top ten tuesday

Books I Wish Had Remained Standalones / #toptentuesday 179

Yes I am diverging from the this week’s topic of Top Ten Tuesday (as always hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) slightly. You see, rarely do I feel that there is a need to have a sequel to a standalone. There are so few fantasy standalone books that I really hate to see books that were first promoted as standalone suddenly be turned into a series. Hearing about fantasy standalones make me happy. We need more of them.

So I am changing it around. I’m going to be talking about some books I wish had stayed standalones. Some of these have already had sequels released. Others do not and these are upcoming releases. It is not that I feel that the sequel is bad or that I think the sequel will be bad as that I think the story would have worked just fine on its own. Not everything needs to be a series.

Having said that, of course authors have EVERY right to expand on their worlds and characters if they have the ideas and readers for it. I am just wishing there were more fantasy standalones.

Reading Challenge(65)

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid / This could have just worked fine on its own, though the world building needed a bit of work. I was so pleased this was going to be a standalone and bam. Now it is a trilogy.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones / I enjoyed Castle in the Air, don’t get me wrong. But I feel that the story with Howl and Sophie wrapped up in this just fine.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer / I was under the impression this would be a standalone until I came upon the end. Up until that point though the story was wrapped up so nicely.

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker / If you are like me you are now saying huh? But yes in 2020 we are getting a sequel to this. Seven years between these two. I’ve always been reccing this as a standalone to many people. I guess I can’t do that anymore. ._.

Reading Challenge(65)

Not the biggest list but we can’t gripe forever. Have you ever read a book that you thought was a standalone turn out to be a series?

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38 thoughts on “Books I Wish Had Remained Standalones / #toptentuesday 179

  1. I was quite shocked when I knew the Howl books were actually three. And I haven’t read ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ but always thought it was a standalone. I also feel some fantasy books should be left as one, but most end up trilogies or longer.

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  2. I don’t really regard the Howl ‘sequels’ as sequels because, really, they aren’t, they just happen to take place in the same world and to include, almost as an incidental matter, a couple of the characters we met in HMC. Diana Wynne Jones’ fiction was really not about sequels, as I understand it. While some novels are set in the same universe (the Chrestomanci books, the two Magid books, the Dalemark Quartet and the two Derkholm books, only by the loosest of chronological criteria could any of them be said to be incapable of standing alone.

    That said, I found Castle in the Air rather less satisfying than Howl’s Moving Castle, while House of Many Ways was a bit better than the second of the Howl books through having an engaging protagonist.

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    1. In a lot of ways they are companion novels, but howl and all were in Castle in the Air more than just at the end there. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Technically. And yes I have started the Chrestomanci books and they again feel more as companion novels in a way. But I also think the books work very well to be read in order though.

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  3. Great list! I 100% agree with you. I love a good standalone and, like you said, they can be so hard to come by in fantasy, so it does bother me when a pointless sequel turns up.

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    1. I mean I hope it will be great of course but it just feels so unnessecary for that one. I only noticed it because I was checking to see when the author was going to come out with a new book and this popped up.

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  4. Like you, I think the world needs more stand alones. There seems to be sequels and trilogies everywhere these days. I need to read The Diabolic and seven years between books – that’s a long time. I am still waiting for my library copy of A Curse So Dark and Lovely. And I was mainly excited because I thought it was a stand alone until my friend read it and warned me otherwise. Nice list and great switch on the topic.

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      1. Haha no worries. ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Yes especially fantasy needs more standalones. It is quite something to have to endlessly commit to so many series and all over the years.

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  5. I still have to start The Diabolic, but I heard bad stuff about the Dutch translation of The Empress. Full of spelling and grammar mistakes. I’m doubting whether to start this one in English or Dutch, because the world sounds a little complicated. I am really cruious for A Curse So Dark And lonely, will be read soon hopefully! Here is my TTT: https://www.lauriesbookshelf.com/booktalk/en-top-ten-tuesday-standalone-books-that-need-a-sequel-epilogue/

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    1. Oh no I hadn’t heard of that. That sucks so much! Especially since Y&A doesn’t even exist for that long. I haven’t bothered grabbing it though because I just stopped caring #oops.

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  6. I definitely try not to begrudge books for expanding into series because I know the author must LOVE to write more and is super lucky to get their publishers to back it (just knowing how hard it is to actually get series these days!) but there are definitely books I really wish had stayed singular. ๐Ÿ˜‚Definitely The Diabolic omg. I actually felt woefully let down by The Empress eep. So it soured the first book for me.

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    1. I completely understand why authors do it. But as a reader sometimes it can be frustrating haha.
      I haven’t even bothered with The Empress. I’ve barely heard any good things about it so I’m just going to let it slide and pretend there is only The Diabolic.

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  7. I’ve seen A Curse So Dark on a similar list today and it makes me wonder where the author will take the series. I was curious about the first, but I might just wait until the sequel is released to see what people think. It might be another Snow Like Ashes scenario.

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  8. I get tripped up by this (although most recently just from bad research – I didn’t know City of Brass was the first in a trilogy or I might not have snatched it up as quickly; although I’m glad I did ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Palace by Katharine Kerr is probably the big one for me; the sequel was co-written with someone else and it was such a let down (um, so bad I can’t even remember now what it was called! I got rid of my copy in disgust).

    More recently, the sequel to Empire of Sand is going to need to be really, really special to win me over – I thought Empire worked brilliantly on its own.

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    1. Oh I wonder what the reason was to co-write a sequel with someone. That already sounds way too weird.

      I haven’t read that one but I’ve heard great things so far!

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  9. I agree about The Diabolic. I didn’t dislike the sequel (I know a LOT of people did though!) but I wasn’t in love with it like I was with The Diabolic. And the third book will come out… Idk in 2037 at this rate. I had no idea that Dark & Lonely was going to be a series either! Until like, right this minute hah- glad I didn’t read the first one then ๐Ÿ˜‚

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    1. Haha yeah I’ve really only heard bad things about The Empress. But I already lost interest in reading it before that. Ugh I hate that.

      Haha good thing. If it hadn’t been an e arc I probably wouldn’t have read it yet either because of that news haha.

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  10. One of the reasons why I wanted to read A Curse so Dark and Lovely was because it was supposed to be a standalone. ๐Ÿ˜’

    I have had The Gollum and the Djinni on my Kindle forever. Good thing I didn’t read it yet. ๐Ÿ˜†

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  11. Ik had exact hetzelfde gevoel toen ik bij het einde van A Curse So Dark And Lonely was aangekomen. Nu maar hopen dat het vervolg heel goed gaat zijn maar van mij had het inderdaad ook in รฉรฉn boek mogen afgerond worden. Ik heb immers een beetje schrik dat het geheel nu omlaag gaat worden gehaald. Maar misschien is dat gewoon een voorbarige en overbodige angst.

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