Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Endings: When the End Really Means THE END

Have you ever finished a book and felt the ending worked for the story, but it left you craving more, left you wondering what happens next? Have you ever frantically searched the internet to find if a sequel was in the works, or emailed authors wanting to know their vision of what continues once the final words are read and the back cover is closed?

I confess. I've done it.

Sometimes readers are rewarded because a book was compelling enough or generated enough interest (ka-ching!) that the publisher warranted a sequel, or better yet, a series. Perhaps a sequel or series was in the plan all the while with the author already pounding out the next book as readers squirm on that ever-dangling hook.

But what if the end really is just that, the end, and the ending is too ambiguous for left brain dominant people craving logic and reason and closure, or perhaps the wondering or not knowing is just too frustrating, and the countless 'what if's' you come up with don't satisfy? What if you want more and the writer is done, done, done?

I felt this way about Holly Black's Valiant, the second book in her modern faerie tale series. It is my favorite of the three books, and I loved it. Val's struggle and heartbreak is palpable, her personal journey and subsequent growth completely believable. Having said that, her relationship with Ravus intrigued me, and I wanted more but the book just...ended. I read the third book, Ironside, and cried because Val and Ravus only made a cameo appearance--I think they were together but maybe I did that subconsciously, I can't remember now--but it wasn't enough. I cried, I emailed the author, searched the web, and waited for another book. And waited. And waited.

I never heard back from Holly Black, and I haven't heard any news on her continuing Val and Ravus' story. Val and Ravus are such incredibly rich, dynamic characters that I can't imagine their story not being told. Anyone else feel the same way?

Another story I want to continue is Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Rae and Constantine's story is captivating and I was completely and utterly enthralled by them. This story also has one of the scariest scenes I've ever read--and I've read a lot--and it plays my survival instincts like an instrument with McKinley strumming my nerves raw. I wasn't expecting it, and it's brilliant. For those that have read it, it's the scene where Rae decides to go to the lake alone, and appears in my book on page 12. (See, it left such an impression I still remember the page!) I emailed the author, searched her forum and found nothing. The agony,the agony!

I did just find this though, which wasn't there before: (Haha, read the link addy) Can't get any clearer than that! I guess I wasn't the only one filling up her email.

Any of you read Sunshine? How did you feel about the ending? Did anyone else crave pastries while reading it?

In the above linked post, McKinley mentions Albion, which is not a sequel to Sunshine, but takes place somewhere else and she's not sure the characters even know about Rae and Charlie's Coffee Shop.

Hmmm, I say. Hmmm.

So she's writing a book that takes place in the Sunshine world. Definitely not the sequel this reader wants, but I'm definitely on board with it.

Candace over at her blog feels her most recent reread, Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King, fits into the "need to know more" category. Dust of 100 Dogs is a unique story about Emer/Saffron cursed to be reincarnated 100 times as man's best friend, and once the curse is fulfilled she moves forward towards her destiny. This is a unique, fun read but the ending, although works great for the story, left Candace wishing for more. Fortunately, author A.S. King will visit Candace's blog in June and tell us just what happens when Saffron gets off the plane.

I was satisfied with the ending of Dust of 100 Dogs, but I'm envious of Candace getting her wish! How awesome is that? What did you think of the ending?

What books have you read that leave you wishing, hoping, and dreaming of a continuation of the story?

1 comment:

  1. This happens to me a lot! It's usually because I fall so in love with a world or with characters. Not because I'm unsatisfied! I just so addicted to good books and I crave more.


Thanks for the feedback. Be well, and happy reading!

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