It is a well known fact that sequels are freakishly terrifying.
And when I say “well known” I mean you just read it here on my blog now, so provided at least 5 people read this post — IT SHOULD COUNT AS WELL KNOWN. This is called #CaitLogic and no one has ever lived to deny it. *
I have decided that sequels are, in fact, scarier than the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Probably because I’m looking forward to the zombie apocalypse ** whereas when it comes to reading sequels, I generally have a mental breakdown for 9 minutes to 9 years. I just don’t want them to disappoint me and they have a notorious tendency to do so. Which hurts my delicate constitution. I was born like a fragile leaf.
Lately I’ve been reading a bucket load of these dreaded sequels. My nerves are fraying. IT’S SHOWING WITH MY HAIR GREYING UPON MY HEAD. And while some have been absolutely amazing (A Conjuring of Light and Gemina, for instance) others have made me chew through a brick wall in frustration (aka Starfall and The Spirit Rebellion and The Cursed Queen). More often than not, I just do !! not !! want !! to !! read !! sequels !!!
Except I also do want to read them because if I love the first book, I want more.
DO YOU SEE MY PROBLEM??? ***
But, being me, I decided it would be a good idea to make a list of all the reasons sequels are terrifying. Because if you make a list, it makes it true. I’m sure this list will backfire on me and do NOTHING to help me get over my fear of sequels but whatever. The day this blog gets too sensible is the day you know I finally got abducted by aliens.
* Was that ominous? It probably seems ominous.
** I’m looking forward to eating my enemies and being the Last One Standing In All Of Earth so I can finally catch up on my TBR pile.
*** Erm, one of many problems??? I mean, there are other ones you may have picked up. Like my inability to spell and my self-inflated opinion of what counts as “well known” and my tendency to shout at you.
1. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST FREAKING BOOK.
This, obviously, wouldn’t be a problem if you waited until the full series was out before reading. BUT WHO DOES THAT???? And what if I don’t even LIKE the series?!? I want to try it now and see. Plus, ugh, I don’t want to be spoiled. Plus if you don’t show your support of series ASAP the publishers might decide no one wants them and not publish the rest.
And then you get to scream into the void for 9 years.
SO! I TRY ALL THE SERIES!
And that means, in 12 months time when the next book comes out I have no memory of this place at all. Partially because I have a horrid memory to begin with, and partially because I’ve legit read 200 books between then and now — where do you think I’m storing all this info??? IN MY LEFT SOCK? No, sir. I am not storing it. It simply vanishes and leaves me looking peeved.
2. AND WHILE YOU’RE WAITING FOR 12 MONTHS FOR ANSWERS, YOU END UP MAKING UP YOUR OWN.
Expectations just go THROUGH THE ROOF, even if you don’t avidly sit there thinking about it…you just sort of stew it. Like cinnamon apples. Which seems delicious but hey newsflash — the author of the series is not simmering the same ideas as you. Ergo they might take a book in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION to what you have been anticipating for a year.
This is awkward.
It generally ends in tragedy.
3. PUBLISHERS GET A LOT OF JOY OUT OF PRINTING SEQUELS AT DIFFERENT SIZES.
I’m 99% sure Satan works in the publishing office and every time they go to a meeting to discuss a sequel, little Satan pipes up with, “oKAY BUT WHAT IF WE MAKE THE SEQUEL SLIGHTLY SHORTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK?????” And everyone agrees probably because he bribes them with cookies from the dark side.
Oh no, I’m not crying, dear, haha don’t worry.
IT’S JUST RAINING ON MY FACE.
4. THEY START KILLING EVERYONE OFF THAT I LOVE.
Because what are you even supposed to do in a sequel except KILL OFF ALL THE FUN CHARACTERS???? Apparently this brings evil authors great joy. Which, as a writer, I understand. As a reader, I just kind want to drown them in a vat of wombat soup.
Look I waited a year for this darn sequel and you’re going to kill my children???? No.
5. NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS BECAUSE EVERYONE’S TOO BUSY HAVING A MENTAL BREAKDOWN AFTER BOOK #1 TRAGEDIES.
Look this does make sense. Book one = doom, war, anguish, disaster, probably death. So book two obviously has to cope with all of that. UNFORTUNATELY…it is heckin’ boring to read about characters having emotional breakdowns half the time. It’s like a rerun of my own life, especially on laundry day, so I don’t want that.
6. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE FAMED “SEQUEL TROPES”.
