There is nothing more disappointing than strongly disliking the last book in a series. You’ve spent years reading the earlier novels, obsessing over the characters, and waiting for the next one to come out. When a long-running series is finally over, you’re hoping for some sort of resolution, all those loose ends tied up, and maybe even a happy ending. So if you don’t get any of those things, it’s very, very hard not to feel let down.
Thankfully, most authors nail it all the way through. But there are those few series we wish we could erase from our minds, or at least go back to the beginning and stop ourselves from reading in the first place.
Here are two series that majorly dropped the ball on the ending, and one that most definitely nailed it:
Series That Dropped the Ball:
Breaking Dawn: Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown & Co., 2008)
I’m not going to pretend that Twilight was particularly well-written or that the first few books in the series were any kind of literary masterpieces. But there was a certain charm to Bella, and the love story between her and Edward kept us going through every book. Some were better than others, sure, but none was quite as bad as the final book in the series, Breaking Dawn. What a trainwreck. Bella has finally chosen Edward over Jacob (obviously), and the story opens with their wedding. From there it gets more and more bizarre. First comes an unexpected pregnancy, then a demon baby who basically eats Bella from the inside out, then her own transformation into a vampire. And those are the good parts. The second half of the book is all about their creepy child growing up way too fast just so she can be with Jacob, her soulmate, sooner than is humanly possible. Which: ew. Then comes an epic vampire battle that — never actually happens. The climax involves a bunch of people talking and then walking away, everyone safe and happy. Do yourself a favor and rent the movie, or just avoid this series ender altogether.
Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Charlaine Harris (Ace, 2013)
Ugh. I’m still bitter. I spent years falling for vampire Eric Northman, and I was hoping he and Sookie would make it work by the end of this series. Sure, he’s a murderous vampire with a questionable moral compass, but he truly loves Sookie – or so I thought. But this book destroyed any good feelings I had about their relationship, turning Eric into a whiney, unfeeling shadow of himself. In general, the storyline is odd, obviously designed to get all the old characters from the books back together with a flimsy premise. The series ends with Sookie ending up with Sam, her friend/boss who she’s shown almost no romantic feelings for before (at least in the books). It’s hard not to feel like this book was a slap in the face to fans who spent years and years invested in these characters.
The Series That Nailed It:
Rapture: Fallen Series, Lauren Kate (Ember Publishing, 2014)
Fallen is one of those series that I got addicted to. Like, reading spoilers on the Internet, oh-God-when-will-the-final-book-come-out, addicted. I was dying to know all the secrets of Daniel and Luce’s relationship, and Kate kept me waiting until the very end. After three previous books, the build up was so huge that the conclusion needed to deliver. Thankfully, Rapture does NOT disappoint, with all of the loose ends wrapped up and the mysteries finally (finally!) answered. We learn all about who Lucinda truly is and the events that led to her and Daniel’s twisted fate. It’s not all hearts and sunshine either; characters die, others are brokenhearted, but overall this book delivers an emotionally satisfying ending that pays tribute to the soulmate, destiny-style love I fell for in the first place.