Loose ends

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#1
I have them. In my reading, I will often start a series or even get half way through it, then something else will catch my eye and I will read that. I have an attention span of a puppy in a butcher's shop.
My reading choices are sometimes quite whimsical like that, and sometimes quite orderly, like for example this year I made a decision to read children's fantasy books that are considered staples of the sub-genre.

Because of the way I pick and choose my books (basically like someone with a split personality disorder), I have a few series that I have started and never finished.
I don't consider books that are not yet published to be loose ends, or series that I have read the first book from and decided I don't like them enough to continue (The Dandelion Dynasty series by Ken Liu or Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab for example). I gave those a go, didn't like them, moving on~

But there are some that I liked, loved or thought are OK and I never finished. Time to que in a proper gif for the occasion.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are my loose ends. Thanks to Goodreads, this was easy to track. I created a 'loose ends' shelf, to serve as a reminder that I should go back to them sooner than later. But only time will tell what will happen.

  1. Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham (books 2, 3 & 4)
  2. Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett (books 3.5 & 4)
  3. Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (book 3)
  4. Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko (books 4 & 5)
  5. ASOIAF by GRRM (book 5)
  6. New Crobuzon books by China Mieville (books 2 & 3)
  7. Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud (book 0.5)
  8. The Riyria Revelations by Micheal J. Sullivan (books 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  9. The Alchemy Wars by Ian Tregillis (book 2)
  10. The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance (books 3 & 4)
  11. Tales of Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding (books 2, 3 & 4)

I don't consider Dresden Files and Malazan books to be loose ends because I am actively reading those. Albeit slowly.

So what about you? Any loose ends on your end? Do you make chaotic reading choices as I do? Or do you commit to a series until you read it whole?
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#3
For me it all depends on the series. If I really love an author I'll totally binge out on them for a while like I just did with Tanith Lee's Flat Earth series, three straight books in a row and I would totally move onto the fourth if it was more accessible. If it's a really long series like the Dresden Files or Black Company then I like to take breaks, but usually with these kinds of series' I end up getting bored by later books. With the Black Company I quite at Water Sleeps and I'm not planning on reading the last book that one was so bad and with Dresden I got to the eighth or ninth book and I just quite because it felt too much like previous books, very repetitive and such. I need the author to introduce new things to keep me interested so in many cases I don't mind not tying up loose ends. Yeah, I can think of a lot of series', even trilogies where I just stopped and am not planning on returning any time soon or ever. There are cases though where I stop a series for a long while and then return like with Gormenghast and it's literally like returning home. So sometimes stopping a series and then returning to it much later may actually assist your enjoyment.

As for some of the unfinished series' you have above I think by not finishing the Farseer Trilogy you're missing out on of some Robin Hobb's best and most meaningful works after that series. I don't think you're missing out anything by not reading Dance of Dragons (it really is a horrendous mess) and I can't believe you haven't read The Scar yet! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! That's one of the best fantasy books I've read, as good as the best stuff out there, and way better than PSS in my opinion.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#4
I think by not finishing the Farseer Trilogy you're missing out on of some Robin Hobb's best and most meaningful works after that series.
I really liked the first book, but she really bludgeoned my brain with the second man. And the 3rd is even bigger than the 2nd. I'm scared.

and I can't believe you haven't read The Scar yet! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
You are right. I have nothing to add, except SHAME!
*bows her head*
 

moonspawn

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I really liked the first book, but she really bludgeoned my brain with the second man. And the 3rd is even bigger than the 2nd. I'm scared.
You have reason to be scared then. I thought the 3rd book was interminably boring. I endured through it mainly because I had already read the Liveship Traders which I thoroughly loved.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#6
I stop books and series quite often but don't consider them unfinished and to which I will return. I have to delete them and get them behind me, or the ones I have waiting will never see the light of day.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#8
I never have loose ends. I will generally finish every series once started.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
I'll happily give up on a series if I don't like the first book (for example), but based on your definition, I don't think I have any loose ends. I go into a series with the intention of finishing it, and tend to do so. I've got two on-going series at the moment, Lost Fleet and Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne, and once these are done with, it'll be onto the next book/series I go.

My memory is too crap for 'loose end reading' in any case ..... I have to read series more or less consecutively to stand a chance of remembering characters/plot lines etc. If I picked up a series after a sabbatical of 1 or 2 years say, I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I'd be constantly confused (probably).
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#10
I will generally finish every series once started.
But what if you don't like the 1st book? Is this what the 'generally' is there for?

