Question: How loyal are you?

Posted 26 August, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 16 Comments

So, I was cutting up veggies for my lunches this week and thinking about what book to read next. Do I reread an old favorite or should I take a chance on a new book (I’ve had a rash of bad luck and way too many set-aside books lately)? I could reread Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files or CE Murphy’s Walker Papers or maybe go back to the beginning of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton…and I got to thinking about my loyalty to some authors.

If an author hooks me with whatever first book of theirs I pick up, I’m most likely going to pick up another by them (yes, I know this is pretty obvious — you all no doubt do the same thing).

If an author consistently produces strong books, they’ve earned my reading loyalty and I’m 99 percent likely read anything they produce, even if it’s in a different genre or under a pseudonym.

If an author I read loyally produces a crappy book or a couple that don’t live up to previous novels, I’m still willing to pick up the next book and the next and maybe even the next…until I just can’t anymore. But even then, after a series of consistently not-good books, I still get the urge to pick up that author’s next book, just to see. 

Take Laurell K. Hamilton for example. I loved her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series and when she released her Meredith Gentry series, I was all over it. A long-lost fairy princess story? Yes, please. Anyway, I devoured the Anita Blake series, loving the action, the world and the storyline. Until around Book 8 (Blue Moon)/Book 9 (Obsidian Butterfly). It was at this point that the storyline seemed to disappear into a morass of sex, sex and more sex. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a steamy sex scene as much as the next gal but when it overtook the story and became all about the heroine’s magical cootchie, I just…couldn’t anymore.

Still, I didn’t give up on Anita until Book 18, Flirt. Seriously. I hung on in there, hoping that things would return to the great storyline that hooked me at the beginning of the series. Even now, whenever I see another Anita Blake story releasing (like Affliction, Book #22, which came out in July of this year), I get the urge to pick it up and give it yet another shot. (I didn’t read Affliction, in case you were wondering. Though I’m curious, despite the crap reviews.)

The same STD happened with the Merry Gentry series around Book 6, Lick of Frost (great title, as one of the MCs was named Frost). Merry’s magical cootchie brought all the boys and girls to her yard and, with her sexual prowess, she started performing miracles. Seriously. But, though common sense would dictate otherwise, I held on and have read every one of them, hoping that Merry wouldn’t turn into another Anita, with a nonstop sexual marathon every day and night to satisfy her myriad of lovers. The last Merry story released in 2009, with no indication of continuing (I hear there were issues of some sort but I don’t really know what happened.) 

However, as I was linking Hamilton’s books through Goodreads, I came across one of her posts that says a new Merry Gentry is expected to be released Summer 2014. Will I purchase it? Maybe. Will I pick it up at the library? Maybe. I really don’t know. I’ve lost some faith, been bitten too many times… my loyalty may be lost. 

But here’s the thing. Should Laurell K. Hamilton put out a new series, I’ll most definitely try it. Am I crazy? Is there such a thing as too loyal (or is that called blind stupidity?)? Tell me, how loyal are you?

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

16 Responses to “Question: How loyal are you?”

  1. Ha! I am just as loyal as you are – in my real life and in my bookish life! when I love a series from an author so much I am totally there when she releases another book/series. I might even be disappointed, but I know I am coming back anyways!

    Loyalty is a good thing:))

  2. I have to say I’m loyal to very few authors. Probably only Stephen King and Dean Koontz (and I’ve stuck with him through some awful books). Neil Gaiman is going on my list as soon as I read more from him … and I want to read all the books Octavia Butler wrote. Other than that – no loyalty 🙂

  3. Im pretty loyal, there are authors I’ve read pretty much everything they had written even if I haven’t loved their books for relative long spells, I keep waiting for an awesome book and I love when I get it .

    But I’ll also admit that since I started blogging Im more impatient with the books I read, and more willing to give up on a series if it just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Like with Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. I love EH’s books, I obsessively re-read her first six books, but I just never got into her current series, so I just wait until that series is over so I can read her again.

  4. When an author produces something I really like, it takes several books for me to become wary. I know what they are capable of so I tend to give them some slack. I will probably do a library book rather than buying though.

