It is extraordinarily frustrating when this feeling hits. You know the one. You’ve just found some brilliant, new — to you — author and you’re nearing the outer edges of their available work. A growing dread begins accompanying the ever rising anticipation. You want to know what happens and how it all works out, yet you’re not ready for it to be over!
Yeah, that’s not the feeling I’m talking about. I mean the one after that one. The one when you’re actually done and the morose realisation strikes that there is simply no more to be had.
That’s about where I am at right now. I finished reading The Night Angel trilogy as you may be aware, then also went and consumed in short order The Black Prism, the first book of Brent Week’s second series. There’s not much chance you knew about that one, because I finished it before I even got about to updating it either over on the sidebar or on Goodreads. Oops. Sorry. ((Edit: Oh I lie! Apparently I was more productive than I thought. How on earth did that happen?))
But yes. Done now. And it’s awful! ((Not the book! That was great!)) I just don’t want to read anything else. Started something I was once excited by. Decided, ‘meh’. Started something else. Meh to that one too. I’m not quite walking around looking like someone killed my cat, but I’m sure it’s a close thing.
I’ve had this before — I’m sure most everyone who reads regularly has, right? — and it typically passes in fairly short order but it’s certainly rather annoying while it persists.
Typically this only happens after the ‘Best of the Best’ books (I certainly got it after finishing reading Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss) which perhaps makes its appearance here a little strange. Because as much as I really did enjoy Weeks’ work — all of it! — I didn’t think it quite reached that level.
So this lead me to wondering…
Just what is the magic sauce a book has that leads to the, ‘I’ve finished it’ blues?
And then I decided that this was too big a question and I had no idea.
So let’s pretend I didn’t ask this one and perhaps asked something like, ‘Why are clouds white?’. Well duh, because otherwise they wouldn’t look like marshmellows.
sigh, fine. Let me think…
One of the bigger elements of whether or not a book is going to give you the, ‘Every other book (I haven’t yet read) sucks!’ after you’re done with it, comes down to attachment to the characters I think.
If an author is able to hit that magic blend of putting your characters through a ringer whilst also giving them time to just be so you can get to know them and see what they’re like in the aftermath of things, it can be terribly hard to let them go.
In the case of Brent Weeks this was a pretty subtle influence. I didn’t even know I was coming to care about some of the characters until… well, I can’t actually say because it’d be quite a major spoiler! But yes.
Then there is the events of the larger world, too. A well crafted world is going to have things going on outside the direct influence of the story’s protagonist. If we get enough of our questions answered to feel satisfied yet still keep enough of a door open on these ‘other things’ it can be hard not to want them right now.
Because honestly. Waiting? Waiting is for suckers!
Perhaps an odd sentiment for one so engrossed with reading rather than getting satisfaction purely from a visual media perhaps, but meh. Consistency? Also for suckers! Myahaha!
I’m sure there are other elements too, but I think I’d like to get back to reading now. Even though I don’t. ((Internal consistency? That’s for sane people! :P)) I’m going to give the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher a whirl, as I’ve had 3-4 of the series on my Kindle on a while but never got around to it.
Eh. Thoughts? 🙂