We’ve talked before about stopping reading a particular series because one of the series’ books has ruined the whole experience for you (for example, Robin Bradford dumped Laurell K. Hamilton), but we haven’t delved further into which specific books have made readers say, “That’s it. I’m done with this.”
So we asked around, and some of our bloggers and Twitter friends answered the question:
What specific book caused you to give up on a series entirely?
Chloe Neill’s Drink Deep has done it for me with Chicagoland. I can forgive a lot, but not a blatant (and boring) rip-off of Dark Willow [from Buffy The Vampire Slayer]. Ridiculous.
J.R. Ward’s Lover Enshrined.
It’s not romance, but I haven’t read an Elizabeth George book since she killed off Helen, Inspector Lynley’s wife in With No One As Witness (2005). I was one of those first-day-of-release-buy-it-in-hardback fans after I read the first book, and a big part of the appeal for me was the developing relationship between Helen and Lynley. Then to have them marry, have Helen pregnant, and have her killed—I felt betrayed by the author and that was the end of my days as an Elizabeth George fan. I was not one of the fans screaming all over the Internet that George had no right to kill the character. As the author, she has the autonomy to write what she wishes. But as a reader, I have the autonomy to choose what to read, and I don’t choose to read books in which a major character may die.
As you can see, it’s been more than six years, and I still feel strongly about that death.
For Chloe Neill: Hard Bitten started the dislike, but Drink Deep finished it for me.
Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series: Blue Moon, when the multiple sex started.
1. Stopped reading Ward when she had a ghostly heroine. Never. Read. Her. Again.
2. Stopped reading Brockmann (well, switched to library and now never read her) when she changed the love interest that she had promised her fans.
The last Sookie Stackhouse book has me backing away slowly but I am not totally ready to break up yet. Will if next 1 sucks.
Dark Predator by Christine Feehan. Somewhere along the pages the characters have confused rape with love.
Pamela Webb-Elliott: I stopped reading the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris at book 9, From Dead To Worse. I was a rabid fan of the series and around book 6 Definitely Dead, the character’s treatment (Sookie) of another secondary love interest (Quin) was SO AWFUL that I could not forgive. And overall, it became clear to ME that her attention was more on the show True Blood than the books. The magic that lured me and held me to the series was completely gone when I finished Dead to Worse. I blame her trying to bring in Faery mythology! Total fail. Ending the series is the best decision she could make, but I still won’t read the last books.
I read Stephanie Bond’s Book One — Baby, Drive South — and actually reviewed it for H&H, and although I had reservations about it I at least enjoyed it enough to check out Book Two.
Baby, Come Home features one of my least favorite tropes in fiction — the Secret Baby plot. The hero and heroine, Kendall and Amy, broke up after he joined the military and she left town. She didn’t tell him (or anyone) that she was pregnant with his child at the time. Was he abusive toward her? No. Was he involved with the Mafia or the Triads or the Medellin Cartel or some other group that surely would have hurt her and the baby, had the child’s existence been known? Nope. Basically, she just didn’t feel like dealing with him. So she didn’t. For fifteen years.
So I got to that point and found Amy’s behavior and attitudes so reprehensible that I didn’t want her to get her HEA; I wanted her to be eaten by a crocodile. And then I realized “You know, I don’t really like any of these people all that much.” I did not move on to Book Three.
There have been other series over the years where I read the first installment and said “Eh, not for me, no harm no foul.” But this is the only one I can think of where I was actively turned off mid-stream. (Well, okay, Outlander. But that was more because I got bored with it.)