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Serial Killer

April 2, 2012

I’ve had this problem for a while but I’ve hesitated to admit it. See, the thing is, I am terrible at reviewing books in series. When I do find a series that is worth reading in full, it often means that I love it enough to keep picking up the next one but it also means I love it enough to where I want to talk about every detail. this becomes a bit of an issue when it relate to blogging about said books. I feel as though I need to have a pass code protected section of my blog with some key phrase readers would only know if they’ve finished the current book in whatever series I’m reviewing. that way, I could have my regular review and then the spoiler section with no possible temptation for those who are prone to seeking out easy spoilers but will actually kick themselves for it, later, if they look ahead.

Part of me knows that I need to just get myself on Twitter with some sort, any sort, of consistency because there are always bloggers out there or at least readers, who have read whatever book I want to talk about and it’s much more sane to ramble on with those folks than it is to try to figure out some elaborate forum system that is super James Bond password protected. But then I have another issue: if I can’t really write freely about the plot of the book, what’s the point of the review? I always feel as though I need to say things like,” Well, it’s hard to explain if you haven’t read this” or what have you. I mean, I’ve largely gotten away from doing that for the most part but I still feel like I want to say that.

So, I guess the purpose of this post is a request for suggestions. Do you leave people to their own devices and simply discuss the details from past books assuming those who haven’t read the first won’t venture forward to that specific review? Or do you keep it short and sweet and vague while everyone else catches up? What’s your personal, serial review style?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2012 9:38 am

    I do review books in series. Usually when something runs on from the end of book one, I’ll post at the beginning of the post that there are ***possible spoilers*** in this review, or something along those lines. That way, anyone who hasn’t read the other books can choose not to read it. On the other hand, I try to stay away from giving away the secret, by being vague, for instance adding “This follows on what happened at the end of book one”. I hope the idea works for you. šŸ™‚

  2. April 3, 2012 10:53 am

    I have this same problem! I very rarely read books in a series, because the reviews are so hard to write without spoilers. I have done a few, but I just sort of gravitate towards books that are standalones and forget about series books all together. I don’t have any helpful advice, just commiseration for you and this problem.

  3. April 3, 2012 1:28 pm

    Same problem here. I might review the first one in the series but not the rest. It’s too hard to keep out spoilers and such.

  4. April 3, 2012 4:23 pm

    Love the title and graphic of your post! It is always tricky reviewing series books. I review them, but try to be vague about spoilers from previous books. I saw a “spoiler button” on bookjourney.wordpress.com that Sheila uses to talk about book spoilers on a page other than the regular review.

  5. April 3, 2012 9:29 pm

    I rarely review books in a series for the same reason. When I do, I usually write something like this:

    ****spoilers******

    (Spoiler)

    ****End of spoilers*****

    That way readers who haven’t read the series can read my review without knowing the key facts.

  6. April 3, 2012 10:45 pm

    To me there are different types of series. There is the trilogy, which almost require spoilers of the previous books in order to talk about the current one. I say you just warn everyone and let it rip. That is all you can do. But I also read and review ongoing and long-lasting series (10+ books sometimes), which is pretty easy to review spoiler-free. The authors pretty much make these able to stand on their own.

  7. April 4, 2012 12:33 pm

    I’m never patient enough to read books in a series in order so I’m creating spoilers for myself all the time! I think if you just head a paragraph “spoiler” then people who haven’t read the previous books can just scroll down.

  8. April 4, 2012 6:09 pm

    I was coming to say exactly the same thing about putting in spoiler warnings and then let your readers decide exactly where they want to stop reading your review.

  9. April 4, 2012 11:31 pm

    My review format has changed to more of a “thoughts on” format, which gives me a wider range of possibilities. I share “what I’d tell a friend,” which generally doesn’t include spoilers, but might have language indicating whether the book can be read out of order, or if you need some background to enjoy it.

    I’ve reviewed three of Jacqueline Winspear’s MAISIE DOBBS novels, and, though I really like them, I’m unlikely to write full “reviews” for others I read.

  10. Nicola O. permalink
    April 6, 2012 3:43 am

    Mostly I try to be spoiler free. Sometimes I like to review a series as a whole and just talk about the world building and the writing in general terms. But mostly, if a book has multiple sequels I feel like it’s fair to talk about the things that are spoiled in earlier books by blurb copy (in other words, if it’s on a blurb for a later book, it doesn’t much count as a spoiler for an earlier book). At least, in my mind.

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