Disappointments in Final Books

I jotted down this list last summer, after I’d read a lot of final books in trilogies/series and found that a lot of them were disappointing for the same set of reasons.  I wanted to write up the list while it was still fresh in my analytical-reader mind.  I meant to turn it into a blog post then, but a lot of crazy life stuff came first.  So, here it is now.  Feel free to add your own in the comments. I figure I can refer back to this list with my writer hat on later.

So, without further ado, things I thought made final books weak:

  • New set of main characters introduced, taking time/focus away from those we grew to love in the first two books.
  • New plot/story arcs introduced out of nowhere, then not given enough depth or resolution as the others.
  • Last minute betrayals, romances, or deaths included for “extra drama.”  These feel last minute because the betrayal/romance wasn’t set up or hinted at in previous books, and death wasn’t a possibility or a true risk before (no minor characters had died, so why should a major character die now, etc.)
  • Plot holes and other evidences of a rush job in writing, as if the author/editor were on a much tighter deadline than the previous books, less time allotted to think ramifications through properly, or they’d spent years mulling on or simmering over the first half of their story but only now discovered their ending, and so on.
  • An ending that isn’t given enough time or development to balance out everything that came before it, to feel satisfying or resolved.  (“In late, out early” misused).
  • Not enough hope (to counterbalance all the previous darkness)
  • Too epic, losing sight of the intimate stories and scale of the previous books and what made these compelling.

Anything about ending books that bothers you (as a reader)?

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