I love book series, and if the number of fantasy series on my wish list is any indication, so do lots of others. They’re interesting to write, too, in both good ways and bad. Good=your world is already developed, and your much-loved characters get to come back in sequels and do nifty stuff. Bad=your characters have to grow and evolve as they do all that nifty stuff.
Still, as a friend and I were discussing recently, there seems to be a “freshman phenomenon” among series: the first one always seems the weakest.
My favorite series probably aren’t very different from yours if you’re an urban fantasy fan:
* Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series;
* Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series;
* Simon R. Green’s Nightside series;
* Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series;
* Kim Harrison’s Hallows series;
* Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series;
* J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
In every single one except the Mercy Thompson series, which I thought hit a home-run first time out, each of those series’ first books was the weakest, at least for me. Obviously, they were good enough to pull me into the second, but still the weakest. In fact, I started the first Sookie book three times before finally pushing through it and on to the second book. By the third book, I was all “pick Eric! pick Eric!” [Just in case you don’t know where my vampire sympathies lie!]
So, what’s your favorite series, and was the first one the worst? What kept you reading?