Posted by: Katie | September 18, 2009

Reading conundrum

I finished a three book series over the weekend. I’m still not sure how I feel about it after talking with two fellow librarians who also have strong interests in reader’s advisory and publishing. One, in fact, used to be an editor at a major publishing house. My conundrum is this: the premise of the story was boundary pushing in just the right way to make the overarching story of the series intriguing to the reader, but each book was so riddled with continuity errors to the point where I questioned if they were really the first drafts.

Honestly, I’m mad at the publishing house for rushing the production of these books. They were published back-to-back-to-back, and if this hadn’t been the case, the editor might, and should, have sent the manuscripts back to the author to be fixed. Speaking with my one friend, we both agreed it seemed like a copy editor had not even been consulted as that is usually the stage where continuity errors are caught. I’m also a bit peeved with the author. First, I think if the author had been doing her job, she should have been able to catch most of these errors as they, in reading straight through, are pretty glaring. Also, in looking at the author’s website, the character profiles don’t quite jibe with the way the characters are presented in the stories. Character and series bibles are drawn up to help minimize continuity errors, but if you can’t stick to the bible, don’t put it out there for readers to see.

Frustration only begins to describe how I feel about the series. And yet, I still read all three books. I’m one of those librarians who evangelizes about putting a book down that you don’t enjoy the moment you realize you are not enjoying it. There are too many other books out there you could be reading. I should have put the first book down without finishing. I shouldn’t have even picked up book #2 or #3. The problem was, despite all of the errors, I still enjoyed the story as a whole. I’m not sure if there will be more books in the series, though the ending of book #3 certainly left the question open. I had been planning on going out and buying all three books (I had gotten them from the library) to help insure the possibility of book #4. Only, now, I can’t. I can’t bring myself to buy books that I, poor self-editor that I am, want to go out and bleed red ink all over and mail them to the publisher and author to see everything they shouldn’t have missed. I’m still not sure if I can recommend these books to potential readers because of all of the errors. I might, though, in those rare instances where I have someone looking for some new twist on paranormal romance. But I will do so offering signifcant caveats. And yes, I will even read a book #4 if it comes out, in the hope it’s not so riddled with errors. But I’ll be getting it from the library.

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