Friday 21 June 2013

Discussion: stand alone's or series?

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, just because I have a series to read (Demon Trappers by the way) and I'm debating doing one big review for the four books, because I will read them one after the other. So, that is one thing, but the other is that because of this, I've realised how many stand alone books I've been reading recently. In fact, apart from continuing a long-favourite series like Morganville or Night Huntress, nearly everything I've read for the last several months have been stand alone books. And I was curious about fellow bloggers and readers opinions on this subject. 

So how about some pro's and con's? That's fair, right? Actually, it's probably going to be a sort of list-type collection of thoughts, but hey-ho:

  • from a book collector's point of view, stand alone's are very helpful so I don't have to keep up with the series and keep a space open for the rest of the books
  • used to be that I would actively seek out stand alone books because I had enough series to get through but now I'm warming to series again
  • series generally allow for well developed story lines and characters because of the length of story and space to expand on themes and flaws and stuff
  • yet stand alone's, and even companion novels, have their place and I do love them - for example ACID by Emma Pass, You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - because of their engaging plots and rememberable characters
  • I don't know if I'm the only one but it does kind of annoy me when I have to review a series of books continually. Hence the internal debate of doing one post split into the four books for Demon Trappers
In any case, even if I can't come to any sort of conclusion, I did want to start a debate about what type of books you prefer? Does it change depending on what you're reading lately, or feeling, like me? And how about my idea of doing one massive review for a series, rather than four consecutive reviews when most people won't read the next three for fear of spoilers?


  1. I am an avid book collector and stand-alone's are much easier to keep up with. When I buy books and see that it's part of a series, I tend to fear that I'm buying the ninth of tenth in the series and I look for something that will require less overall dedication and more quality in a single piece. Several of the best works are one story and while you may not have the opportunity to revisit the characters in the future, the time you spent with them was valuable enough.

    Of course, there are series' that I have read and enjoyed, like Alex Cross, Robert Langdon, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, the Chronicles of Narnia, etc. However, in the mass market world (which can be applied to Cross and Langdon), they keep coming up with book after book and it requires you to remain dedicated, even when things become flat.

    If written well, both the stand-alone and series can be deemed as excellent, but I prefer the standalone. If I do like a specific author, though, I will make an effort to buy each of their books, starting with standalone and possibly expand to their entire collection.

  2. I prefer individual reviews myself. Take Demon Trappers for example - reading a review of the entire series can sometimes leave out points about how anxious you feel/felt, cliffhangers, exclamations of endings etc because you're not taking the time to think about each one as a separate book.
    Combined reviews can also be helpful too if you're unsure whether to take on a whole set of books for what might turn out to be a disappointing plot.

    As for *reading* though, I have no preference. I tend to read more series' because standalones just seem impossible to find now! My goal for this year was to read more standalones.