I’ve read a few books for which I’m working on reviews, and I’m struggling with something. I want to ask your collective opinions as readers.
There are so many series books out now and I’ve been upfront about the fact that series books are difficult for me and my crap-tastic memory unless the world is surprisingly easy to Rhe-Ehnter even if that world mhakhes mhe whant to phuhl ouht my hhaihr sometihmehs.
I’ve encountered so many first-of-a-series books that at this point I’m not entirely sure how to evaluate them: do I want the books to stand alone so well that the quest for the sequels comes from my wanting to revisit that world? Or do I want the book to function like a really spiffy tv pilot that introduces characters, starts a few plot threads, and solves one while leaving other larger ones unfinished so I have to seek out the sequels to find out What Happens in the End?
Do I then evaluate the larger story arc’s potential, though its unfinished, or do I look solely at the plots within the first volume? Do I ask whether I want to keep reading? And if one book is enough does that lessen the effectiveness of the book itself, because even if I did enjoy it, I may not want to read more. Is that book an effective novel on its own? Is the book an effective pilot?
I am having a hell of a time figuring out how I want to evaluate the first book of a series. It’s both a pilot, meant to entice me to read later volumes, and a stand alone novel, so perhaps I should ignore or discount the unfinished plots that continue into later volumes. What do you think? How do you approach the first book of a series?