There are some universes I can't get enough of and they are usually in the form of videogames such as 'The Elder Scrolls' and 'Grand Theft Auto'. I'm always keen on new details about the stories found therein and I love to see those worlds grow with every installment. It's the same for TV as well, but the TV shows I like the most such as 'Prison Break' and 'House' have finished and there's no hope for anything else for them. That's fine. Better not to draw out something that's dead. In books though and films, I can't get along with sequels a lot of the time. This is for a number of reasons, but I think it's mostly because I like to read things that are totally different from the last book I read.
Last year, I read 'The Hunger Games' books and I found the first one a brilliant read. I didn't find Panem that interesting a world to be honest and I couldn't get along with Katniss, and most of the characters I didn't give a damn about, but the story itself was good. The arena bit took a while to get too, but it was all worth it. Reading about their survival in the arena and wondering who'll die next, as morbid as that sounds I know, I enjoyed. 'Catching Fire' didn't do anything for me. By the end of 'The Hunger Games', I wanted to move on, but I felt I should read the next two books since I started the first. Don't start what you can't finish, right? Anyway, 'Catching Fire' annoyed me because the second half was just like the first book and it felt more like book 1.5 than book 2. And 'Mockingjay' bored me from the beginning. Call me cynical, but I hate the whole 'revolt against the system' story lines and by the time the book was almost over, I didn't care who won or lost. I just wanted to finish the book and move on.
Which brings me to what annoys me the most about sequels, when they turn into films. Have you noticed this? Every teen film adaptation gets dragged out as long as possible and now the final book gets split into two. What's the point? 'Mockingjay' will get two films so presumably, they'll be one massive build up and you'll have to wait another year for what you came to watch in the first place. I don't understand why this is a thing these days, but then again, I don't understand how films work, nor do I want to.
Mind you, I have enjoyed some sequels. 'Child 44' has two of them, 'The Secret Speech' and 'Agent 6'. What made them so masterful was that each one was entirely different from its little brother. Each book can stand alone with only a few little connections to each other. You could pick up 'Agent 6' and still enjoy it, but if you read the last two books, you'd enjoy it even more. 'The Hunger Games' novels need to be read in order for maximum enjoyment I think. I'm in a minority here, I know. They are insanely popular novels, but those books really wound me up with how utterly boring the two sequels were. Man, I do not like Katniss.
I like to read one novel and then another that is completely different. I like my stories that stand alone. I'd love to write some kind of sci-fi or fantasy story, but I'm too much of a wuss to do it in fear that I'd need at least one sequel to finish the story. I can't think of one fantasy story that lives alone. It's the same when I write, after I write one book I want to write one completely different even if it is in the same genre. If one novel features a road trip, I don't want to write the next one with a road trip either. It's the same thing with music as well. I wouldn't want a band to keep making the same album again and again, I want the next album to sound different in some way. Happily, they often do.
So, there you have it. All opinions are sadly my own and I may be alone in this netherworld, but dammit it's how I feel. Maybe one day I'll get along with sequels, but until that day, I'll enjoy my separate stories and silently badmouth unnecessary or samey sequels.
Have a great day.
Songs of the Week:
- 'Walter Reed' by Michael Penn
- 'See the World' by Gomez
- 'Are You Alright?' by Lucinda Williams
- 'Restless World' by Tim McIlrath
- 'Photograph' by Def Leppard
- 'The Good Left Undone' by Rise Against
- 'Behind Closed Doors' by Rise Against
- 'Fall to Pieces' by Avril Lavigne