Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cliff-hanger Endings

When I finish a book I like to feel that the story is complete, or at least that the protagonist is done with this particular adventure.

I finished The Lost, by Sarah Beth Durst yesterday. The last words in the book, unfortunately, are followed immediately by:
* * * * *
Find out what Lauren discovers in
THE MISSING
by Sarah Beth Durst
Coming soon!
Can't you give me at least the rest of the page to enjoy the ending of this book?

Then there is Blackveil (Book 4 of Green Rider), which ends with the heroine shut up alive and conscious inside a stone sarcophagus. This strikes me as an awkward place to end a book (she would have been better off hanging from a cliff). Three years later we finally get the next book, Mirror Sight, in which she is released from the sarcophagus.

I am also currently reading Susan Mallery's latest Fool's Gold book, Until We Touch. This is book 15 in the series and is a sequel to Before We Kiss, which even had the first couple of pages of this at the end as a teaser. But the Fool's Gold books, as well as Nalini Singh's Psy/Changling novels (I just got Shield of Winter, read it twice in the first week after I bought it, and am already looking forward to the next book), have given the characters a satisfactory ending, and the next book will focus on different characters in the same town or world. While both series certainly have a long-term story arc (Shield of Winter is book 13), what I want to know is what is going to happen next to the society.

In The Lost and Blackveil, the reader needs to know what happens next to the character. If the readers care about the character--and if they finished the book, they probably do--it's a bit tough to wait for years for her to get out of the trouble she's in. That's why I hate cliff-hanger endings.

1 comment:

  1. I don't like teaser chapters from the next book for that very reason. I want to absorb the book I just read. My editor, at first, wanted to include the first chapter of the second book in my trilogy at the end of This Crumbling Pageant, and I said, erm, no, because it starts like one second later, and it kind of defeats the purpose of ending the book at all.

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