Series I Never Finished Reading #3 – The Ones that Fizzled Out.

Most of my regular readers know that I don’t often read series. Mind you, there was a time that I read lots of them. But today, things have changed, even though sometimes I’ll read the first novel of a series in hopes of finding one in which I want to get invested. No, I’m not talking about books that looked like stand-alone novels, that ended up having sequels. What I’m talking about are the series that I started to read – knowing full well that there would be more books in the future – and then… stopped reading one point in time or another. Some of them fizzled out after a while, some just got lost in the shuffle, while others flopped from the start, and (another category added recently) some started as stand-alone novels that got more than one sequel, but I wasn’t really interested in reading more about these characters. Let’s see which ones are in each of these categories.

When I started writing this, I didn’t realize just how many series I had begun reading and never finished. So, I’ve decided to do this in three separate posts, which has now turned to four separate posts. Ironically, that makes these… a series of posts about series I never finished reading! Today I’m talking about:

Those that fizzled out…

What I mean by this is, series I began reading with enthusiasm and then slowly, became less interested in finishing.

Earth's ChildrenEarth’s Children – Jean M. Auel. Funny story; I read the first four of this series faithfully. When the fifth one came out, I won a copy in some competition, but they wouldn’t ship it internationally. So, I had it sent to a friend of mine in the US, who said she would forward it to me. Unfortunately, either she never sent it, or she sent it and it never arrived. Well, time went by and I forgot about it altogether. Then several years passed and suddenly there was a sixth book published. But to be honest, I was less thrilled with the fourth book (which included a bit too much graphic sex scenes for my taste), so although I wanted to read on, I never felt motivated to catch up.

Masters of Rome BooksMasters of Rome – Colleen McCullough. I really plowed through these books when they first came out, almost fanatically. Yes, they were very detailed and pretty complex (with the need to look things up in the glossary every so often), but I loved them… until… I bought the sixth book, which, for some reason, I just didn’t have the patience to finish, so I never did, and never got the last book. Yes, shame on me because they are fascinating, but they are all also very long books, and you need to be in the right mood to read them (I wouldn’t recommend you get them as eBooks, because I don’t think you can flip back and forth between the glossary and the text, which I found invaluable while reading them). Maybe it was because there was a gap between the fifth and the sixth book, or maybe I just lost patience; I’m not sure which.

Lemony SnicketA Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket. I bought and read (in one fell swoop) the first three books in this series hoping to find something that my younger kids might like to read. I thought they were okay, kind of funny, and surely fun. I gave them to my children, but none of them ever picked them up, so I never bothered to buy any more of the series. By the way, I saw the movie version that included the first three books, and I thought it was visually well done, but there was something odd about it, that rubbed me the wrong way. Also, despite my love for Neil Patrick Harris, I never saw the TV series, so I don’t know if his version was a better interpretation than the film, or not.

Harry Potter PaperbackHarry Potter – J.K. Rowling. Yeah, I know; I’ll get pounded for this one, but I have to be honest. See, I bought the first book long before it became popular, because a friend of mine (Hi, Jacey!), recommended it for my kids. Well, I read it and found it cute, although not terribly well written. My older son eventually picked it up and fell in love with it, and made me buy the next ones. I actually read the first three without any problem. Still cute; still not terribly well written. By the fourth and fifth novels I started to wonder if someone was terrorizing her editor, because they were getting to feel bloated. I even got so far as to read about half way through the sixth one when I just gave up! I was sick and tired of these kids, and all the waffling around their every movement. Mind you, my son read all of them, and insisted that his wife read them all as well. However, as soon as they were finished, I threw my copies out. Yes, I did; in fact, I put them into the recycling bin, to be honest!

Don’t forget to take a look at the other posts in this series:

  1. Lost in the Shuffle
  2. Flopped from the Start

Next time… Stand Alone Novels that had Sequels I Didn’t Bother Reading!

19 thoughts on “Series I Never Finished Reading #3 – The Ones that Fizzled Out.

  1. At least you have come quite far in these series. I haven’t started them yet 😅 I don’t read many series, especially not longer than three books. But when I do reach more than 4 books in a series, I’m usually so emotionally invested that I don’t want to stop.

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  2. Somehow I missed reading your two earlier posts on series – I’ve caught up on reading them now!

    Years ago I loved reading long books, books I could get lost in and so I loved Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome books. I’ve still got them and now I’m wondering how I managed to read them — paperbacks printed in such a small font. I couldn’t do that now. But, you are right about not reading them as e-books – I was constantly flipping back to look at the glossary – so much information and detail, wonderful books.

    I’ve not read Jean M. Auel’s books, or Lemony Snicket, but I did read the Harry Potter books and like you it was my son who got me reading them. I enjoyed them, but they did bet longer and longer and more convoluted.

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  3. The exact same thing happened to me with Earth’s Children! Well, not the missing book, but the loss of interest after being engrossed by the first four 🙄

    Partly, I’d lost my taste for doorstopper books by the time #5 came out but, like you, I was turned off by the way overdone sex stuff in #4. Also, I got bored.

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  4. I read the first 3 Jane Auel books and by the end of #3 just couldn’t any more. I felt like she was inventing everything that humans have and it was just too much. HP, however, I loved and have read through twice. 🙂

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  5. I loved the Masters of Rome series. If memory serves me right, the last book was about Anthony and Cleopatra and the author was pushed into writing it a few years after she felt the series was completed. So maybe that is why you couldn’t get into that one. It wasn’t my favorite but I did finish it.

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  6. Read “Clan of the Cave Bear” and couldn’t handle the thought of more.

    Did not try the Masters of Rome series. After I read “The Blue Castle” by L.M. Montgomery and decided McCullough did indeed plagiarize it, I refused to read anything else of hers.

    Tried the first Lemony Snicket for my granddaughter. Neither of us got past the first few pages.

    As for the Potter books – tried the first. Definitely not well-enough written to finish or try more plus the magic stuff is just not my thing.

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    1. Yes, I heard about The Blue Castle / The Ladies of Missalonghi controversy. I’m not totally convinced, but I never read Montgomery’s book. I heard that McCullough wrote Ladies as an Australian version of Blue Castle, as a tribute, but who knows. They’re both gone now…

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