I'll happily give up on a series if I don't like the first book
I used to have a hard time giving up and felt I need to finish even things I dislike. I came to my senses thankfully, and realized my time is worth more.

My memory is too crap for 'loose end reading' in any case .....
I think this is why I get away with it. My memory is pretty good.

Loose ends kill me to the point that I now only try to read completed series lol
7 out of 11 of my series are completed. Oops. :D
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#11
But what if you don't like the 1st book? Is this what the 'generally' is there for?
Well, as I mentioned in other threads, I rarely (if ever) come across series I don't like nowadays because I select my reads based on the recommendations of you guys and on the lists on the main site.
It really is a great way to avoid the real stinkers. You know what to expect. For instance, after my current read I am going to start on Blood Song. Now I know that the first book in the Raven's Shadow trilogy is golden, the second one is okay-ish and the third one is meh. Knowing this, I still want to read it and I'm already sure the series wont disappoint knowing these facts
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#12
Well, as I mentioned in other threads, I rarely (if ever) come across series I don't like nowadays because I select my reads based on the recommendations of you guys and on the lists on the main site.
I came across 2 that I disliked last year. Both new series, that I have mentioned in my opening post.
I select my reads same as you, but that doesn't help with new series. Site and forum recs are good source for older books/series, not so much for new series like Liu's and Schwab's. And you never can tell fully with forum either. Sometimes I'm in the minority to dislike a book (The Dandelion Dynasty wasn't well received by only Jon and me).
End of the year is great as far as the site and forum are concerned, because Jon does the overview of books published in that year then. But every new book/series is a risk until then. A risk I'm willing to take, as it pays of sometimes (Belcher for example), but forum and site doesn't help much there.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#13
I came across 2 that I disliked last year. Both new series, that I have mentioned in my opening post.
I select my reads same as you, but that doesn't help with new series. Site and forum recs are good source for older books/series, not so much for new series like Liu's and Schwab's. And you never can tell fully with forum either. Sometimes I'm in the minority to dislike a book (The Dandelion Dynasty wasn't well received by only Jon and me).
End of the year is great as far as the site and forum are concerned, because Jon does the overview of books published in that year then. But every new book/series is a risk until then. A risk I'm willing to take, as it pays of sometimes (Belcher for example), but forum and site doesn't help much there.
I agree. This wouldn't for for new books/series. Thing is: I rarely read new books/series right after they're released, unless it's from an author who's works I always really like (GRRM, Abercrombie or Sanderson for example). Rather, I let the book/series 'mature' a bit. Kind of like how I treat my software. I never update to the newest version straightaway, but rather wait and see what the public says first. I know, perhaps I'm not really adventurous in that regard (and I do appreciate the work of pioneers such as Ben, Jon and you), but it has served me well in the past.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#15
I'm hardly a pioneer. Jon and Ben sure, but me? No. There are many members who read more of the new stuff compared to me, like Griffin and Haven for example.
Still, you keep track of new fantasy releases in that dedicated thread of yours. Sure, there are other 'pioneers' (like you said and I forgot to mentioned @TomTB who's reading of Dinosaur Lords has protected the rest of us from insanity), but I think you're one too.

And of course, as is so often the case when we're having a discussion, the thread got totally derailed again (how's that for tying up loose ends :p)
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#16
I don’t really do loose ends.

First of all, I only start finished series anymore; partially for my memory but mostly to avoid the long wait in between new books. My memory isn’t great but not bad either, but with some series you just don’t know how long the wait will be so it seems better to take some precautions and postpone reading it (e.g. KKC). The Immortal Treachery series was an exception on this rule this year. I won one of Allan Batchelder’s books in a competition he did on the forum. In return I needed to provide a review on Goodreads/Amazon. I don’t think it would be decent behavior to wait 2 or 3 more years before reading it and provide a review ;)

Besides that I also read most of the books in a series consecutively. This way I won’t have any problem remembering any events/characters ... but I also get engrossed much more. In a real long series it’s possible I’ll read a standalone or short series in between. I did this with ASOIAF and I’ll probably do this again once I start Mazalan.

