Monday, April 25, 2011

Dissapointing Endings

So, this question has been bouncing around in my head for awhile so I thought I'd put it out there.
Why are the last books in series so often disappointing? Let's take a look, shall we?

First up, The Hunger Games Trilogy. Now I know some of you were fine with the ending of this one but there were tons of people that were horribly disappointed. It was too depressing and left them feeling empty. Even if people liked it they still felt that emptiness, or so a lot of reviews expressed.  

And then there was the Harry Potter series. Now don't get me wrong I know this series is one of the most beloved series of all time but I know several people who were bored and irritated with some of the filler in the last book; all the camping-out-nothing-happening parts. And I've heard many people complain about the prologue. I myself liked it fine but I have to admit I always thought Harry should have become the defense against the dark arts teacher. Don't ask.

Now I can't be too opinionated here because I've yet to read Specials or Extras but I've heard enough and read enough reviews to know people were frustrated with the last books in the series. I read people felt like they were reading about completely different characters by the last book. And the "last" book, Extras, was just plain weird.

Um, I know those of you who know me know I'm probably far too biased to say anything about this series. Yeah, I hated them and couldn't even read the last book, but...I've heard OTHER people thought the ending was a little too convenient and weird and just plain sappy! And I know some people were bothered with the whole Jacob's POV, as well.

I'm sure there's plenty more series with disappointing endings already written and some yet to be written, and in contrast there are series that end beautifully and satisfying. But it just seems lately that there are series that people just didn't like the end of.
So, why are the last books in series so often disappointing?
Is it just the bitterness in us that hates to see a favorite series end?
Are our hopes too high?
Do Authors crack under the pressure?
Am I totally off on my train of thought?
Come on people speak up, what's your opinion?


  1. Hated the hunger games ending, for some reason I WAS bored in the Harry Potter ending, figured the New Moon ending had to end some way so I didn't mind it, and I haven't read the other series. Will I be disappointed if I do? I do feel that there isn't much worse than reading an entire series and enjoying the entire thing only to hate the ending. Sigh.

  2. Amy, I haven't finished the series you haven't read so I couldn't tell you. They're OK not great.

  3. I actually enjoyed the Harry Potter ending but hated the book before it. I also like the ending to the Twilight series and I was one of the people who had problems with Jacob POV. It actually eventually made me understand and like him more then I did in the beginning though. I have read the other yet.

    I want to read the Hunger Games series but not so interested in the Uglies or Pretties series.

  4. Confuzzled, Well, I'm glad some one liked these endings. I've just heard so much complaining about them and I think it's interesting.

  5. Thanks for visiting earlier. You bring up a very interesting topic here. Sometimes it seems that the last books in certain series go out with a fizzle rather than a bang. Sometimes, though, I notice a sort of middle book curse! Linger was one for me. I wound up liking it well enough, but it just wasn't as riveting as Shiver. I hope Forever turns out better!

  6. I think it's a little bit of all that you suggest. Mostly I think that the first books are so built up in people's minds that by the time the end book comes, there's no way it can ever live up to anyone's expectations. Kinda sad actually.

  7. I'm with Suey - we have so many expectations and everyone wants something different out of an ending to a beloved series. I actually "liked" most of the endings to these series, even if I didn't love them. Plus, maybe the authors do feel a bit of pressure and don't quite deliver. But you really can't make everyone happy either. Eh.

  8. Marla, I totally agree with you about middle books being kind of fillers. That's how Brisinger of the Inheritance books was for me.

    Suey, It is sad isn't it? I'm not even judging these series. I haven't read the endings of two and I liked the other ones well enough. It was just an observation.

    Melissa, It's true, you just can't please everyone. But I liked the endings to the series I have finished.

  9. OMG We might not be friends anymore. Lol, I'm just kidding, but let me throw in my 2-cents just the same. I've read all the books you listed.

    The Uglies Series is one of my favorites. Extras is not part of the series but a companion novel so of course it's unrelated with new characters. I actually enjoyed Extras most of all four. You could read it seperate without the rest.

    Totally agree about Hunger Games.

    I was fine with Harry Potter's ending although I did feel a little sad that it was all finially over. I wasn't bored. I probably could have read 12 more Harry Potter books and never been bored.

    Twilight. I'm a fan.

  10. Sarah, Yeah, I thought Extras was separate from the series but I haven't read it yet so I wasn't sure. But I've heard people didn't like Specials. Thanks for your 2-cents. And thanks for teasing with me; I think I might have offended people for reals.

  11. Good questions, and ones that I have thought about too.
    For me, Hunger Games was a huge disappointment, and my disappointment started with book 2, Catching Fire. I just think the author did a remake, so to speak, with book 2 and as such it was a filler. Book 3 was far more emotional for me than book 2 but waaay too much happened and was packed into the pages. Also, I felt that things became too unrealistic, and plus, the characters did not continue to develop (grow).
    I loved the Twilight books when I read them many moons ago, but was hugely diappointed with the last book because it got too weird with the child aspect, and with Jacob.

    I guess, for me, it just seems like the author does not really have the story really within them. They wrote a great book or two, but did not have enough material and momentum to carry the story out much longer than one or two books. I have read several series where the author is able to maintain believabiltiy, story growth, and character development. However, with the push to turn every book idea into the series is pushing authors into a corner to continue down a path without pause to if the story is still truly within the author's grasp which may be why there are also many series that fail to continue to capture the audience. I don't know; hard question without an easy and correct answer.

  12. Ibeeeg, I totally agree with you about Catching fire. I read it so fast after the Hunger Games it felt like I was reading the first book again!

    And great observation about authors being pushed to write series. I read that somewhere but hadn't but two and two together.