Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2016

Prequels and Sequels for a Finished Series: When Is It Beating a Dead Horse? | YA Talk






As you might know, I'm absolutely crazy for Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series. 

When I found out about OBLIVION, the first book OBSIDIAN from the point of view of the alien love interest Daemon, I wasn't so ecstatic.

With five books and a prequel novella, the series is already pretty long, too long for my taste if you consider the lack of actual story.

Unfortunately it seems to be common right now in the YA market to release additional content, usually novellas that aren't necessary to really understand the story.


Prequels: New Trend in YA?

Kiera Cass, Sarah J. Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Lauren Oliver - almost every YA author that celebrated success with a book series within the last years seems to have published at least one novella, collection of short stories, or (unnecessary) prequel that doesn't really add any additional value to the series.


Why I'm against Additional Prequels/Sequels in General

If you're a hardcore fan of something, obviously you'll be happy for every bit of extra content you get. But is it really necessary to keep on releasing content even long after your original story is done?

Whenever I read novella reviews the common reaction is "it's okay but you don't have to read it". I mean, if you don't have to read it, does it have a right to exist? Why should I pay money for something that doesn't show me a mind-blowing new perspective of things? Only because I'm so emotionally invested in the characters that I cannot refuse?

It's easy to say "if you don't like it, don't read it", but really - why should anyone support an author that doesn't seem to care about the quality of their content as long as it brings in more money?

Please Just Do It Like JK

Spin-offs that I think actually make sense are things like FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, one of the text books from the Harry Potter Universe that J.K. Rowling released in 2001. As a fan, this is a nice touch of authenticity. Unfortunately, not all prequels and sequels on the market serve that purpose.

Riddle me this:
  • In what way is a prequel consisting only of an alternating POV to an already published book a treat for the reader? It's not like you could possibly get any groundbreaking new info, the series is already finished. 
  • If an already successful author loves their characters so much that they decide to continue writing in that series, why don't they do it like Cassandra Clare and turn their passion towards writing multiple new series in that universe? 
  • Why half-ass it and cram out the stuff that didn't make it into the first book in a "collection of short stories", that are actually just the things your editor cut out of the first draft? 
True story, there is a highly popular author who admitted to doing that


A book series ends where it's supposed to end. Publishers, editors, and marketing specialists make sure of that. Any additional content provided should only be a treat for the reader. 



How Do You Feel About Sequels and Prequels for a Finished Series?


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

[Review] Nightmares & Dreamscapes (#1) - Stephen King: 90% filler and Eerie Conclusions. You call that horror?






This is a short story collection full of supposedly scary short story tales.

What intrigued me: I haven't read a book by Stephen King before and I'm in a massive reading slump, so reading a scary short story collection seems like a good idea!

Not scary, not even remotely horror!

My favorite thing about this is probably the foreword. The stories weren't what I expected them to be. I was hoping for a lot of scary reads, but this is just a random collection of mediocre short stories.

His ideas are very unique, inspiring, and interesting, but in no way what the title NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES suggests. You aren't going to find anything remotely creepy in here, most are just tales about weird people with weird goals, but scary and nightmare-ish is a completely different thing. As it is I was somewhat entertained, but this is just not what the short story collection is advertised as and it's very disappointing, especially because this is my first Stephen King read.

However, I do enjoy King's writing style to some extent. It's easy and quick to read, but I think he overdoes it with the character building. That's also why most of his stories have very weak and slow beginnings that make you want to quit before you've actually gotten to the story. Especially for short stories, you don't need to know about the protagonist's parents and grandparents, or any other specific character building element. I was hoping for the stories to terrify me from beginning to the end but most stories can only deliver a small somewhat eerie conclusion and are 90% filler.

Individual stories & ratings

  • 1. Dolan's Cadillac ★☆☆☆☆

Plot: A widower is trying to murder the guy who's responsible for his wife's death by digging a hole and burying him and his expensive car alive.
Opinion: Not scary, just insanely boring. and long-winded. I could hardly finish this.

  • 2. The End of the Whole Mess ★★★★★

Plot: A brilliant prodigy finds a way to cure humanity from its original sin. But for a price.
Opinion: I loved this so much, it's so interesting to see how the mind of a highly intelligent character works. I would love a full-length novel about this. Some continuity issues and an unsatisfying ending, but overall SUPER interesting. Again, not scary though.

  • 3. Suffer the Little Children ★★★☆☆

Plot: Mean teacher is the only one that realizes all children in her school are possessed by monsters.
Opinion: Another boring one. The premise is very interesting, but it's not very scary and too much is left open. 

  • 4. The Night Flier ☆☆☆☆☆

Plot: Reporter seeks out someone whom he believes to be a serial killer that thinks they're a vampire, but the guy actually turns out to be a vampire.
Opinion: Horrible. Such a slow beginning, so much unnecessary monologues and backstory, and a very, very disappointing creature that isn't scary in the least. A very long story that feels like I 100% wasted my time even bothering with this one.

  • 5. Popsy ★★★★☆

Plot: A gambling-addict-turned-child-abductor abducts a monster spawn.
Opinion: I loved this. Less annoying backstory as in the previous stories and a convincing monster story, that I really, really liked. Not as scary as I wanted it to be, but another candidate that I'd like a full-length novel of.

  • 6. It Grows on You ☆☆☆☆☆

Plot: A mysterious house keeps on growing and adding new wings even long after its owner died.
Opinion: The worst case of please show instead of tell I've ever witnessed. So much backstory oh my god. Seems very pointless to me.

  • 7. Chattery Teeth ★★★★☆

Plot: A man picks up an evil hitchhiker and gets saved by a joke item.
Opinion: Interesting and a little eerie. Though too much gore for my taste. 

  • 8. Dedication ★★☆☆☆

Plot: A maid consumes eats her boss' semen to work a magic spell so her child would grow up to be as talented as him
Opinion: The main flaw of the story is that it's told in retrospective. It's also really weird.

  • 9. The Moving Finger ★★★☆☆

Plot: There is a moving finger perking out of someone's drain and they really don't like it.
Opinion: Super weird. I don't know if I thought it was scary, more bloody, actually. It was okay, but I missed the ~logical explanation~ part.

  • 10. Sneakers ★★☆☆☆

Plot: The ghost of a murdered man comes back to sit on a toilet and wear dirty sneakers.
Opinion: Not a fan of public restroom horror or whatever this is. I was glad to have at least one ghost story in this though.

  • 11. You Know They Got a Hell of a Band ★☆☆☆☆

Plot: A couple on a road trip encounters a town full of dead musicians.
Opinion: Too much gore for me and a very weak premise.

  • 12. Home Delivery ★☆☆☆☆

Plot: An old-fashioned zombie outbreak story.
Opinion: Nothing special, very boring!


Overall Rating:

★★½☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Not as your first King read. I was disappointed because I was looking for something super scary. It's an okay short story collection, but the title is very misleading.



Additional Info

Published: June 30th 2009
Pages: 897 (1+2)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Adult / Horror
ISBN:  9781439102565

Synopsis:
"A collection of short stories, several being published for the first time, offers a spine-tingling journey to the nightmare world created by a master of sheer terror and grotesque imagination."
(Source: Goodreads)

Can you recommend some good scary reads?

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