Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Blogger Buzz Tour ~ Guest Post + Kindle Fire Giveaway

Welcome to today's stop on The Book Blogger Buzz Tour! If you've been following it, I hope you're liking the posts that the participating bloggers have put together. If you're new to it, you can check out the schedule here. All sorts of topics are being covered! Thank you to Rachel from Parajunkee for organizing this tour for book bloggers.☺

I get to share Gwynn White's guest post today! She's written about books that have killed series for her, which is a topic I'm sure a lot of you have something to say about. Enjoy the post and giveaway!

(Warning: there are a few spoilers mentioned in this post.)

What last books in a trilogy or series do you wish you had never read? Why?

I can only think of two books that really killed a series for me. And by killed, I mean stone dead. Never going there again. Those two books are . . . drum roll please . . . The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
Unsurprisingly, both these books slot neatly into a pet hate category of mine: books with unnecessary deaths, often used as a plot device by authors.
 Oh, by the way, this post may contain the odd spoiler, so if you haven’t read these books (and still plan to after I’m finished rubbishing them) then proceed with caution.
Now we all know that people in books have to die, sometimes even our favourite characters. I’m looking at you, Veronica Roth. And not to forget you, JK Rowling. I’m yet to forgive you for what you did to Dobby. But, I digress . . .
As much as I hated those deaths – and many others in books I love – I could not – and still cannot – get my head around what Patrick Ness and Suzanne Collins did to me in Knife of Never Letting Go and Mockingjay.
Let me begin with KNLG. (Technically, this isn’t the last book in the series –it’s the first– but I’ve never been great at following instructions.)
The story in the Knife of Never Letting Go is pretty simple. (Great title, by the way) Todd and his talking dog Manchee live in a world inhabited only by men. Here, no one’s thoughts are private. Every thought is spilled into the ether as Noise, which everyone can hear. Until Todd and Manchee stumble into a place of utter silence where they meet – a girl. (Love that conceptThis brings the mayor of the town where Todd lives and his posse of baddies after Todd, Violet and Manchee.
What ensures is a can’t-even-stop-for-breath-even-though-I’m-dying-here adventure. Despite the brutal pace (pun intended), I was totally invested in the story. Until Ness killed off just one too many characters – Manchee the talking dog.
The book died right there for me.
Up until that point, I was happy (if a little shell-shocked) to race along with Todd and Violet from one life-threatening incident to the next while Manchee – the only spark of humour in a dark world – was there to punctuate the action with his doggy wit.
The second he died, I lost interest. Note to author: you cannot kill the only redeeming character in your book and expect people to lap it up. Deep in mourning for the best talking dog in all of English lit, I marched the book down to the second-hand bookstore. And that says everything because I don’t buy books, I adopt them.
Having read that little rant, I guess it’s not that difficult to figure out what got me worked up about Mockingjay. I am assuming, given the fact that The Hunger Games is a blockbuster movie franchise, that most people know the storyline. If not: here’s a link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7260188-mockingjay?ac=1..
Now, I loved The Hunger Games (if you can call being stunned witless a symptom of love) Catching Fire was equally as brilliant.
Mockingay? Not so much.
To me, Suzanne Collins broke faith with her readers, not by killing her characters, but by the off-handed way in which she did it. For example, Finnick’s death was so rushed – glossed over almost – that I had to read back a few pages to figure out what had happened to him when I noticed he’d disappeared from the action. That’s just bad writing. Honestly, by the end of Mockingjay, I felt I needed therapy.
So, if we were handing out prizes for the books that successfully killed their series, then KNLG and Mockingjay would vie for first place.
But that’s just my view. What book killed it for youPlease leave a comment, because we’d love to know your thoughts.

About Gwen
Author. Rabid reader. Mother of three teens. Believer in worlds without number . . .
 I am also an ex-South African now living in the UK who has written two memoir-like, non-fiction travel guides, both of which reached best seller status. That was a while ago, so I don't boast much about it.

These days, I spend my creative energy writing Young Adult fantasy novels. The first in the Children of the Curse series will be published in December 2014.

Just to confuse things, I'm also co-authoring a humorous memoir with my husband Andrew. Called Torn Trousers, it's set at a luxury lodge on a remote island in the Okavango delta in Africa. A crazy learning-that-paradise-doesn’t-exist story, it’s guaranteed to give a few laughs.

When I'm not writing, I'm reading, blogging, herding kids around, taking dogs for walks, and avoiding all cooking.

You can contact me at:





  1. Thanks for having me on your blog today!

  2. Gwynn, I totally agree about Manchee- I am STILL not over Manchee, for real. I did, however LOVE the rest of the series, but I'm still with you!

    Mockingjay... I actually really liked. I know I am in the complete minority here, so feel free to throw stuff at me ;) But I think it just fit, for me anyway.

    Now Allegiant.. that would be my series killer for sure!

    1. Hi Shannon, my daughter Erin cried for weeks over Allegiant! She still puckers up every time we mention it! I'm glad you liked the rest of KNLG. Maybe one day I will feel inspired to try it again.

  3. Hopefully this comment doesn't end up being a duplicate. ALLEGIANT was a huge letdown after the first two books and I could totally have been left to imagine a conclusion for myself.

    1. I can see why Roth did it, but yes, it was pretty shocking. I think a great many fans would happily have lynched her for it. I wonder what the movie audiences will think?

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  5. Well, it hasn't occured to me yet being dissapointed so much with the last books in a trilogy or series so as to wish I had never read them. I guess I should come back to this question after I've read some more books :)
    Gwynn's post is very interesting! :) Thank you for sharing it and for being a part of this awesome book tour!! ;)


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