Reader Rambles: Series Reviews

How do you guys review series?

I’ve been pondering this a bit this year since I’ve just recently gotten into Urban Fantasy, which has some series with upwards of ten books. Part of me wants the satisfaction of having the entire series listed in my review index. But the other part of me realizes that after I review the first book, I don’t really have much to say that is different.

That’s the thing about Urban Fantasy series; the books are all very similar. The characters are the same (they may be dynamic, but how many times do I want to say “we saw her grow in this area” or “I loved seeing him fall deeper in love with her”), the plot is usually pretty formulaic (NOT a bad thing when I’m looking for entertainment that I know I will love. That’s why it’s based on a tried and true formula) and any paranormal or magic elements that may be new and exciting won’t seem too new and exciting by the eleventh review of the same series. I guess once I know how I feel about the first book, I feel pretty set for the rest. I don’t necessarily have much to say that is different.

Now, for Young Adult series, it’s a whole different ball game. They usually fall into trilogies, and it’s much easier to pick out things that are different, things I really liked or disliked, or the character arcs and the journeys each character takes. More happens at an accelerated rate because there’s less time. Even longer series like The Mortal Instruments or Vampire Academy seem to throw more curve balls than many Urban Fantasy series. I’m not saying I think Young Adult is more interesting than UF. I’m just saying UF many times finds what it’s good at and sticks to it without deviating much from the formula. This certainly isn’t true for all books out there, but the ones I’ve read have been pretty much this way.  The first review may say “I liked this about the main character”, and then in the second book, I’ll probably feel the same way about her.

So what do you normally do when reviewing long series? Do you just find ways to keep your reviews fresh, or do you, like me, stick to one review of the first book and then just forgo reviewing the sequels?

How do you review series?

This entry was posted in Rambles.

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