I’ve already read some books I didn’t really like, but I’ve always finished them. Most of them were standalones, so I still had the luck to avoid series I didn’t like at all. For now I can say that I’ll finish the series I’ve started so far. However I’m sure that I won’t hesitate to drop a book/series if it’s really bad. I hope to avoid this with all the information that’s available on the site and forum, but you can never be sure you’ll like a book even if everybody else is raving about it (“The First Law” is a good example in my case as I didn’t like it that much).
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I also have a lots of these loose ends, mostly series that I’ve started reading while they still were being published, and that I forgot to follow through at the publication of the latest instalments. I’m constantly planning to pick them up again and complete them – it’s even my goal for 2016 – but I rarely find the will or the time to re-read, or even skim, the previous books, and my recollections are too vague to enjoy these latest book independently. A dedicated Goodreads shelf seems a good way to put them in order and choose which ones really deserves to be finished, thanks for the idea @Alucard

To name a few:

- Erickson’s Malazan (the last 2 books, that due to the vicissitudes of the Italian publisher should be published only this year after a 3 or 4 year hiatus – but I’m planning to re-read this series from scratch in English);
- The last book of Evangelisti’s The Inquisitor Eymerich (an extremely interesting and quite weird Italian series, AFAIK not available in English);
- Mieville’s New Crobuzon last 2 books;
- Cook’s Black Company from book 4 onward;
- The last book of Richard Ford’s Steelhaven;
- Rothfuss’s Kingkiller’s Chronicles book 2;
- Dresden Files from I’m not even sure where onwards, I think book 7;

And quite a few others.

There are also several series in which I’ve partially lost interest 2/3 or more books in (most significant example Robin Hobb), I should keep them separated from the series I’ve consciously and definitely dropped, but I seriously doubt that I’m going to pick them up again
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
Goddamit I've got some loose ends without even realising I had any loose ends.

I've read the first 3 Thomas Covenant books and have never gotten round to the remainder, despite owning the second trilogy. Not sure if I need to include Robin Hobb either ... I've read Farseer but none of her other works. I know they're all kinda inter-related, but still not sure whether this would be considered a loose end, given they're all separate 'standalone' trilogies.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#19

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#20
So we are defining loose ends as series with released books where we are in the middle of them( i.e. not finished with the currently published materials).

Okay then. :)

First of all - I don't pick up my books solely based on the fact if the series are fully published, half-away published, etc. If they sound interesting - I am in for a ride. And I am usually stubborn enough to finish even series which go straight south - Peter V. Brett and Anthony Ryan, I am talking about you guys. Add George R. R. Martin to their company - not only a lazy author, but his ASoIaF gets worse by the book. Still - we are waiting for his 6th instalment. Curiosity could be a b*tch sometimes. :) So yeah - my loose ends aren't that many And this isn't purely due to an unwavering marksmanship in the author`s writing in some of the cases, unfortunately. :)

My most significant one is probably Mistborn. I've finished the original trilogy, but I haven't started the newer one yet. I don't know why, maybe I am hesitant to try them out because of the brand new characters.

Another significant ones are two trilogies from Robin Hobb, which are in the Elderlings world, but not part of Fitz`es story. I've skipped the one with the ships, because I don't like naval fantasy. I've skipped the one with Malta, because I was following Fitz`s story at the time( a month ago) and didn't feel like changing scenery. If I am to be honest - I have no idea if I will ever get to those two series. They are not my cup of tea, but then again - sometimes if I feel like it, I make stupid decisions about getting into such kind of series. :D

One minor one - I haven't finished the Bast and Auri short stories by Patrick Rothfuss. No idea why. I am extremely intrigued, I've even started the Auri one, but somehow I've managed not to finish it. Go figure. :D

I haven't started/finished Raymond E. Feist`s last trilogy about Pug.. The man is beyond annoying with his "you've killed the level 100 boss, but now comes the level 101 boss" kind of plotting and milking his world, but I am a stubborn bastard and I want to know how things end. So maybe one day I will just make myself finish the damn thing I've started over a decade ago( The Riftward journey).

Another two:
Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron - I've finished book two, but stopped at the start of book three. Needed change of scenery.
The Guards series by Terry Pratchett - I've finished 3 books, but then I've changed authors for a while and haven't gone back to the guards story yet.

And now I've remembered one more. The Vlad Taltos ones from Steven Brust. I've like the first book well enough, I've even started the second one, but the non-linear time line of the stories made me abandon it. I don't like spoilers in my reading and his approach feels like a giant spoiler, but I haven't lost my interest in the series completely, I am just waiting for inspiration. :D
 
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