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Old 02-12-2016, 06:21 PM   #1
Katsunami
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Ever kept reading despite knowing better?

This is the companion thread to "Ever put down a book because you were afraid of what would happen?" Let's see the other side of things

Have you ever kept reading a book, or maybe even a series, despite knowing what (probably) was going to happen, despite knowing that you wouldn't like it?

In my case, I can mention two of the series that got me started in fantasy, and which I'm still reading to this day: Shannara, by Terry Brooks, and Drizzt, by R.A. Salvatore.

As one reviewer on Amazon, on one of the later Shannara books said: "I don't want to see a blasted Ohmsford ever again!" He is right. The series spans hundreds of years (at least over 1,000) at this point, and since the very first book, it's always the same. The world needs to be saved, and it can only be done by an Ohmsford. The Ohmsford is always supported by a Leah sidekick, some Elessedil royal family member plays an important role, and there's a Druid involved to get the quest started. After 25-ish books or so, this gets very tiring.

Even more tiring is the fact that one of the Elessedil queens (Wren Elessedil) actually also is part of the Ohmsford family. The same is true for Walker Boh. His successor, Grianne, even is a full-blooded Ohmsford. So in the end, the Ohmsford family sits on the throne of the Elves, is head of the Druid Order, and is saving the world left and right... for a thousand years or more. (OK, there are gaps of a few hundred years when nothing needs saving, but you get the drift.)

Blergh. My dying wish would be to shoot a few Ohmsfords before I go myself.

Maybe my patience is rewarded: it seems that the latest series, Defenders of Shannara, puts one of the Leahs in charge as the protagonist. It *seems*, from the description. I wouldn't be surprised if that Leah meets an Ohmsford, somewhere around page 30 or so, and this Ohmsford becomes the real protagonist... and then I will scream, will be filled with hatred towards the name Ohmsford all over again, possibly come very close to smashing my Kindle, but I will probably still read and finish the book and the series.

Spoiler:

(edit: CRA-HAP!. In "Dark Legacy of Shannara", Railing Ohmsford ends up with Mirai Leah. So it finally happened: the Ohmsford and Leah lines are merged. It could very well be possible that the 'Leah' in the Defenders series is a descendant of Railing and Mirai, and thus is at least part Ohmsford... Njjrrrggh...)


Why? Don't know. Maybe it's my completionist/ocd attitude.

With Salvatore's Drizzt, it's a bit similar, but instead of new generations of the characters, it's always the same characters. Drizzt is a drow, so he has a lifespan of about 700 years. His companions also have lifespans of about 200 and 250 years (halfling, dwarf). Only the two humans have an 80-ish year lifespan.

So, in these books, The Companions go adventuring. Very nice; and each adventure makes them more powerful, with new skills, new feats, and new weapons. (It's AD&D-based, so no surprise there.) At some point however, they gain so much power that they would overpower like >= 98% of characters in the world. Therefore it is very hard to believe that they can fail at anything apart from going up against one of those 2% of god-like characters or the gods themselves.

And then, finally, someone dies.

Until one or two books later, he/she reappears again, dead no longer. Revived, rescued, back-from-lost, whatever.

At some point...

Spoiler:

... they finally get killed, or die from a cataclysmic event or die of old age, and it seems Drizzt finally has to go and find some new friends. It even looks like he does, for a book or two or so, but no... the author brings the characters back, reborn, younger, fresh for another life of adventuring!


Despite that, I keep reading the series. I just *can't* stop. Maybe it's caused not by me being a completionist or having OCD, but by my upbringing. My parents always told me: "If you start this, you are going to finish it."

I finished everything I ever started, except for one thing; and regarding that, I was forced to quit because of regulations, and not because I quit myself.

So I'll probably keep reading these series until the authors either die, or just stop writing them. (If a different author would pick up those series, I'd possibly not read any farther, except maybe finishing a trilogy that didn't get finished writing or something.)

Anyone else still reading stuff, despite knowing better?

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Old 02-12-2016, 07:41 PM   #2
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I'm currently reading the Molly Fyde series by Hugh Howley, and am stuck in the forth (and last book).

