Suggested by Jennifer:
If you read series, do you ever find a series “jumping the shark?” How do you feel about that?
And, do you keep reading anyway?
I have to admit first off that I didn’t know what “jumping the shark” was before I Googled it. I have never heard that particular saying. So, if anyone’s like me, I’m told it means “an idiom used to describe the moment of downturn for a previously successful enterprise (in this case series)”.
Alright, now to answer the question. No, I don’t think I’ve ever read a series where the author does something crazy and completely different from the other books. Most of the series I read are by authors who pretty much know what they want out of the whole series, such as JK Rowling with Harry Potter or Gail Carriger with the Parasol Protectorate quintet. Granted Carriger has only written three of the five for this quintet, she has her plans for the quintet as a whole. I think that when authors go into a series this way, they don’t have as much crazy stuff or big disappointments.
On the other hand, my favorite continuing series, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, is one I think doesn’t have a definite plan. Willig has never said if she has a plan for the series or where it’s really going. But I love it anyways! She still does a wonderful job and I don’t think I’ve ever not loved on of her books.
EDIT: I can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier. I did find Rowling’s last Harry Potter installment, HP and the Deathly Hallows, to “jump the shark”. I love all of the first six books and loathe the seventh. It’s possible that the end of the HP series was lurking in the back of by subconscious, but I really just didn’t like it. And I pretty much know why–it was completely different from all of the previous books. Where most of the characters have fought in large groups for good or evil in the past, #7 just seemed to me to be a bunch of individuals running around fighting each other. I guess I got too comfortable with the typical storyline of the first six and the difference just made me dislike it. Of course I will still watch the movies when they come out on DVD from the library. (I refuse to play into the scheme to make Rowling and the movie companies/theaters even more money by seeing each movie separately–what a scam! LOTR didn’t separate it’s books into different movies because they were “too long”, so why should HP be able to?! (A rant for another day…))