Actually do get me started. Because this is a BLOG and it’s dedicated to getting me started on a topic that I can rant about for hours. EXCEPT I WON’T GO FOR HOURS!!! I shall give you a concise list of reoccurring sequel-tropes that I wish would die. Look. I even have a shovel to bury them. #proactive
- Book 1 had the couple getting together, so book 2 will break them up. THIS IS SO TEDIOUS.
- Let’s just ditch fun characters we had in the last book for NO REASON and bring in new ones that you care NOTHING ABOUT.
- Road trip time!!!…for no reason except to put me to sleep ugh.
- Everyone is too wounded to actually do anything fun.
- They repeat ALL their mistakes because someone wasn’t paying attention to the moral lessons in book 1.
- It’s boring because they’re just stretching the plot to get to the finale.
7. EXTREME CASES OF DEJA VU WHICH MAY HAVE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS OF HEADACHES, NAEUSA AND HAIR LOSS.
Do you ever read a sequel and think, “Wait did I not read all of this in book 2.” WHERE IS OUR BRAIND NEW INFORMATION? Because if there is on brand new information to slap in my delicate leafy face, then why am I here????
Sequels should have something new in them, and this doesn’t just mean the character now smells like strawberries instead of cinnamon due to a shampoo change. It means A NEW PLOT THAT’S DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST BOOK’S.
8. IT DRASTICALLY CHANGES FROM WHAT BOOK ONE GAVE ME.
I’m sure this happens because the author grows and their visions change and maybe the pressure got to them, or they don’t drink the same flavour of unicorn blood as they used to. Either way, the tone or the characters go through drastic and unfounded changes. And it HURTS ME. This is not what I signed up for???? My biggest peeve is when the first book is sassy and the next books are mopey.
Like am I reading a sequel or just a completely new book here, mate.
9. NO ONE ELSE HAS READ IT SO WHO DO I EVEN TALK TO ABOUT THIS.
Most bookworms suffer from this terrible disease that takes first your lungs, then your elbow, and then your eye sockets, and lastly turns your skin to pale ash. The disease is called = A TBR PILE. AND IT MEANS YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO READ SEQUELS EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO. So half the time when I get to a highly anticipated sequel, I’m hit with the realisation that it’s not everyone else’s highly anticipated sequel. Ergo I’m alone reading it. Ergo who am I supposed to discuss it with?? mY DOG???
So great. Maybe this sequel has given me ALL THE FEELS and now I have to suffer alone while I wait 8 years for my TBR to release my friend so they can read it too.
10. IT’S ABSOLUTELY GINORMOUS AND IT’S GOING TO BREAK MY WRISTS TO HOLD THIS BEAST UP.
Look I’m actually a little bit of a weak frail leaf, okay? This might be because I am smol in stature and don’t eat my greens, or because I’ve slept a collective of 5 hours in the last 23 years, or because I don’t lift weights. * EITHER WAY THE FACT STANDS (or the fact sits because #lazy) — sequels often double in size of the first books and this makes them hard to hold. I also have a self-confessed phobia of huge amounts of pages, but whatever.
- A Darker Shade of Magic = 400 pages. A Conjuring of Light = 630 pages.
- Rebel Of The Sands = 300 pages. Traitor To The Throne = 560 pages.
- A Game of Thrones = 800 pages. A Dance With Dragons = 1120 pages.
- Cinder = 380 pages. Winter = 820 pages.
- City of Bones = 400 pages. City of Heavenly Fire = 720 pages.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone = 320 pages. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire = 730 pages.
- Red Rising = 380 pages. Morning Star = 520 pages.
- Throne of Glass = 400 pages. Empire of Storms = 700 pages.
Look we want you to use your words. But not all your words. Just some of them??? JUST PLEASE. MERCY.
* But I lift books. Or, better yet, I get my sister to lift them for me and dub her my dutiful pack-mule. Unfortunately she recently left home??? I’m sure not to get away from me, but yet it leaves me carrying my own books and this is tedious.
Yet despite being dead with fear over sequels…there are still a ton I am about to read. SOON, PRECIOUS, SOON. Because they can also be the best thing of ever??!???? Like sometimes book one is just warming up and then — BOOM — book two is everything good in this world. Therefore I will still read all the sequels. I’ll just cry and whinge and procrastinate them too.
Here are some I’m (hopefully HA HA) reading this year:
But seriously zombies > sequels. Much less stress.
hello brave souls: how do YOU feel about sequels??? do you forget first books before the sequels comes out? are you irrationally scared of sequels being bad? and what are some sequels you’re going to read this year??? TELL ME ALL. OR I’LL THROW A BUTTERFLY AT YOU. *