I wanted to bring back some discussion posts because I love reading them on other blogs. My topic today was inspired by the trouble I had writing my review for Grave Peril, the 3rd book in the Dresden Files series, which was posted earlier this week.
The Trouble with Reviewing Series Books
I have a lot of trouble writing reviews for series books when it’s not the first book. I struggle with what to discuss because usually you are already familiar with the main characters, and their general situation. So the main points that I usually discuss have already been covered. So what’s left?
I don’t want to keep repeating the same thoughts over and over for each book, but at the same time it’s almost impossible to treat each book on its own since most series are read in order. So I tend to re-read past reviews that I wrote for the series before composing the current review. I try to think of the book as both a stand alone plot as well as part of an overall picture.
Some things that I try to think of when reviewing a series book are:
- has anything major happened to the main character that isn’t a spoiler for that book?
- does the main character grow or change in any way?
- is the main character consistent in thought and action from previous books?
- are there new supporting characters?
- what’s different about this book from the others?
- how satisfying is the storyline in only this book?
- is the world building consistent with previous books?
- is there a lot of repetition from previous books?
Overall, I find series books to be a lot more work to review than standalone books. But at the same time, I enjoy reading them because you really develop a feel for, and connection with, the characters because you see them over and over in multiple scenarios. So I’m stuck struggling with every series book review I write.
Do you also struggle with reviewing series books? Do you have any tips for me?