Clearly, the series only had three books of good content.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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I'm currently reading the Molly Fyde series by Hugh Howley, and am stuck in the forth (and last book).

Clearly, the series only had three books of good content.
I think three is the magic number. Harry Potter went downhill rapidly after Prisoner of Azkaban, the fourth and fifth books of ASOIAF were dreadful slogs and I'm sure there are many other examples which aren't occurring to me. Partially it's that a concept gets played out and partially it's that the author goes into plate spinning mode rather than wrapping things up.
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
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I'm currently reading the Molly Fyde series by Hugh Howley, and am stuck in the forth (and last book).

Clearly, the series only had three books of good content.
So I'm not the only one who didn't like the 4th book. The first 3 were great though. And no I didn't keep reading.
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:40 PM   #5
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I got a few books into L. Ron Hubbard's main series (I've purged the name from my memory) back in University. At least I didn't sink so low as to actually buy them. (I borrowed them from the library.)
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:00 AM   #6
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I don't have such experiences because the other side of me loving to read is me getting depressed with books that I don't like. I really cannot read a book solely as a challenge. I DNFed an enormous number of books. I keep demanding more from my books, and fortunately, I have scouted the books that match or exceed these expectations.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:55 AM   #7
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Katsunami, I so totally agree on the Shannara series, but at least we got a break with one trilogy (before the war of destruction).

I have to say, I had the same issues with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as a kid. How can you have so many crimes to solve while still in high school? But, it's the mystery cozies written by romance writers that usually have the ridiculous going on. If it wasn't for occasionally finding a gem, I'd give them up.

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Old 02-14-2016, 12:49 PM   #8
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Katsunami, I so totally agree on the Shannara series, but at least we got a break with one trilogy (before the war of destruction).
Yes, the Word & Void trilogy, and the Legends of Shannara duology didn't feature any Ohmsfords.

The one thing I always found odd is that there has only ever been one person with the name Shannara: Jerle Shannara, referred to in Sword, and only playing a role in First King. Everything, the entire world is based on him wielding the Sword as the first one, but never again an actual Shannara descendant appears under that name.

Quote:
I have to say, I had the same issues with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as a kid. How can you have so many crimes to solve while still in high school?
Blegh. 16-year olds cracking crimes between some homework and going out, crimes that seasoned detectives can't get solved. Useless.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:27 PM   #9
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Blegh. 16-year olds cracking crimes between some homework and going out, crimes that seasoned detectives can't get solved. Useless.
Nancy Drew wasn't in high school. She just drove around in her roadster, shopped, went on vacations, and helped run the household. She would happily abandon anything else when she happened upon a mystery.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:00 PM   #10
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OK; that sounds a bit better, but it wasn't what Tarana suggested
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:01 PM   #11
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Nancy Drew wasn't in high school. She just drove around in her roadster, shopped, went on vacations, and helped run the household. She would happily abandon anything else when she happened upon a mystery.
So basically, she was just a happy-go-lucky young lady, waiting around for Mr. Right to show up. Unfortunately, the only people she hung around with ended up being criminals.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:09 PM   #12
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So basically, she was just a happy-go-lucky young lady, waiting around for Mr. Right to show up. Unfortunately, the only people she hung around with ended up being criminals.
Oh no. She wasn't happy-go-lucky and she didn't care a bit about Mr. Right. Her priority was sleuthing. Poor Ned Nickerson always had to take a backseat where there was a mystery to solve, and he usually got roped into helping her.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:05 PM   #13
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Oh no. She wasn't happy-go-lucky and she didn't care a bit about Mr. Right. Her priority was sleuthing. Poor Ned Nickerson always had to take a backseat where there was a mystery to solve, and he usually got roped into helping her.
Even Chief McGinnis was bossed around by Nancy, so Ned wasn't alone.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:10 PM   #14
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LOL. "The Nancy Drew character first appeared in the 1930's. The books where ghostwritten...."

Yeah, I can see how this could become a series you keep reading despite knowing better
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:50 PM   #15
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