Sandi: On Series (And Reading in Order)

Y’all shhhheeeeeeee’s back! That’s right, welcome Sandi again! I’m hoping this year works out that her monthly post is actually monthly. And thus in the future, no introduction from me needed!

Recently my local book club had their monthly dinner, where we are fortunate enough to have an author call in. For January the author was Julie Ann Walker, who has quickly become a favorite of many members of my club. I personally hadn’t read Ms. Walker, but as I trust my book club friends I had her Chicago Knights trilogy waiting patiently in my TBR pile.

I decided that I would make an effort to get one book read before the night of the dinner. I thought I had done my research and had picked the first book of the series. I started my choice and while there were a few things that didn’t quite add up I didn’t fully realize that I had mistakenly picked the final book in the trilogy rather than the first book.

When I did realize this…well, let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight, and provided some good fodder for my friends to start the conversation with Ms. Walker. Yes, instead of reading Hell on Wheels I started what promises to be an entertaining series with the third book, Rev it Up.

Now, another of my book clubs is reading a series book, and I knew when they picked it that it was several titles in to the series, and I was leery of this, but they assured me that for this series reading out of order was ok. Fine, I’ll take the plunge I do after all have these women as my friends for a reason. It also wasn’t really their fault that I couldn’t research correctly and ended up with a concluding book, rather than a starting book for my other series venture.

So I’m currently reading Scorched by Laura Griffin part of her Tracers series. This time my friends appear to be correct, and it’s ok to be reading out of order. Whew! I would have hated to have been disappointed again….not in the story, but more in me and my ability to not read faster and to be current in all the series that I love.

Now that you know my story, what is yours? Do you like to read series? Can you read out of order? If you had done something like I did and read the conclusion to a series would you go back and read the first ones? Do you have a favorite series that you think everyone should have to read?

Until next month I wish you happy reading.

10 thoughts on “Sandi: On Series (And Reading in Order)

  1. Liz

    Sandi, I’m a total series whore! I hate reading books out of order, it fills me with angst! πŸ™‚ One series that I purposely read out of order, though, was Laurann Dohner’s New Species series. At the time I started, there were six books in the series, and after reading the reviews, I decided the concensus was that the first two weren’t great but the third one was the best of the series, so I started with number three. Although there were things I didn’t understand fully, it didn’t stop me from loving the heck out of the book, deciding the reviews were probably wrong and starting the series at the first book. So it has worked for me, but I don’t do that often.

    I’m not sure, though, if I started at the tail end of a series that actually ended (the New Species books are apparently going to continue one for a long time which is awesome for me), how I’d feel about starting from the beginning after knowing what ultimately happened. Like reading the last chapter before starting the book. I wish I belonged to a book club that meets in person! Sounds like lots of fun!

  2. Colleen Isolde

    I do like a good series and I definitely prefer to read a series in order, however, I did start Pamela Clare’s I-Team series with the latest release “Skin Deep.” I knew I was starting out of order but the synopsis spoke to me so I decided to start there. [Actually, the other series I read out of order was also written by Pamela Clare, her Blakewell/Kenleigh Family series] After “Skin Deep”, I read the series in order and I must say that while I knew whether certain couples were going to make it, while reading the individual books, I became so wrapped up in the story and emotion that I found myself hoping certain characters would make it. I’m being vague because I am trying to avoid spoilers here. πŸ™‚

    I found that even though I knew the ultimate outcome of certain characters, I still wanted to read about their journey. If the writing is good and the characters interest me, I am happy to go back in the series.

    I really loved Julie Ann Walker’s BKI series and can just imagine your “frustration” at realizing you were starting out of order. I am so looking forward to “Thrill Ride.”

    As far as favorite series, that is really hard for me to identify just one. I would recommend Pamela Clare’s I-Team series for everyone to read. She does thorough research that keeps the stories accurate and captivating and her characters are wonderfully written.

  3. kamebookreview

    I do love a series. I started my new love of series with Kathy Reichs and found I can read those out of series.
    If I am interested in a series I start at the beginning, but sometimes I pick up a book and then realize it is a series, then if I really enjoy the book I do go back and start all over again.

    I myself have three series right now that I am waiting for all the new books in the series
    Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights
    Pamela Clare’s ITeam
    (Colleen and I see eye to eye on these)
    Maya Banks’ KGI series

    I just read Alot Like Love by Julie James not realizing it was a series – not a big deal as these books are great stand-a-lones but I am going back to book 1!

  4. Willa

    I am totally anal about reading a series in order – tis an illness I say, an illness πŸ˜€ I have all my ebooks labelled on my reader as to which series they are in/from and they are listed in order (can’t take credit for that last bit, the reader does it but I ticked the box to make it so!)

    And talking about Laura Griffin’s Scorched (love her books) – she actually wrote Gabe and Kelsey’s story in the short story titled Unstoppable and then had so much feedback begging for a longer story for them that she wrote Scorched. So if you want to see how they first met, hooked up and solved a mystery it is a great read πŸ˜€

  5. JoAnne

    I love series since I can continue to read about characters I’ve connected with previously and I hate when I read them out of order – not knowing it’s a series – because there are always blanks that need to be filled in.
    I love when author on the books cover or inside tells you it’s a series or the books listing on their website does – I check there all the time. It frustrates me when an author doesn’t show it as a series when it actually is.
    Good post – thanks for sharing.

    jbcweiss AT sbcglobal DOT net

  6. Diane Sallans

    I love to read a series and if I know it’s a series insist on reading it in order. Sometimes I haven’t known a book was in a series until I’ve started reading – sometimes it really didn’t matter because connections are really well explained or are very minimal.

    I loved Janet Chapman’s Highlander series – it’s an interesting mix of contemporary and paranormal with a bit of historical thrown in. When I got to the end of it I found that she had a connected trilogy called Midnight Bay. Then after that she has a connected new series called Spellbound Falls – I’ve read them all and am looking forward to the the 4th Spellbound Falls book coming out in March.

  7. sandi

    Willa, If you can explain how you got your reader to do all those wonderful things, and which sort of reader it was I would be dying to know!

    It seems like all of us love series books, and much prefer reading in order! I wonder do you want a series to be short say 3-4 books, or do you like them to go on and on like the In Death books by Robb, or the Virgin River series by Carr?


  8. Willa

    *Waves* to Sandy. I have a wonderful Kobo Touch which gets regular new firmware updates and the last update (2.3.1) enabled the sort in sequence function when used in conjunction with Calibre. In Calibre there is a Kobo Plugin and I ticked the Set Series Information box in there πŸ˜€

    A quick Google may be able to tell you if a similar action can enable other readers.

    I do like a definite beginning, middle and end to my series. I hate that I have started a 4-6 book series and suddenly it changes to a never ending series – or worse, goes hardcover midseries. So that is why I read Nora Roberts and don’t bother with J.D.Robb πŸ™‚


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