A good book makes you fall in love with the characters. You rejoice as they triumph over the bad guys and become better individuals, living up to their potentials. When you find out there is more than one book, you get excited and quickly devour them, anxious to find out what happened next. (The same way you make your friend spill their guts after a summer vacation.)
Some series are excellent. While they tie in to the previous books, you can read them separately if you want to because their own story arcs are so well developed. The quality of the writing and the world building is also consistent.
The Zack Files by Dan Greenburg
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series Fails…and why.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – I loved the first book, but he threw all the rules out for what can and cannot happen in the Xenocide ending.
Ever After High by Shannon Hale – The first two books were well done. Even though I should note that my 9 yr old my daughter liked the third book, I shook my fist in general frustration. (Mostly because of its ending. Let’s just say the characters took a major step backward and lost most of their development at the end.)
Series Midies…almost there.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket – While the quality of the writing and world building remained the same, it failed in my mind because the characters never developed.
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flannagan – My basic rule of thumb for him is that if he is in and out of a location in one book, it was well done. When it takes him two books to defeat the enemy then there was about a book’s worth of background information, explanations, and action that didn’t add to the story and move it forward.
These lists are by no means complete. What books have you enjoyed? Which ones flopped at the end?