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Sara Reyes | Adventures in World Building, or Let This World Go!

April 25, 2009

Sara Reyes

Books I read this week, all good for me:

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This week it seems everyone’s been talking about “series” or “trilogies” or “quartets” or something implying a bunch of books all taking place in a world created by an author. Not necessarily one in outer space, but it can be. Or it could be a historical world, as in Mary Balogh‘s Regency period, or it could be contemporary-historical-futuristic hybrid, as in Jayne Ann Krentz‘s “Arcane Society”. Or it could be international as in Karen Kendall‘s “Take Me” world. It could be contemporary with paranormal flavors such as Christine Feehan‘s “Drake Sisters. Or thrilling contemporary as in Alison Brennan‘s “Prison Break.” Each author manages to create a “universe,” populates it, makes a set of rules and then invites us in to enjoy.

Recently some favorite authors seem to be forced into making a series instead of sticking to what they do best — write a self contained world for a single book. One of our topics of book club conversation is that some authors are very good at “world building” and others not-so-much. We are talking about really good and favorite authors who can suck you into a book, make you forget all about other responsibilities and worries and then let you out at the end with a sigh of relief and thankfulness for being taken away for a few hours into a magical place that a good book can swept one to! So it’s not books with plot problems or character issues or boring middles, we’re just addressing the world building.

Sometimes I get lost in the story but brought up short by trying to remember — is this a circle or level I’ve read before? Didn’t this character have their own story in another book? Where is this located, I thought it was the east coast and now suddenly we’re in California? Did they just change a hair color? Okay, so the hair color is easy to explain. After all I am a woman and changing a hair color isn’t that difficult. But some of the other things make me sigh. And that isn’t always good.

On the other hand, there are series I hope never end…Virgin River by Robyn Carr is one of those. Those mountain valleys and communities can live for a long long time!

So be brave and step up, tell me what series you really like and some that are ready to be ended. After all, all opinions are welcome, none of us are entirely right or entirely wrong. It’s those shades that make life interesting.

Until next time…
Get out there and READ a book…

Sara Reyes
DFW Tea Readers Group
Join us at Readers ‘n ‘ritas November 13-15, 2009!

One Comment

  • see April 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    My favorite series right now is the Charlaine Harris- Sookie series. I think it is helped that I have read them for so many years and now get to see it played out on screen.

    I love a long series- but I agree there is a point I comepletly loose track and it is then I have to let myself almost start over. I mean, once I need a primer to keep track of a series, it becomes too complicated. I think for someone like me with a active imagination, it’s the chance to see a character continue to live one book after the next that I like, and I am always a litte sad when a series ends, but I agree once you can tell that the story is just being told to sell books it is time to let it go.