Monday, August 18, 2014

Coming in at the Middle

Last week I won a a contest on Facebook, which was doubly awesome since the author was a pseudonym for an old blog-friend I'd lost touch with, and because she sent me a gorgeous prize pack.  It had a lovely pin, a pad of sticky notes, a darling little sewing kit, etc. Plus the latest book from a cozy mystery series she writes.

Let me back up a bit.  When I say we lost touch, I mean it. I don't remember why.  She got busy, I got busy.  My memory lapsed as it often does and Voila! we lost touch.  Which means I didn't even know she was writing this awesome cozy series or even that she has another cozy series under her real name, or - and I'm a little ashamed to admit this - that the Laura Bradford I had friended on FB was the same Laura who gave me my first chance at guest blogging.  So here I was, loving cozy mysteries and totally clueless.  Which leads me back to the subject of this post...

So I received my prize pack yesterday and in it was a personalized, autographed copy of Taken In by Elizabeth Lynn Casey - Book Five* Nine in the Southern Sewing Circle Mystery series.  Now, I'm not a huge fan of coming in on the middle of a series, but I do it on occasion.  Of course, I was going to this time.  I've already read some of Laura's other books, and loved them, so I had to jump into this one.  It has some allusions to stuff in previous books, but they aren't so glaring I feel like I don't know what's going on here.  Which makes me happy.

I love it when coming in at the middle of a series doesn't leave me feeling like the wallflower at the dance.

Like I said, I'm not a huge fan, but I will do it.  I came in on the middle of The Dresden Files - loved it and went back to read the backlist.  I thought I came in on the middle of SL Viehl's Stardoc series, but then found out I'd read one of her other books set in the same universe, but with different characters, so that was okay, too.

Still, the fear is there.  I didn't bother trying to watch Grey's Anatomy for years because I felt like coming in on the middle would totally suck.  Then one day, I couldn't find anything else to watch, so I jumped into the middle of that pool.  Lucky me, I came in at an episode where there was already transition going on, so it worked for me.  Then I went back and watched it from the beginning and that lonely middle episode made more sense.  (For the record, my first was the episode where Christina brings Lexi home to Meredith's place because she's just had a really shitty day and needs to dance it out - much to Mere's displeasure.)

Anyway, my point is, if the middle part is good enough, I'll be happy anyway and then go back to visit the previous installments of the book or TV or movie series.  And if it's not, I'll forget that I even read it or watched it.  (Which is why I can't come up with any examples of series I started in the middle and then didn't go back to finish.)

What about you?  Can you start a series in the middle or do you have to begin and the beginning?

Oh, and I haven't finished Taken In yet, but I can already tell I'll be going back to the beginning of the series and reading to catch up. ;o)

*I screwed up.  Taken In is BOOK 9.  Derp.  My apologies.


jblynn said...

I often start series in the middle. If I love the series I'll go back, if I like it, I'll just move forward.

Yay for reconnecting with old friends and double yay for new reading material. ;-)

Silver James said...

I pretty much have to start at the beginning. If there's a book that intrigues me and it's like book 6, I'll go back and look at book 1. If it's a new-to-me author, I'll try to get a library copy to see if I want to invest the money and time. Catching up in a series can be a big time suck. *koffNaliniSingh'sPsy-Changlingserieskoff* That was a situation where I read one in the middle and before I was even half-way through KNEW I was headed back to the beginning. I reread that middle book on my way back through. LOLOL Most TV series, I won't start in the middle unless there's something totally compelling about it.

B.E. Sanderson said...

If you get a chance, either of you, I'd recommend that series. What a fun book. I can't wait to read the rest.

Cool, JB. I never thought about not going back if I only like a series.

LOL about Nalini Singh, Silver. I haven't gotten sucked into her books yet. And don't you get me started. I have enough on my plate already. ;o)

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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