Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
I love reading series and I read a lot of series in general. I do feel that reviewing series always seems to pose some special challenges or maybe not really challenges, but reviewing a series is different than reviewing standalone books. Just like reviewing anthologies is different than one long book. So for today’s post I wanted to talk about reviewing series and commenting on reviews for the same series.
This post is partly inspired by Metaphors and Moonlight her review for Unbound, she had been reviewing this series in the past few weeks and after reading and commenting on her review I suddenly came up with this discussion topic and it made me think about my own reviews. I read a lot of series, but normally I am the type of person to read books in a series space far apart so I never thought about reviewing series as much. Recently I read and reviewed Faerie Realm (Changeling Chronicles #3) and Faerie Wrath (Changeling Chronicles #4) close together. When writing my reviews and when reading the comment on it I was made aware how close together I read and reviewed these two. That caused me think about reviewing books in a series close together and how that impacts my reviews.
Things I notice when reviewing books in a series
I enjoy reading books in a series close together and it’s fun to read the next book in the series while you can still remember the previous book well. But writing your review for later books in the series can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. I notice that in the first book in a series I got into depth about different things than with later books in a series. And I often find that my reviews for later books in a series get shorter, this is probably because I already mentioned some things in previous reviews and things like the characters and setting isn’t new anymore in later books so I usually only talk about the changes and new things in that book. Things like what I thought of the characters I often limit to the first review in the series, unless ofcourse each book features a different couple/ character. In reviews for later books in the series I might mention it was fun to catch-up on characters and say what I thought of any changes or new character behavior, but I usually don’t go as into depth about the characters as in my first review. Or I just mention I still like a certain characters. It also depends on how close together I read a book as the more time goes between reading books in the same series the more likely I am to say more about topics I might’ve addressed already in earlier reviews. I also find that sometime sit can be harder to come up with new things to say about later books in a series, I might go into depth about the great setting of the book in book 1 and then in later books only mention it was fun to return there and I still liked it. I think this is mostly because as a reviewer those things aren’t new to me in a later book in a series anymore and I feel less the need to point that out in my review.
Another difference I notice when reviewing books in a series compared to standalones is that with series you always have other books to compare it with. Especially with later books in a series you already have certain expectations and certain tropes, plot lines and themes you expect. With standalones you can have this in a way as well if it’s an author you read more books by, but it still feels different than a series. Expectations of books by the same author are more broad or global than expectations for a later book in a series. And even though I am pretty author loyal when it comes to reading I also understand I might not enjoy every book or series by an author while in a series I do expect to keep enjoying the series.
On the other hand I also like reviewing series as I feel that I can share my thoughts about the series more often and have more chances to have my followers hear about this series and maybe pick them up. Which is a good thing. And I do enjoy reviewing later books in the series as there is always something new to say as well, new things that happen and other plot twists, so I would never go as far as not reviewing later books. I just wanted to bring up how it feels like review for later books in a series seem to be different than reviews for the first book or sometimes even the last book as then you have things to say about how it wraps up. And for someone like me who usually writes very long reviews I always notice it when my reviews are suddenly shorter.
Reading reviews of series on other blogs
I enjoy reading reviews of series on other people their blogs, although sometimes it can be more difficult to comment on later books in the series. Sometimes I skim reviews for later books in a series when it’s a series I plan on reading myself and other times it can feel a bit strange to comment on a later book in a series when you never read any of the books yourself. On the other hand I love hearing people their thoughts over later books as well as it’s nice to know if a series keeps being strong or if there are weaker books in the series and it’s nice to read their thoughts as they progress through the series, whether I plan to read it myself or not. While on the one hand I usually only read reviews for the first book in a series when deciding whether I want to read it or not I do enjoy reading reviews for later books in the series as well and when I do read them I do realize they can influence my decisions as well, whether it’s to start a series or not, but also whether to continue the series. And reviews for later books in a series where I’ve fallen behind can make me excited about that series again.