I love nice long series, that is a very true fact. Why, I’m even a fan of multiple series in the same universe! For some reason, when an author writes more than one series in the same world of a previous series, there is an uprising (not really- but who knows?) in the book community about whether or not that author is just doing it for money.
I have always held the position, and will continue to do so, that an author has every right to continue expanding the world they have built. These people have put hundreds of hours of their lives creating and fleshing out a whole new world. New customs, cities, continents, species, and even words. Why shouldn’t they continue this? Think about it this way… Every contemporary book is set here on Earth. That’s because we live here and it is what’s expected, setting wise. Now, in fantasy novels the characters live there, so why not continue writing more books for that setting?
Let’s take a look at some fantastic examples.
- Cassandra Clare- The Shadowhunter world is one of the most beautifully complex fantasy universes in YA and each and every book that Clare writes only adds to this. All of her stories intertwine with another, whether it’s direct or indirect, and I think that is why all of her series are so enchanting. Each individual series is also extremely different from the others. TMI is what started it out, so it can be a little basic in the first few books, but by the time the 6th book rolls around the mythology is insane. TID is set nearly 200 years before and is in London, so even in a completely different continent. Plus, it has mechanical people in it, which TMI definitely does not. Her newest TDA is what the fans wanted and boy oh boy did she deliver. It’s a continuation on TMI but it is also so completely fresh and new.
- Leigh Bardugo- Another one of my favorite fantasy authors and she also does a fantastic job of creating two series set in the same universe, but so so different. Besides the presence of the Grisha, similar locations, and the occasional reference to what happened in the Grisha trilogy; you can’t really compare Six of Crows and her original series.
- J. K. Rowling- A little bit of an honorary mention, but who isn’t excited for The Cursed Child?! I know I wouldn’t complain if J.K. Rowling woke up and wanted to write seven more Harry Potter books.
Even though I am the biggest fan of series continuations, they can have their flaws. While it pains me to say, sometimes to results do end up being not as good quality as their predecessors. This can obviously vary from person to person, but a few examples of this would be…
- The Selection Series by Kiera Cass- The original trilogy didn’t leave me with any burning questions and when the next two were announced, I was confused why this decision was made. Unfortunately they did not live up to both the standards set by the original three and my expectations. The Heir and The Crown felt like “Fan Book Syndrome” to me, where the fans wanted some continuation more than the author wanted to write it.
- Rick Riordan- I have been continuously disappointed with Riordan’s last three books, and since he’s set such a trend for himself, it’s led me to believe that his classical mythology twists are growing over repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but I’ve gotten the impression that his books haven’t grown up with the initial audience.
So, let me know what you think about multiple series in the same universe! I’d love to know whether you love or loath them, and which ones are your favorites.