Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Discussion: Series Reviews

I recently read the third and fourth books in Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series (The Problem Child and Once Upon a Crime) but just couldn't muster up the energy to review them.  It wasn't because I didn't love them.  In fact, I really did.  This series is getting better and better as it goes on and is dealing with some heavy issues!  But, it's an incredible effort to write spoiler-free reviews and to remember what were big reveals in previous books that shouldn't be put into summaries of the current books.  Also, I have a feeling that the reviews become less and less interesting down a series to blog readers who haven't started that series yet or don't intend to.

My questions are, of course, these -- how do you review a series?  Do you stop at some point in a long series or do you review every book that you read?  If you do write reviews for every book in a series, do you just post a spoiler warning and do a full review?  And a question for readers -- do you read someone's reviews of series books past the first one or two?  I find that I skip them because either I'm not interested or don't want a series spoiled.  You can't even really have a discussion about the book if you've read it for fear of spoiling it for others.

Too nervous about the first day of school to write a review,


  1. I've only had to review the second book in a series once on my blog and I simply put a spoiler warning and wrote my complete thoughts. I mostly write reviews for myself so I can have something to remember the book by. If it's useful to other people then so much the better but it's not what I'm after (though I don't condemn those who are!) To answer your other question - no, I don't read reviews past book one if I haven't started a series. I *do*, however, check the general rating for the sequels to make sure starting it really is worth my time.

  2. Nowadays I really try to review a series as a whole, if it's not absurdly long. If there are lots of books in the series, I tend to review the first batch I read (first two or three generally), and then leave alone reviewing the rest. Partly because I am lazy, and partly because of the spoilers problem.

  3. We have reviewed several series for our site (including Sister's Grimm - loved it!). This is tricky. We want to give our users an account of the content of each and every book. However, some series tend to stick to the same format for every book, and as a result, there is not much that is new to report. As for the spoilers issue, we warn a *Spoiler Alert* in all of our "scoops".


  4. I hear you! I have the same problem. I usually do the first book and then kind of slack off on the later ones. I figure at some point, you're either reading the series or you're not so I don't need to go all out to review it.

  5. Sibylle - I definitely think a rating of some sort for the remaining books in a series is a good idea.

    Jenny - At least we can admit we're lazy!

    Shannon - I think the "spoiler alert" warning is essential in a series!

    Jenners - Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one slacking! It makes me feel much better. :)

  6. I don't really review books but I do tell about the ones I like and I either don't talk about the plot at all or I put a warning.

    I never read reviews of a series I'm interested in (which I'll admit is only the ones with an end in sight). You just never know what you don't want to know.

  7. Well put, Paige ... " You just never know what you don't want to know".