I don’t know if this is a real thing or not, but I’m declaring it as something because I can’t possibly be the only one that’s had to deal with this.
With this I don’t intend to hurt any author (assuming anyone reads it haha) and I will not mention names, because this is not what this article is about. But I do have a need to speak this concern of mine.
The last book of a series is as important as the first one. This is where the characters find what they’ve been looking for: their happily ever after, and we can call it love, revenge, happiness, even death. Whatever it is, they find it in this last book. They find their closure. For us, the readers, this book means the end of a consuming and wonderful time. It can be painful, because let’s face it, we won’t be with the characters we love so much anymore (until we reread the series) and we’ll miss them like hell. But it can also be so heart-warming and amazing. So, to us, this last book means hope, means happiness, means tranquility, and even though it’ll hurt to leave it behind, it’ll bring us peace of mind and a deep happiness, am I right?
So, what’s wrong, you ask?
There have been times I’ve had to wait for months, even years, to get the last book of a series I’ve loved since the moment I opened it for the first time. We’ve all been there. Sometimes these books are exactly what I was hoping, dreaming for. Sometimes it’s even better than that. But some other times, the book completely sucks. So much so, that it can ruin the entire series for me. I understand that the way a story starts, develops and ends is all up to the author. I fully understand and respect that. I don’t mean to sound like I know how everything should be, because come on, no one knows the story better than the author. But damn it if it doesn’t piss me off.
Lately, I’ve read a couple of books (the last one of the series, to be precise) that leave me thinking: what the hell just happened? I’ve never been too “picky” with books, in fact, I think I fall in love pretty easily with the books I read and the characters. But lately, I’ve been having some issues. Turns out, I’m not one to settle with “okayish” endings. Turns out, I’m an “it’s all or nothing” kind of reader, and when a story starts lacking the passion it once had and it starts feeling as if it was written just to be done with… well, I feel really disappointed.
Battles are lacking action, time and consistency: can it really be explained in a couple of pages? There are things that need to happen and we need to read about. How come the characters have been preparing for this throughout the different books and it all ends in just a matter of a few pages? Or even worse, they end up not doing what they were meant to do?
Characters go completely MIA: how come characters that were so important at some point in the story are no longer present? Where are they?
Conversations are lacking depth: it’s not that I need conversations about the meaning of life. But, how is it that before, the conversations were so intense and full with emotions, and at the end they’re barely there?
Love is lacking passion: where there used to be gestures filled with love, moments of silence that were torturous because of the tension and sadness and love they had, now we are left with barely-there emotional kisses and just plain sex that doesn’t give anything to the story. Yes, sex is part of life. Yes, sex can be intense. Yes, sex is somewhat important. But, where is the intensity of a look? Where is the passionate but tender kisses that just drove everyone insane with love?
The book doesn’t even have to end the way I wanted it to. It could end the opposite way I wanted it to and it could still be good. Amazing, even. It’s all about keeping the specialness and the uniqueness it had from the beginning, that quality that drew me in, you know?
So, what gives?
And then I wonder, am I alone in this?
I can’t possibly be. And even if I am, it won’t change the fact that these things end up ruining the story for me. I need the passion. I need the love. I need the action. I can’t settle with “at least they ended up together”. Nope. A book is not all about the love-story between the characters. Yes, it’s a huge part, but there are other things going on that need answers, because what’s the point of leaving the reader with this huge question mark upon their heads? Open-to-interpretation-endings are one thing. Unanswered questions about things that were exposed throughout the whole story is a completely different thing. Then, there are other characters that need to grow along with the main ones, if not, then why create them? And so on with a thousand different things.
I need to see things through.
But most of the reviews I read show how many people love these books I ended up not liking at all, and I’m left wondering if I expect too much. I know each of us have our own likes and dislikes, and I’m sure I love stuff other people hate. It’s not that hard to understand… but still, I wonder “how come I hate it when other people who have the same book taste I do love it?” I don’t know. *sigh*
So, have you ever experienced this last book of a series disappointment?
Tell me in the comments!