Sunday, December 6, 2009

Unfinished

Not too many years ago, I would have been laughed out of publishers' offices for suggesting that a children's book could sell. Then came the incomparable Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling started a frantic scramble by agents to search for books about magical anything. At that point, there would still have been gleeful hysterics had I traipsed into a publisher's office with a book about vampires running amok in Washington state forests. Except that the young people who made Harry, Hermione, and Ron single monikers on par with Madonna and Cher, have grown up. Enter Bella, Edward, and Jacob. (For the record? Team Edward.) There are now whole tables of magic and vampire books at the local booksellers' shop. It amuses me to sit imagining what utterly improbable settings and fantastic characters will next grab the popular interest.

The single greatest factor affecting my enjoyment of these youth series? That each one has a nice, neatly packaged ending. Having spent years reading The Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan who claimed there would be a dozen books needed to tell his story, an end is a real priority. He halted at book 11 to write a prequel. Then he did something truly incomprehensible. He. died. with. the. final. book. unfinished.

A young author (who hopefully has no imminent mortality looming) was found to take up the torch, and complete Mr. Jordan's unfinished epic. Although not entirely won over by this solution, I resolved to read book 12 until a fellow obsessive fan reader revealed that the massive volume on the bookstore shelf was not the last book in the series. There will now be 14 books because of the sheer volume of notes left by the departed. Because he was too busy scribbling his notes and revealing back story to get on with telling the tale he began spinning out.

2 comments:

Kaitlin Abshire( Holly's Middle Child) said...

Lol Mom, I didn't know you were team Edward! I think the Twilight series is lame but If I did have to pick a team I would pick team Jacob.
Funny thing is I knew exactly what you were talking about when you said " didn't finish the 12th book..." you talk about it alot.
It is ironic though! :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Really? I JUST bought the first book in that series for D last week. I had no idea that the author was dead and that the series was unfinished.