Now that we have started rereading the Fever series, cliffhanger talk has commenced. Karen Marie Moning ends book three and four, Faefever and Dreamfever with massive cliffhangers. The kind that make you break out in a sweat, while you sob uncontrollably and scour every message board you can find in hopes that someone has insight into what will happen next.
Mandi: I love these kind of cliffhangers. Yes it is torture, especially when you become so wrapped up in the book and characters and the author makes you wait a year to give you answers – only to END IN ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER. I love to turn to my reading buddies and discuss it – and freak out together. Another cliffhanger that really stands out this year is the ending of Double Cross (book two in Carolyn Crane’s Disillutionists trilogy). I will not say what the cliffhanger is for those that have not read it (and you really should!) but again, this one was a brutal way to end the book. It was also perfect in my opinion. It fit the tone of the book, and knowing it is a trilogy, having the second book end in such a fashion where everything is up in the air, makes me want the third book that much more.
Which brings me to this – do you ever feel an author writes a cliffhanger just to sell another book? Have you ever read a cliffhanger that was written poorly, or didn’t fit in with the story? After talking about cliffhangers relating to the Fever series, some just can’t get into the books because of that aspect. They intentionally don’t start the series until all books are out, or never start the series because cliffhangers put them off. In a review posted on Amazon of Double Cross, someone gave the book one star because they felt this book didn’t have a real end and it was trying to trap readers.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a cliffhanger I didn’t enjoy or that was executed poorly – and I’m having a hard time coming up with one. Maybe I just haven’t read a ton with cliffhanger endings. I am sure there are tons out there. In my opinion, if the book is good, I will read the next in the series no matter the ending. I don’t care if it ends wrapped up or with nothing resolved. And maybe it takes a few minutes of research to see what type of book you are reading. If it is part of a pre-destined series, then you should most likely expect messy endings until the final book. If it is urban fantasy, you are much more likely to go down the cliffhanger route than with a standard romance where at least the hero and heroine will have a happily ever after.
Tori: I don’t mind cliffhangers myself-UNLESS- the author makes me wait 2 or more years for the next book .*are you listening Linda Lael Miller????* Waiting more then a year pretty much guarantees I will A. lose interest or B. forget the first book. Neither is appealing to me. There has to be some sort of conclusion even if it’s just a minor story plot.
Case in point. The Mojo Sheepshanks series by Linda Lael Miller. Great series. Love it. Unfortunately, she releases a book for it every 2 years. I’m waiting on the 3rd installment and it’s going to be 3 years come Jan 2011. 3. Years. That’s just too long to leave something me hanging I think -waiting on Tucker & Moje.
LKH’s cliffhangers got old because they fall into the “I need to sell more books so I’ll leave off at a critical point and keep them wondering”. Which would be fine if the same story isn’t being told over and over and over again only changing the names and sexual positions.
Gail Carriger’s Changless cheesed me off big time. Blameless leaves off on a HUGE cliffhanger yet none of that is really addressed in Changeless. I felt very manipulated.
I think Carolyn Crane’s Double Cross cliffhanger was brilliant. Evil but brilliant. Does she wants to sell more books? Yea, I’m gonna say that’s a big 10-4 buddy. But the sheer audacity she had to leave off there was fab. I raged then laughed out loud.
So what do you guys think? Do cliffhangers make you tingle with excitement or do you stay far, far away?