People read books out of series order.
Seriously? We’re allowed to do that? I thought there was some kind of law. No?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a book that looked really good, but it was the second or third in its series. The first book was nowhere to be found. With a sad heart and a full wallet, I put the book back on the shelf.
Golem in My Glovebox, book four of my Monster Haven series, comes out next month. Writing a longer series has forced me to really think about this idea of reading out of order. Sometimes I see reviews of book two or three and people say they really liked it, so they went back and read the rest of the series.
I’m not complaining. Honest. I’m trying to understand. I’m also kind of mourning all those books past-Rachel put back on the shelf and never read because of a deeply held belief that if you read out of order, demons will eat your soul.
Mine aren’t meant to be stand-alone books, so it worries me. Yes, you can read them alone, but they’re written with a story arc that goes chronologically through the books and grows in tension with each one until the finale of the last book. It seems to me that book one would feel kind of wimpy and disconnected if you started with book three.
And yet, it seems to work for some people. I’m wondering if I’m trying too hard to build tension in increments. Or if maybe I should write less books in my next series. Or if maybe I should stop taking the whole thing so seriously and just chill. My readers are awesome. They’re chill. I should be chill.
But what about reviewers? With book four coming out, I hesitate to go on a blog tour and try to attract new reviewers—book four is a terrible place to bring someone in. We’re more than halfway. How can they possibly like the book if they don’t know how the characters got to that point from the previous three books?
I’m at a loss. Do any of you read books out of order? Does it work? Are you still satisfied?
Should I try it?
Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she's living in the Heartland, planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two grown kids, a crazy-catlady starter kit, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.
She doesn't have time for a real dog.
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