Sequels are a tough bag, no question. Readers tend to equally love and hate them, constantly comparing the sequel to the original. It’s unavoidable. I do have multiple thoughts about sequels not living up to the originals but that’s not the post I want to do today. Maybe another day…
For today I want to talk about the length of time between the first book and any sequels.
In a perfect world as soon as you finish one book you’ll have the next instantly to read, and so on until you want a break.
However as it usually happens the author has to, yanno, actually write the second book or third or fourth or whatever. Sadly that doesn’t happen instantaneously even if all parties would probably like that.
So what is an acceptable time between books?
I see a year or thereabouts frequently and that’s pretty standard. However, what about books that take two, three, four, or even five years between sequels.
I’ve read four books in the past month that have had years (three+) between the first and second books. This sends me into a quandary. As much as I may have loved the first book, after three years or more, I can guarantee I remember little to nothing about that book and am ambivalent about continuing on in the series.
This doesn’t even get into when sequels pick off where the original book ends with no added details. Readers are expected to have read the first book, recently, and recall all those important details easily.
But truly, just going by the time between books alone – if it’s over a year it stretches my recall ability too much to likely continue. I may anyway but I know I won’t love it as much as I could have otherwise.
What’s your deal breaker on time between books?