandom has died down, which I think is really sad.
Another example of the author putting off the release date is The Kingkiller Chronicle Series by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a trilogy that is apparently fantastic – I don’t know much about it since it’s on my to-read list and I’d prefer to start reading it without knowing the premise of the story. The first two books are out, but the third one hasn’t been released for a while. The third book has apparently been pushed back five years, and there’s still not a solid release date for this book. Similarly to the Goodreads sequel page for The Host, people are frustrated and anxiously awaiting the release of this third book on its Goodreads sequel page. Apparently, there are fans who have been waiting since 2011 for this last book of the trilogy to be released.
As you can probably tell at this point, I’m very pro-waiting when it comes to reading books that are part of a series. I’d much rather wait a year or so to read a really good book if most of the series is already released, than to read them as they come out.
It’s because of it being so hard to be left with cliffhangers and wait for more to come out, that
I’m holding off on reading the following books until the next book in the series is released:
- The Wrath and The Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh
(second/last book released April 26th, 2016)
- A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
(second book released May 4th, 2016)
- The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson
(third/last book released August 2nd, 2016)
- Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas
(fifth book released September 6th, 2016)
- Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
(second/last book released September 22nd, 2016)
- The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen
(third/last book released November 29th, 2016)
- A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
(third/last book released in 2017)
- Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
(third/last book released in 2017)
I’m not necessarily waiting for all of the books in a series to be released before I start (or continue in some cases) reading a series. I’d just prefer it if the next book were out before I started it, in case there’s a cliffhanger. I’ll probably start reading the books that I mentioned a couple of weeks before the release date of the next book in their respective series.
That all being said, sometimes I lose the struggle of holding back from reading a certain book or starting a new series. Therefore,
I’ll probably be reading the following books before the next in the series is released:
- The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
(I’ve heard fantastic things about this, so I’m going to start this soon… I know that the trilogy hasn’t had a release date for years, but I can’t wait too long to read this.)
- Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton
(This book was just released, and it’s the first of a trilogy… So the next couple of books won’t be out for a while. I don’t want to be waiting to read this book for over a year for the next book to be released and 2-3 years for the whole trilogy to be out, so I’ll be starting this book soon.)
- Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken
(The next and final book is coming out in 2017, but I don’t think I’ll wait because there are mixed reviews on this, so I want to see where I stand – it’s possible that I won’t even want to read the next book.)
It’s hard for me to wait for new book releases. It really is. However, there are times when I can’t necessarily wait for the next book release before starting a book series because of the reasons that I listed above. Additionally now that I’m a book blogger and write book reviews, I realize that I’ll need to start series early on… I’m not looking forward to it (although part of me is super happy to be able to read amazing book sooner), but we’ll see how that goes.
What is your perspective on this issue? Do you prefer to put off books to read until it’s closer to the release date of the next book (like me), or do you prefer to read a highly anticipated read as soon as possible?