  5. You are a more patient person than I! I LOVED Anita in the beginning, but threw in the towel around book 6. I cannot stand when a plot becomes less important than magical cootchies. Sex is GREAT but I need plot more, or I get bored. Even the most magical of penises can’t keep me interested. LOL. Now, I tried Merry, and I LOVED that series. I thought to myself, Merry is a fertility fae, she has to have sex for all these reasons. It is part of the plot and thus, I can handle it. Nope, I gave up after book 4. I kinda miss that world though, and those boys!

  6. It takes a lot for me to give up on an author if I really love her previous books. I’ve grown out of a few series that I used to like, but if I love them, I will still keep reading. And like you, I’m pretty much this way in real life with friends and such, too. Loyalty, once earned, stays true. Unless you really, really piss me off. 😉

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. I’m generally pretty dang loyal…sometimes to a fault. I loved the start of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s The Last Survivors series, but it just got worse and worse…and I kept reading. I think, however, there’s a time that we need to let it go, and I’ve finally reached that point :/

  8. Hmmmm… I’m not sure. I only read the first two Anita Blake books and the first 3 (or so) Merry books and I like them but I just didn’t LOVE them (though there’s some things in the Merry books I DO LOVE) so I just haven’t pushed myself to continue. My favorite author is Jacqueline Carey and I say that I’ll read everything she writes but I still haven’t. For me it’s just because of the lack of time to do so.

  9. Wow, you ARE loyal! I have to be REALLY invested in a series in order to continue past 7 books. It gets too expensive/I outgrow them/my library doesn’t have the book I need. However, if I’ve read an author’s other books (if the series isn’t my first experience), then I’ll stick with them and hope they get better.

    Sara at The Page Sage

  10. I’m pretty loyal if I’ve established a two or three book streak of loving an author’s books. It’s hard to break my loyalty after that. I think it’s partly because I refuse to believe an author I love could stumble (even if they already have), and also am eternally optimistic, so even if a series is jumping the shark, I keep believing it will get better. It’s a curse!

  11. I’m definitely loyal if it’s an author that I love, and I feel much the same as you when their books start to go downhill. With one author in particular that I’ve been reading for years. I always want a new book if they have one coming out, even when I know it could possibly be awful. You’d think I’d learn after a while. 🙂

    Great post!

  12. You’re more loyal than we are. We definitely follow the pattern you started with (like an author, pick up their books, give them the benefit of the doubt even if things start to raise flags) but they probably only have 2-3 books to “mess up” before we stop being loyal. Life’s too short, and there are too many author great books out there!

    That said, if we heard good things/read good reviews, we might come back to them, even after a long break. 🙂

  13. I used to be VERY loyal to my favorite authors but there have been too many duds and I have too many books to read to keep up with that.

    I read the first Anita book and heard what happened so I just stopped right there!

    I read up to Lick of Frost in the Merry Gentry series but like you said that was just getting crazy. She had a sex calendar. While she was pregnant. With babies from multiple fathers. I sort of grew accustomed to that group of men even though it goes way outside my comfort zone but then she just kept adding them and there is no real plot to speak of anymore. So obviously I quit.

    I get twitchy when those authors I gave up on release new books. The last two Sookie books are a good example. I want to give it a shot but it’s just not worth it so I haven’t given in yet.

  14. This is a great discussion! I’ve definitely found the problem of LOVING one or two books by a particular author and then reading and reading their works to try and recapture the magic. It often takes me a while to realize it’s not going to happen again. That said, i have a paralysis about these never-ending series. I usually can’t make it past 6 or 7 books before it’s too much. 22 books in one series? That freaks me out! I don’t think I’d even make it that far to have your problem. BUT sometimes I think we do try to love a book or a series for an author’s previous reputation, and it takes some time to step back from that and realize that it didn’t happen the second time.

  15. Still loyal to Terry Pratchett and Jonathon Kellerman (I still buy their new stuff in hardback); moderately loyal to Stephen King (stopped buying early 00s after getting too grossed out with one book but have Dr Sleep on pre order; gave up on Patricia Cornwell around Black Notice (aka in some circles “around the time she went mad”). Tend to buy Neil Gaiman more often than not….