I’ve seen a growing trend in YA that both excites and worries me. This trend is authors coming back to their most popular series or world, instead of writing different novels set with completely different worlds and plots. The examples are endless from Rick Riordan being one of the first I noticed doing this, to Cassandra Clare, and more recently Leigh Bardugo.
I was a big fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series back in middle school! I’ve read most of those books multiple times, but when I was reading The Mark of Athena, I just found myself no longer caring about these characters. I stopped halfway through the novel, and it was the last Rick Riordan novel I’ve attempted to read. I still see all of the different mythology series that he is releasing but I just can’t bring myself to care. All I can think about is how it feels like Rick Riordan is just trying to get every last penny out of these books and characters while he can. Now let me back up and say, I haven’t read his newer books, and they might be great, but I can’t help but wonder what other great stories he could be writing.
“But Elise, what about Cassandra Clare, you love her Shadowhunter novels, what’s this difference between those and Rick Riordan’s novels?” you say. *sigh* Well, there isn’t really a difference. Both are drawing out a series to get as much money from it as possible. I feel that the difference for me is that I’ve found her novels get better with each one she publishes (and I’m just SUPER attached to those characters…), but I still can’t help but wonder what she would be capable of if she took a break from shadowhunters.
Leigh Bardugo is a different story and one that I’m more okay with. Instead of writing series with many of the same characters all set around the same time, she has set Six of Crows AFTER Shadow and Bone and it has a whole new cast of characters. This means the new series has to stand on its own a little more, rather than riding off the fans’ excitement to see past beloved characters making an appearance. If an author is going to continue writing novels all set in one universe, this is how I suggest they do it. But even then, I still have to wonder, why not just write a completely different novel in a new setting… ya know experiment with new ideas.
A part of me LOVES coming back to my favorite series and characters. I never want to let these characters go and want to learn everything about them and their life that I can. But a part of me wonders if authors are better off leaving their characters once their story is over, instead of drawing it out until it is no longer interesting. While it is sad to say goodbye to beloved characters, imagine how great it would feel to fall in love with NEW characters! I want NEW ideas from my favorite authors, not just the same old stories and characters. But in the end, it’s up to the author (of course) and I’m just a loser who has never written a book venting to the internet. What do I know!
What are your thoughts on authors returning to past series? Would you like to see more of Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan’s novels, or would you like to see them expand and take on new ideas?