Weekly Meeting: The Anticipation Was More Enjoyable Than the Book

Book Finished:

Eating and Drinking:

  • Leftover take out
  • Hard Apple Cider

Carly Simon sung about anticipation.  Rocky Horror Picture Show makes you wait for Dr. Frankenfurter to finish the word.  Readers feel it each time they wait for another book to come out in their favorite series.

I love book series.  The longer the series, the more I can love it.  I like to live in a universe for a while: Harry Potter, Dune, Lord of the Rings, Dark Tower, Wheel of Time, Foundation, Sword of Truth, Flashman, or the Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery.  I love to come back to characters I know and love.  I love to re-read old ones when the next one comes out.  Most of the time I am thrilled when my anticipation is rewarded with a book I enjoy.  It’s not always the case though.

When do I find a series failing me and my anticipation?  Most often when a new author takes on the voice of a beloved author who has passed on.  As a writer I can tell you that it is hard enough to get back to my own voice and frame of mind when time has passed.  I have my very first novel (not published) that could have been something good, but I am so divorced from that version of me that I can’t speak with the same voice.  I can’t even imagine trying to get into someone else’s head and writing in their style.

I know this happens all the time with mixed results.  A lot of tween and teen series are written by ghost writers with a creators name attached.  Frank Herbert’s son took over the Dune series based on outlines.  V.C. Andrews died before most of her books were ever written.

It did not work in the case of The Girl in the Spider’s Web.  This is the 4th book in Millennium trilogy… yes, I am perfectly aware a trilogy is 3 books.  Larson died before the 4th one was written and probably never planned a 4th book.  He died and then his estate made a butt ton (actual measurement) of money.  Of course we need a 4th book if there is money to be made.  They picked a new author and he got down to writing the book.

To be fair, I went in with really low expectations.  I read the Dune series for a long time after the original books.  I have high tolerance for crap when I enjoy the universe.  This wasn’t a bad book.  It was just missing the sharp, fast paced story the original trilogy enjoyed.  It takes place now, it has a huge connection to the states, there are celebrities, most people are just assholes (instead of bad people), and everything feels formulaic.  Characters were jaded (more than they had been originally), bored, depressed, doing the same shit they were doing at the end of the last book, and *YAWN*… sorry, what was I saying?

Basically, the entire book was meh.  Meh is worse than bad.  Meh means I didn’t feel anything.  Meh means I am indifferent.  If you loved the series enough to put up with ‘meh’ then by all means, read this book.  If you liked it enough, but want the same pace and suspense: skip it and re-read the original trilogy.

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