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Random Thoughts: The End of the Road

It seems that lately it has reached the end of the road for many of the series that I’ve fallen in love with over the years. Somewhere in the back of my mind I always knew that these books would have to come to an end, but in many instances I’ve chosen to live in denial.

While there are a few series that have gone on long past their expiry date and a few whose lives were cut short too soon, many have just naturally run their course, but it is still a sad day when I reach that final page knowing the characters will be no more.

I am not one to fanfic a book in my mind. I don’t imagine the further adventures of Dimitri and Rose or Sonny and Kelley or Robert and Grace. They were never my characters, so when the author says stop, that’s it for me. As devastating as that is, I’ve had to learn to let go.

But with so many of my favorites coming to an end, it feels as if I’m standing on the verge of an ever widening precipice. Even just knowing that there are only a few books remaining in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series makes my heart race.

I’ve shamefully resorted to moving series-ending books further down on my TBR just to delay the inevitable, but my resolve is weakening. I do want to know what happens and recognize that I just can’t put the read off forever.

Just two of the several books I’m holding off reading –

I know this is supposed to be absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe I haven’t already read it. This series has been phenomenal, but I just can’t quite bear to see it end, so am putting this off for at least a couple weeks to pretend that the end isn’t near.

This is another book that is closing out a favored series. I started reading this and had to put it down. Yes, I’m a chicken. But I am living in fear that something really bad will happen to the characters and I just can’t face that reality.

I’ve already had to suffer the loss of several amazing books and characters. For those series I opted to jump right in and read the books on release date and have now joined the list of long suffering readers who have had to wait until the author releases a completely different book, but one that will at least be in the author’s voice.

Just a few of the series endings I’m still weeping over –

Oh, I knew this one would have to end. I knew it was a trilogy. I don’t know why I thought it would be easier. But no. Everything wrapped itself up after the third book. But I still miss Zoe and Matthias. Still.

I don’t even have to say it. I know I’m not the only one who was devastated that this series was ending. I read this right away, got to the end, and immediately began missing everyone. Thankfully there will be a spinoff series, but of course without Dimitri and Rose as the main characters it just won’t be the same. And yes, I have begun to re-read.

And of course just recently we had to say goodbye to Sonny Flannery and Kelley Winslow. I loved the final book, I read it right away, but I keep waiting for the next adventure, only to realize it will never come.

And then of course are the soon-to-be-ending series. With these books I feel completely bipolar. One minute I am ecstatic and can’t wait for the next book, the next I am so sad that the next book will be the end.

Just two of these anticipated closers are –

I feel like I just got to know Nick and Alan and already I have to say goodbye. This may not have been a long series, but it is such a memorable and amazing one. And I am so not ready for this series to be over.

I only recently found out this was the final book in the series and now am devastated. It may be the right time for the end to come, but I am completely unprepared. I didn’t have the necessary six months to ready myself for the conclusion. My small consolation prize has been that 2012 will have a spinoff with Balthazar. That’s something, right?

And in one final sorry attempt to fill the void, I’ve been desperately seeking any new series in the hopes of falling in love with new characters to make me miss the old characters just a little bit less. But even when I fall in love with a new series, it really doesn’t replace the gap left by series past, it only creates the possibility of a new gap when that series ends.

When we readers choose to pick up a book that begins a series we know the benefits and drawbacks of our involvement. We get a chance to follow the characters much longer than we would in a standalone novel. We get to experience many more adventures, get much more insight about who they are and really get to know them in a way we never could in just a single book.

But we also have to prepare ourselves for the many ups and downs as the series progresses. Our favorites may disappoint us, they may die or they may become irrelevant. We may find ourselves concluding the series with a new set of characters than existed at the start. Or the direction we once thought was assured was nothing more than our wish. Our main character may choose a different love interest, or they may not choose one at all. They may go through a dark period only to come out on top at the end. Or they may just fall victim to the darkness.

We readers are at the whims of the author and how they feel as they continue their long journey with these characters. And a series that spans the years may take a very different path than was intended at the very beginning. But whatever direction they take, at some point they will reach the end of the road.

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What series are you afraid will be drawing to a close?

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